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Copyright © 2003 Express Publishing Inc.
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Friday, June 11, 2004


‘Observers, don’t advise’

Airport authority told to lower its profile before advisory group

Express Staff Writer

The problem was how to shrink the presence and role of the Friedman Memorial Airport Authority’s members during deliberations of the new airport site selection advisory committee.

Airport attorney Barry Luboviski immediately saw the problem developing last month at the first meeting of the 50-member committee.

Sitting in a row along the wall of the Old Blaine County Courthouse meeting room, the five airport authority members were besieged with questions from members of the advisory committee.

"This is a real problem," Luboviski told the governing board at its monthly meeting Tuesday, June 8. "So long as you’re there, they’ll (the advisory committee) turn around" and ask for advice or a decision.

He said authority members should be observers, but not advisers to the advisory committee, whose role is to function independently of the airport authority.

He also said not all of the board should attend the meetings as observers.

The board finally decided to designate two members on a rotating basis to attend the monthly advisory committee meetings.

Other members who want to attend should blend into the audience and figuratively try to be invisible.

Authority member Len Harlig, for example, said that he wanted to attend, even if he seems to be just a member of the audience, to make certain he doesn’t miss subtleties involved in advisory committee discussions.

Instead of a chairman, the advisory committee has a professional facilitator, Mike Pepper, of Twin Falls, to lead the group through studies of criteria that will eventually determine the best possible sites for a new airport. Pepper has been thoroughly briefed, but will be backed up by airport consultants who can answer technical questions of the committee.

The advisory committee’s next meeting is at 5:30 p.m., Tuesday, June 22, in the second floor meeting room of the Old County Courthouse.


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