The phrases, "I have nothing against Mike Rupp," and "I have nothing against Mike Fox," were said repeatedly at the Tuesday meeting of the Cherokee City Council as people debated who should serve as one of the five members of the Cherokee Aviation Authority.
The city council made an appointment of Mike Rupp at a December meeting to replace Mike Fox whose term had expired. The Aviation Authority Board had recommended that Mike Fox be reappointed.
The terms for board members will normally be four years but the first term of two of the board members were made two years so that not all five members of the newly established authority board would expire at the same time.
One of the two is an appointment by the county and the other is an appointment by the city. Just how the city appointed a board member became a matter of contention.
According to the city code, the mayor is responsible for making the appointment to be ratified by a vote of the city council.
The council was asked to rescind its appointment of Mike Rupp by Kent Wenck of the Aviation Authority Board so that the mayor could make the appointment. Wally Miller, Jr., city attorney, said that it was his understanding that the appointment of Rupp was not valid.
Dan Meloy, an attorney present at the meeting, said that the document establishing the Airport Authority which has been filed with the secretary of state does not specify how the city shall elect a board member, just that two residents of the city shall be appointed by the city. (This includes one for a term that ends at the end of 2007.)
Meloy said that the city code attempts to amend that agreement.
Miller countered that the city code did not amend the 28E agreement between the city and the county. He said the 28E agreement states that the appointee be "duly elected and qualified." Miller contended that Rupp had not been "duly elected" because it was not made in accordance with the city code.
There were several people who spoke on both sides of the issue of whether the appointment should be rescinded or not, none of them challenging the qualifications of either Rupp or Fox to serve.
Bill Troth, city council member, said that the city had publicly urged citizens to volunteer to serve on boards and commissions and that Rupp had stepped forward through that process.
Wenck said Fox had done a fine job on the Aviation Authority and the decision not to reappoint him had been made without any issues being brought up. Wenck said Fox deserves better treatment than that.
The council voted to rescind the appointment of Mike Rupp.
Mayor Dennis Henrich then appointed Fox to the position. The council ratified the appointment on a 4 to 1 vote. Troth was the only council member to vote against ratifying the appointment,
In other business, the council approved the a tax abatement request at 522 West Maple Street.