City fights attempt to take over airport control - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

City fights attempt to take over airport control

Republican Senator Josh Harkins said he will introduce a bill to change the makeup of the airport board and allow the governor to appoint a seven person board. Source: WLBT Republican Senator Josh Harkins said he will introduce a bill to change the makeup of the airport board and allow the governor to appoint a seven person board. Source: WLBT
JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

The Jackson Medgar Evers International Airport is at the center of controversy as legislation is being drafted to change the way its board operates and who is appointed.

But Jackson City officials say "not so fast".

Members of the Jackson City Council say they won't go down without a fight over attempts to take control of the international airport.

"We won't take this laying down," said Legislative Committee Chairman Tyrone Hendrix.

Tuesday during a special Legislative Committee meeting the Ward Six representative and his colleagues learned the history of Jackson Evers International and the statutes involving the property's annexation in 1964.

Republican Senator Josh Harkins said he will introduce a bill to change the makeup of the airport board and allow the governor to appoint a seven person board.

The Rankin County lawmaker said it is a regional airport, a big economic driver and should be governed by a regional board.

"We do not support this. We will rally behind our Hinds County Delegation at the State Capitol because we do not support this and let them know they need to fight along with us and they really have," added Hendrix.

The City Council appoints members of the Jackson Municipal Airport Authority, which operates and maintains the international airport.

"Why just Jackson. Why not all the airports across the state. Do they have their eyes on them as well," asked Ward One Councilman Ashby Foote."They really haven't given us notice that they were dissatisfied with service at the airport."

The City's legal team is expected to have a resolution in opposition to the proposed bill by the January 12th council meeting.

"What we have to do is continue to fight for our interests and our people who have built this airport because the citizens of Jackson built this airport, and I don't want the other folks to come in now and want to take it over," said Ward Four Councilman D'Keither Stamps.

The JMMA Board and CEO will meet Wednesday at 10:30 a.m. for a year end review and media briefing which may include discussion of the proposed takeover.

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