Thursday, January 09, 2014

County council’s small airport workshop won’t be open to public

The County of Kings is bringing in an aviation expert to facilitate a workshop on small airports at no cost to the taxpayer. However, the event will be by invitation and not open to the general public.

Chief Administrative Officer Tom MacEwan told councillors on Jan. 7 that Ted Lennox of LPS AVIA would be facilitating a workshop in the Orchards Room at the municipal complex in Kentville on Jan. 17 from 1 to 3 p.m. MacEwan said the purpose is to have an expert in the aviation field provide information applicable to small airports to stakeholders. There will be no charge to the municipality.

“He’ll be providing council with a broad base of information,” MacEwan said. “He won’t be answering specific questions about our airport relocation.”

He said the workshop would be for councillors, certain staff members and a variety of key aviation stakeholders. These could include local MLA’s, a provincial deputy minister, representatives of the Waterville Airport Co-op, Stanfield airport, 14 Wing Greenwood, Transport Canada and Acadia University president Ray Ivany. MacEwan said this would total in excess of 30 people and he doesn’t expect there would be much time for questions.

Coun. Pauline Raven moved to make the workshop open to the public, but this was defeated. She said it would be a chance for public education and to engage citizens.

Coun. Jim Winsor, who has years of experience managing airports up north, said there would only be so many people who would come if it were open to the public. He doubts there would be more than 40 people attending.

“It’s no harm, it’s nothing to fear,” Winsor said.

During the public comment session following the meeting, citizen Andrew Steeves said that, following motions made by council this past fall, he was led to believe that all council workshops would be open to the public. If this only included upcoming budgeting and strategic planning workshops, Steeves suggested having council look at making all workshops public.

MacEwan said he had reviewed the minutes and recordings relating to those motions and they dealt specifically with upcoming budgeting workshops and strategic planning sessions.


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