Columbia County Board of Supervisor chair Patrick Grattan has moved oversight of the Board’s Airport Committee into the hands of a former committee member who played hooky from over 70% of its meetings.
Via email, Grattan announced that he was moving the same committee from which New Lebanon Supervisor Michael Benson resigned in a huff—after rarely showing up, and not getting his way—into Benson’s portfolio:
TO: Airport Committee & Public Works Committee
It has been brought to my attentions [sic] that there is a question regarding the status of the Airport Committee.
First, let me thank all the members for their hard work on this issue. I know that this issue was very complicated and, at times, contentious. I respect your patience and understanding during the process.
The County has several subcommittees: Negotiations, Salary Study, Pine Haven, Central Business Office, Labor Management and DSS Renovations. All report to Finance and each report to their Home Committee (ie: DSS Renovations reports to the DSS Human Services, the Pine Haven subcommittee reports to the Health and Medical Services).
The Airport in some instances could report to Economic Development, County Government or Public Works.
Since the County Public Works Department & Facilities maintains and improves the Airport, the Airport subcommittee should report to Public Works.
The Airport subcommittee has performed two very valuable tasks: one, it has given the Airport the attention it deserves and has increased everyone’s understanding of the uses, functions, economics and future of the Airport. Two, it has provided a forum for the residents of the Town of Ghent, the general public and media to discuss issues in a focused manner.
Again, I thank all of you for your good work and your continued efforts.
In addition to his many absences, Benson was repeatedly outvoted by his peers on airport issues, and showed a remarkable inconsistency in his positions—not to mention an immunity to absorbing facts presented by his fellow Supervisors, let alone by the public. Yet now Grattan has put oversight of that committee into the hands of its (former) member who showed very least interest in its business.
Ancram supervisor Art Bassin, who has chaired the committee, says that he has not decided whether to remain as Chair of the Committee-turned-Subcommittee, and does not know whether Benson intends to invite him to do so.