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Fayette airport authority to gain new board member

| Saturday, Feb. 2, 2013, 12:02 a.m.

Two Fayette County commissioners announced on Friday that they will name a new board member for the airport authority at a meeting on Feb. 19, when they accept the resignation of Terry “Tuffy” Shallenberger.

Democrats Al Ambrosini and Vince Zapotosky said they are concerned about operations at the Joseph A. Hardy Connellsville Airport, but they trust the appointed board to meet the requirements of the Pennsylvania Bureau of Aviation.

Shallenberger resigned when the board furloughed airport manager Mary Fast last month. No replacement has been named.

Board member Myrna Giannopoulus is performing the day-to-day duties of that job on a voluntary basis.

After the shake-up, Republican Commissioner Angela Zimmerlink announced that a special meeting should be held between the authority board and the commissioners.

“While the Fayette County commissioners are concerned about administration of the Joseph A. Hardy/Connellsville Airport by the Fayette County Airport Authority, they believe it should be up to the authority members to handle the situation,” Ambrosini and Zapotosky said in a prepared statement released on Friday through county clerk Amy Revak.

In an emailed statement, Zimmerlink wrote that it is the commissioners' responsibility to govern “the millions of tax dollars that flow to the airport authority.”

This week, Giannopoulus and board member Jesse Wallace expressed concerns about maintaining safety, continuing day-to-day operations and meeting federal aviation regulations.

Solicitor Gretchen Mundorff said the authority must resolve concerns cited in a recent audit by the Federal Aviation Administration and obtain signatures on leases she has prepared for tenants at the airport in Dunbar Township.

Bob Stiles is a staff writerfor Trib Total Media. He canbe reached at 724-836-6622 or bstiles@tribweb.com.

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