New rules for commssion chair

Published 12:00 am Thursday, July 14, 2016

The Covington County Commission on Wednesday unanimously approved a resolution limiting the authority of its chairman and future chairmen in making decisions related to the airport.

Last year, the county entered an agreement with the City of Andalusia and the City of Opp in which the three agreed to refinance the airport’s debt on buildings built there for aerospace industries. In turn, proceeds from the leases of those buildings are pooled and divided among the three entities for debt service.

At present, agreement states that the South Alabama Regional Airport Authority cannot lease or sale the twin hangar facility without the agreement of three of the four entities involved. The chairman represents the commission in casting hat vote.

But the resolution passed Wednesday states that the chairman must obtain the unanimous consent of the four district commissioners before casting a vote.

“Presently, I can vote any way, no matter what the commission thinks,” current Chairman Bill Godwin said. “This resolution would put a procedure in place to determine what that vote would be.

“The chairman needs to do the wishes of the district commissioners,” Godwin said.

Commissioners discussed briefly wording the resolution to state that the commissioner only needed most of the commissioners to agree before voting.

“If you’re gonna do it, make it unanimous,” Commissioner Harold Elmore said.

Commissioner Joe Barton said, “I think it’s good to get more input from the commissioners to make sure the county’s interests are represented.”

The resolution states that the county administrator will poll commissioners to determine how they want the chairman to vote.

The resolution likely would have more effect on future business between the county and the airport. A new commission takes office in November, when Greg White will become chairman. Commissioners will be Kenneth Northey, Joe Barton, Tony Holmes and Kyle Adams.