By LIBBY CUDMORE • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.COM
ONEONTA – During public comment at this evening’s Common Council meeting, city Airport Commissioner Jeff Back laid out his case for naming the Oneonta Municipal Airport terminal in memory of the late Dennis Finn.
“Dennis was a valued founding member of the airport commission,” he said. “His involvement with the airport goes back to it’s construction and pre-dates the original dedication ceremony in 1966. His commitment, daily efforts and never-ending promotion of airport activities have been a strong contributor to the renovation of airport facilities, airport awareness and increased community involvement.
“It is the unanimous recommendation of the airport commission that the airport’s main terminal be named in his honor.”
Finn, 74, died suddenly on Thursday, May 18, the morning after an Airport Commission meeting. As chair of the Planning Commission, he had attended a meeting the night before his death. “He will be sorely missed,” said Council member John Rafter, seventh ward, who also attended the meeting.
“He was a true friend of the city,” said Mayor Gary Herzig.
The recommendation will now go to the Operations, Planning and Evaluation committee, who will meet at 4 p.m. Monday, June 12. If they approve the recommendation, it will be passed on to Common Council for a vote. “It is the Commission’s hope that Common Council will approve this recommendation prior to the planned Celebration of Life for Dennis,” said Back.
A memorial service is planned for 2 p.m. Saturday, June 24 at the airport.
“I think it’s a fantastic idea,” said Council member Dave Rissberger, Third Ward, who chairs the operations committee. “Dennis gave so much to the airport; he brought it back to life. I can’t think of a more fitting tribute.”