The Woodward News

Local News

February 6, 2013

City moves forward on softball project

Timberlake hired as construction manager

(Continued)

Woodward, Okla. — AIRPORT ISSUES

In other action Monday, city commissioners addressed a couple of issues relating to the West Woodward Airport.

The commissioners first approved 2 membership appointments to the Airport Authority.

Previously during their Jan. 7 meeting, the commissioners had been presented with 3 routine reappointments of airport board members whose previous 3-year terms were expiring.

One of the names up for reappointment was Steve Bogdahn, who the city board approved because they appreciate having a commissioner be able to serve as a liaison between the Airport Authority and City Commission.

However, Commissioner Gary Goetzinger said he would like the other 2 appointments to be sent back to the Airport Authority so that board could have more of a say of who they would like to serve.  

The Airport Authority was then asked to present some names for persons to be considered to fill the 2 open board positions.  The names that were submitted for consideration on Monday were Dan Plante, Bill Traugott, Roy Anderson, Dr. Shawn Champion and Craig Rosengrants.

"I think it's great that we have 5 people interested in serving on the airport board," Goetzinger said.

However, as only 2 board positions were available, the commissioners could only appoint 2 of the men.

"Several of these men have been on the board for several years already and I feel that it's time for the city to go in a different direction at the airport, so I move we appoint Sean Champion and Craig Rosengrants," Goetzinger said.

The appointments were then unanimously approved by Goetzinger, Fanning, Hill and Bogdahn.  Commissioner Michelle Williamson was absent.

Later in the meeting, the city commissioners held an executive session to discuss "a pending investigation, claim or action relating to the West Woodward Regional Airport," according to the meeting agenda.

Prior to the commissioners withdrawing to go into the executive session, audience member Steve Snider stood up and objected to the closed door meeting.  Snider said he didn't believe the city's agenda clearly explained what items would be addressed in the executive session. 

Snider specifically claimed that he felt the agenda item was "too vague" because he believed there were multiple investigations ongoing at the airport.

However, in speaking with The News following Monday's meeting, City Attorney Ryan Price said there is "only one that's pending at this time, that's the pending OSBI investigation."

Price, who had met with the commissioners in the executive session, said he had "no comment" about any additional details concerning the nature of the investigation.

Jessica Brown, public information officer for the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation, told The News in an e-mail on Tuesday that "The district attorney in Woodward County requested OSBI open an investigation January 9, 2013, into allegations of possible mishandling by the city of Woodward of property at the West Woodward Airport."

District Attorney Hollis Thorp said the property involved is asphalt millings.  

Back in July, a compliance inspection report from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) included reference to a portion of asphalt being taken from a stockpile at the airport with "little, if any, compensation to the airport."

Thorp said he requested OSBI to investigate the asphalt matter after receiving "reports and requests from Woodward citizens."

He noted that "it's just an investigation, it doesn't say whether something was done wrong or not.  There's just some things that we want clarification on."

Brown said once the OSBI's investigation is complete, the agency will provide the DA with a written report on its findings.  

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