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Front Page August 1, 2017  RSS feed

Airport protesters give commissioners a message: Give us a vote before you OK an airport

By Mac Shadix


Proposed Leon airport protesters and proponents filled the Annex 1 courtroom and some were standing in the doorways and a few were left in the lobby. Photo by Mac Shadix Proposed Leon airport protesters and proponents filled the Annex 1 courtroom and some were standing in the doorways and a few were left in the lobby. Photo by Mac Shadix After agenda items calling for a discussion and possible action on the proposed Leon County Airport and on approving an additional $1,000 for the project development cost of the proposed airport the County Commissioners clearly expected a crowd at their Regular Called Meeting on July 26 in the Annex I courtroom.

The sheriff was present, seats were reserved for the press but only about 20 concerned citizens showed up. The seats in the courtroom were filled, people were standing in the doorways and a few were in the adjoining lobby. After the normal amenities, the meeting opened with County Judge Byron Ryder skipping over the order of the agenda to address the airport items first.

Ryder stated that Leon County was one of two counties in Texas without a public airport. He repeated previous statements that the airport could be built with only a 10% match from the county. He said that Nucor and other industries had inquired about a county airport and that there had been an airport committee for years. The $1000 was necessary because the county had paid $6500 as their share of the $65,000 development project and that the actual cost had risen to $75,000 and this was Leon County’s 10% share of the additional $10,000.


Mike Glick Mike Glick Only four people had signed up to speak during the public comments and the first to speak was Buffalo’s Mike Glick. Glick very calmly asked that if the proposal indicates that an airport can be built that the commissioners call a public referendum on the item before proceeding. Randy Shelton and Doris Pittman also were signed up to speak and they both seconded Glick’s request. Sage heads were nodded, “It's a good idea.” was mouthed by someone but no promises were made.


Randy Shelton Randy Shelton The fourth speaker was Harlan Brown. Brown cautioned about the amount of federal control that would surround an airport facility. He also said that he had moved to Leon County because it was a small and rural county. He did not appear to be in support of a county airport.

The county judge called for a show of hands of those who were opposed to the development and only eight to ten hands were raised. A call for those in favor produced a considerably smaller number. Most of the county officials and employees present did not vote.

The commissioners court then proceeded to address the remainder of the agenda. It was voted to consolidate the voting precincts for the November 7th Constitutional Amendment Election (CAE). An election services contract between Leon County and the City of Leona for a local option liquor election to be held on the same day as the Constitutional Amendment Election was approved. The notice of special election for the Constitutional Amendment Election and the local option election was also approved.

County Judge Byron Ryder called for a show of hands of those who were pro and con that were in attendance at the Wednesday commissioners meeting. The cons were in the majority although there were several pro airport votes.Photo by Mac Shadix County Judge Byron Ryder called for a show of hands of those who were pro and con that were in attendance at the Wednesday commissioners meeting. The cons were in the majority although there were several pro airport votes.
Photo by Mac Shadix
Election judges and alternate judges were approved for two-year terms. Appointment of central counting station personnel and early voting election officers was also finalized. Finishing off the process the early voting ballot board was appointed for two-year terms.

It was announced that Buffalo would be accepting donations of flags from Woodman Life to be placed at the Senior Citizens facility.

Fifty-two fans donated by Friends and Family of Steel (Nucor related) were accepted. $3000 was approved for the upcoming County Health Fair.

The submission of hazard mitigation grant applications for critical facility generators for the District courtroom and the appointment of the county judge as the chief executive officer for all matters in connection with the grants was approved.

A fee of $10 was approved for taking passport photos in the district clerks office was discussed and approved.

Melvin Laningham was appointed to be the local rabies control authority.

Laningham is already the county trapper.

County Attorney Caleb Henson had submitted amendments to current subdivision regulations. Henson told the court that the changes allowed maximum regulation in the county areas.

Commissioner David Ferguson was given permission to purchase .61 acres for a source of sand.


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