Councilman Jeff Johnson Maintains Pressure Via Outburst on Airport Issues


  • Photo by Aeroplanepics0112/Licensed via Wikimedia Commons
If you’ve missed all the recent Cleveland Hopkins hullabaloo, you may have at least tuned in for another Jeff Johnson blow-up at City Council on Monday night. The NEOMG’s Mark Naymik criticized the feckless Transportation Committee after that committee, chaired by Marty Keane, didn’t press interim airport director Fred Szabo about prior staffing levels and hefty Federal Aviation Administration fines.

(This is all, by the way, in the aftermath of revelations by a former Hopkins employee who alleged to the NEOMG that the airport would be hugely understaffed again this winter, and that there simply wouldn’t be time to train required personnel.)

“Keane's lack of investigation is not surprising,” Naymik wrote after the Transportation meeting. “It's another example of council leaders who — metaphorically speaking – seat the public in coach when they are supposed to place them in first class by failing to press the administration with vigor and skepticism.”

Jeff Johnson tried. He was working himself into his usual lather — this time, fully justified — when Keane interjected. Keane had called members of the committee before the meeting, instructing them not to ask about prior staffing levels. Frank Jackson’s administration is appealing the fine and Keane evidently wants to wait until the appeal is filed.

In which case, why even bring Szabo into the meeting?

But Johnson kept shouting, even as Keane adjourned the meeting — this is getting all too familiar — until Kevin Kelley, overhearing the ruckus, stepped in and escorted Keane out, advising him quietly (according to Naymik) “not to go down that rabbit hole.”

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