Leonardtown, MD – Officials in St. Mary’s County charged with revising bylaws and rules for St. Mary’s County Airport in Hollywood have quietly proposed changes to the Airport Advisory Committee that could impact its ability to do its job advising the county commissioners. The proposed By-Law change removes the chairperson’s responsibility for setting the committee agenda and gives that to the county airport manager. At least three of the committee members have indicated they are concerned about this proposed change, particularly in the future, if there might be contentious issues that the advisory committee would need to investigate and provide advice.
Ted Klapka, a current committee member stated “I don’t think this is nefarious, and was likely changed innocently, but it could hinder our ability to advise the commissioners. He who controls the agenda controls the committee.” Klapka is concerned that the change was proposed without the committee’s knowledge or input. “Right now we are attempting to shed light and provide input on the larger issue of the airport rules,” he said.
The committee was to have held a special meeting to get public input on some contentious issues with the larger airport rules issues Monday night, Jan. 14 at 6 p.m. at the St. Mary’s County Airport Terminal. However, early Monday afternoon St. Mary’s County Government announced The Airport Advisory Committee’s special meeting to review airport rules and minimum standards, scheduled for Monday at 5:30 p.m., has been cancelled. The next regularly scheduled meeting of the Airport Advisory Committee will be Monday, Jan. 28