Tahlequah Daily Press

October 7, 2010

County aims to take over Cookson airport

By BOB GIBBINS
Staff Writer

TAHLEQUAH — Cherokee County commissioners gave notice Wednesday they intend to vote to assume control of the Cherokee County Airport Authority.

The board filed an application to assume control of the authority, a public trust to which the county is the beneficiary.

The issue concerns the Cookson airport and has no effect on the Tahlequah airport, said Assistant District Attorney David Pierce.

Pierce filed the application as legal counsel for the commissioners.

The matter is set for a show cause hearing Nov. 1 at 10 a.m. before District Judge Darrell Shepherd. Pierce said anyone opposed to the commissioners’ takeover of the CCAA may appear at the Nov. 1 hearing and explain why Shepherd should not approve the county’s application.

The application states the current members of the CCAA Board of Directors act as trustees of the airport and have experienced “increasing difficulty” in conducting affairs of the authority.

It also states that as a result of these problems, the authority is in danger of being unable to “effectively and safely” manage the trust property and its estate.

The document indicates that to ensure “effective and orderly administration,”  trustee duties must be assumed by the county commissioners, with all current board members removed from any further duty or obligation.

A court order signed by former District Judge Bill Bliss sets out the intent and necessity for the county commissioners to have ultimate control of the authority, with the power to appoint and remove any trustee.

Notice of the intention of the commissioners to potentially take such action is to be placed on the agenda of the CCAA to notify board members. The application states notice was mailed Wednesday to Diana Harrod, president of the CCAA.