Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Muscle Shoals Airport Authority--One New Member or Two?

The death last month of Tuscumbia businessman Ed Borden left the Muscle Shoals Airport Authority Board without a chairman. Now Allen Wilson's 90 day sentence for misdemeanor assault may leave a second seat unfilled.

Wilson's attorney Tim Case is appealing his conviction, ostensibly on the grounds of possible bias on the part of Judge Mike Jones. Wilson supported Alice Martin against Jones in his initial bid for the Lauderdale Circuit judgeship. At the time of Wilson's arrest, at least one reader questioned the legality of Wilson remaining on the airport board. The appointment would seemingly involve political rights, but a misdemeanor conviction would in no way negate those rights. Also, since Wilson was appointed by Lauderdale County, it may be only the county commission that has the power to remove him.

Matthew Hea, Muscle Shoals Airport Director, and other board members have stated the ideal new member(s) will have aviation experience. Tuscumibia is a small town, but surely more than one individual will be interested enough in the position to apply. Similarly, if a vacancy is announced in Lauderdale County, we hope there will be at least a modicum of competition for the appointment.

Most leaders in this area seem unclear as to what the potential of our local airport actually is. While we don't expect it ever to rival Atlanta or Chicago, we do wish to see it grow and evolve into more of an asset to the Shoals than it has been in the past.

What's up with this: Many thanks to the Florence firefighters and paramedics who attempted to save Ouija Hudson from a fatal fire this morning. How one treats the lower species speaks volumes, and the Shoals area is fortunate to have such caring responders.