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Edelen's CVG Board Plan Meets Heavy Resistance From Lawmakers In Frankfort

Sparks flew in Frankfort on Tuesday when the subject of the Northern Kentucky Cincinnati International Airport board was discussed.

Some northern Kentucky area lawmakers are already expressing opposition to State Auditor Adam Edelen’s proposed change in the configuration of the airport board. 

Based on his findings of widespread problems with oversight, fiscal management and governance, Edelen says not all of the appointing power should rest with the Kenton County Judge Executive.  He believes Campbell and Boone Counties should have a say as well. 

Edelen also believes since the airport is a regional asset, three voting members of the CVG board should come from Ohio.

"The notion that this is about turf loses a more modern argument which is how do we leverage all of attributes and the strength of the region and pool those assets to create an airport that has a better chance of luring more carriers and cheaper fares?" Edelen told members of the Interim Joint Committee On Transportation.

The idea of Ohio representation drew a flat “no” from several Northern Kentucky Legislators including Representative Arnold Simpson of Covington.

"It's not a northern Kentucky problem in my opinion.  It's a Kenton County problem.  We are vested.  Most of the deeds where the concourses are is in the name of the Kenton fiscal court.  It's our property.  When you talk in terms of divesting the people of Kenton County of that entity that it's had for seventy years, it smacks of socialism," Simpson said.

Simpson added that he was particularly offended by the auditor’s characterization of the “decades of waste and abuse” with the airport board, noting that his own father chaired that panel in 1980.

"When you cast aspersions about decades of waste and abuse you're not only casting aspersions on the individuals who are currently on the board that did some of the acts that gave rise to your report, but I think you also cast, perhaps unintentionally, aspersion on all of the business leaders in our community that have served on that board, and I don't think that's just," Simpson told Edelen.

House Transportation Committee Chair Hubie Collins says if the issue can’t be resolved locally, it’ll be taken up in the General Assembly’s 2015 Session.