The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Latest News

April 17, 2013

Airport panel head quits

JOHNSTOWN — A proposed update of Johnstown-Cambria County Airport Authority bylaws at this week’s meeting provided a lively discussion on the authority’s changing role, its relationship with county government and the importance of members’ participation.

The conversation centered on rules in organization's proposed bylaws allowing the authority to remove one of its members for lack of attendance. The provision was designed to assure an active board, Chairman James Loncella said.

“The overall goal is to retain good people,” Loncella said.

Ironically, the discussion came minutes after Loncella announced he was stepping down as chairman and resigning from the airport authority.

“I am not going to make any comments or answer any questions about my reasons, so don’t ask,” Loncella said.

He did not provide any more information after the meeting, but said, “I will say this much, I am never going to do anything this public again.”

The dialogue began when Solicitor Timothy Leventry’s described the process to remove a board member.

Leventry said the proposed bylaws called for removal after an member misses three meetings without an excuse. The authority can vote to allow the member to remain.

“What is an unexcused absence?” Lengenfelder asked.

Leventry admitted the term has never been defined in the bylaws.

“If it’s undefined, it can't be enforced,” said Douglas Lengenfelder, a Cambria County Commissioner and airport authority member. “There is going to have to be more than this.”

The proposed bylaw changes are still open for discussion, authority Vice Chairman William Polacek said, urging Lengenfelder to review all the changes.

“At the last (March) meeting, we said, let’s look at these and let us know what you think,” Polacek said. “If there are any changes we can make them. We can vote next meeting.”

Lengenfelder missed the March meeting because he was at a conference as part of the county’s effort to create a zone centered at the airport to help promote business development by foreign investors.

He was absent in February because he was in Argentina with a local delegation making contacts for the venture.

“If I miss more, are they going to kick me out?” Lengenfelder asked.

Polacek said he recognized that the absences were related to airport business.

The provision is designed to help the authority board remain dynamic and engaged, Loncella said, suggesting that the bylaw language could be changed to say that missing three meetings would trigger a review by the board for possible removal vote.

All members of the airport authority are appointed by the county commissioners.

To assure some stability terms are staggered so that a portion of the board is up for appointment every year.

Lengenfelder asked how the provision to remove authority members would affect the commissioners’ role in appointing them.

“If this becomes a political issue, with wholesale removal of authority members ...” Lengenfelder said, not finishing the sentence.

“There is more than meets the eye when it comes to putting people in and taking people off boards.”

Lengenfelder said he will take the proposed bylaws for review by the county solicitor.

“This authority is an autonomous board,” Leventry said. “Because the commissioners are the appointing agency, they have the ability to comment on them and make suggestions.”

After the meeting, Lengenfelder said the discussion illustrates the commissioners’ commitment to using all of the county’s assets to explore economic development and job creation.

“You didn’t hear a fight in there,” he said.

“You heard a discussion of philosophies – and it's good.”

Click here to subscribe to The Tribune-Democrat print edition.

Click here to subscribe to The Tribune-Democrat e-edition.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Latest News
  • Former Altoona officer’s assault conviction upheld

    April 17, 2014

  • 10 things to know for today

    April 17, 2014

  • smothers ‘It breaks my heart’: Shooting victim’s death leaves trail of shattered lives

    Victoria Smothers knows what people thought when they heard that a young black male had been shot to death in Moxham last week.

    April 16, 2014 2 Photos

  • School violence studied

    On a typical day last year, Pennsylvania schools caught 11 students toting weapons similar to ones used to slash 21 students and a security guard at a Pittsburgh-area high school, according to the state Department of Education. An untold number of others likely brought weapons to school but weren’t caught, safety experts say.

    April 16, 2014

  • egg hunt17 ACRP quietly notes 25th anniversary

    There will be little or no fanfare accompanying Alternative Community Resource Program’s 25th anniversary.
    And that’s how the executive director, Frank Janakovic, wants it.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • windber17 Windber students earn top ‘Overchiever’ rank

    Windber Area school’s PSSA scores have been tops in the region for the past several years.
    This year, they’re among the head of the class statewide, Pittsburgh Business Times annual Schools Guide shows.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Wise, Charles Police charge bank robbery suspect

    A Johnstown man was jailed on $250,000 bond after police said he robbed the West End Branch of AmeriServ Financial. Charles Wise, 48, of Barron Avenue, was charged with two counts of robbery.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Inmate awaits sentencing for assault on guard

    A former inmate faces up to 15 years in prison when he is sentenced for assaulting a corrections officer at State Correctional Institution-Somerset, authorities said.

    April 16, 2014

  • windber pool Pool stays afloat despite troubles

    When a valve broke at the Windber Recreation Park pool last month, its municipal authority caretakers feared that meant the end for the pool’s aged, much-patched liner.
    But the old liner has held up – a stroke of luck that will save Windber Municipal Authority from having to seek a line of credit to cover repairs or risk delaying the pool opening, the authority’s recreation director, C.W. Beckley, said.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Creativity blossoming for spring art show

    The 16th annual Art in Bloom spring art show will brighten the Cambria County Courthouse in Ebensburg from noon to 6 p.m. April 26 and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. April 27.

    April 16, 2014


Do you think that Jack Williams will get the 270 signatures from city residents needed in order to have a referendum placed on a municipal ballot to have the city's pressure test mandate repealed?

I'm not sure
     View Results
Order Photos

Photo Slideshow

House Ads