Gooch, Orton Out as Airport Board Members

Following a strange twist at Monday morning’s Obion County Commission meeting, the Everett-Stewart Regional Airport board chairman was not retained.

Commissioner Donnie Braswell, who was one of three members of the airport study committee, submitted recommendations by the committee that included new members for the board.

After 10 of the recommended items were approved, the Commission was then tasked with accepting new two year terms for Airport board members Stoney Orton and Dr. Chris Gooch.

Mayor Benny McGuire then announced that Orton had resigned his seat, with Sammy McCollum recommended by the Mayor and approved by a unanimous vote.

The board then voted on the appointment of Dr. Gooch,who serves as the chairman, with a vote to accept for a two year term of 11-to-8.

Following discussion on another agenda item, Commissioner Terry Roberts, who was a member of the study committee, said he wanted to change his vote from “yes” to “no” against Gooch.

County Attorney Steve Conley informed Commission Chairman Ralph Puckett that a vote must be taken by the full Commission to approve a new vote on the board appointment.

Following a 19-0 vote to allow a second vote for Dr. Gooch, the Commission then voted 11-to-8 not to retain him at the airport.

During the second vote, Roberts, along with Commissioners Blake Cheatam and Eugene Hudgins all changed their votes.

Mayor McGuire said he will now submit a name of replacement for Dr. Gooch at the next board meeting.


Charles Choate