Northern Kentucky lawmakers balk at Ohioans on CVG board

10/08/2014 09:48 AM

Northern Kentucky lawmakers disagree with state auditor Adam Edelen’s recommendations that the new makeup of the Kenton County Airport Board, the governing body of the Northern Kentucky/Cincinnati International Airport, should include three voting members from Ohio.

Edelen testified on Tuesday before the Interim Joint Committee on Transportation outlining his special investigation report that he released last month calling for changes to the makeup of the board to address multiple concerns over governance, internal control and management oversight.

Currently, all board members are appointed by the Kenton County Judge-Executive.

Northern Kentucky lawmakers said they will not support the idea of three Ohioans sitting on the CVG board.

“This is a northern Kentucky airport and Kenton County started it years ago,” Rep. Brian Linder, R-Dry Ridge, told Pure Politics after the meeting. “That’s where the seats need to belong; they need to belong to Northern Kentucky.”

Linder says that Grant County, which is in his district, deserves a seat on the board before anyone in Ohio.

Rep. Arnold Simpson, D-Covington, says that while the airport is a regional asset, it was Kenton County who put the money up to establish the airport 70 years ago and they should have all of the appointees on the board.

Simpson also took exception to Edelen’s statement that the board has suffered from decades of waste and abuse.

“Most of the instances that raised your attention occurred most recently,” Simpson said. “My father served on the board, he was chairman in 1980. Therefore when you cast aspersions about decades of waste and abuse, you not only cast aspersions on individuals who are currently on the board, but I think you also cast aspersions on all of our business leaders in our community.”

Simpson doesn’t expect the Northern Kentucky Legislative Caucus to act on the topic in the 2015 General Assembly, saying he feels that Kenton County will rightly solve the issue.

As for representatives from Campbell or Boone County becoming voting members on the board? Simpson says, no way.

“I can’t support that, I think that’s blatantly unfair,” he said.

In his report, Edelen recommends that the Kenton Judge-Executive would have three board appointments which would be confirmed by the fiscal court. In addition, two board appointments would come from Boone County, one from Campbell County, two from the Kentucky governor, one from the Ohio governor, one from the mayor of Cincinnati and one from Hamilton County, Ohio.


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