MANSFIELD, JUL 24--Mansfield City Councilman Don Bryant, Chairman of the Mansfield Airport Committee, met with the Mansfield Metropolitan and Aviation Commission (MAVCOM) yesterday for their bi-monthly meeting. Members discussed turnout results from the 2015 Airport day that was held on July 4th, as well as upcoming FAA runway rehabilitation projects, the airport terminal renovation project and a potential partnership with the NASA space program.
Renovations of the airport terminal building began on July 7th to update the facilities for potential fixed-based operators. Additionally, rehabilitation on Runway 5/23 is scheduled to begin in mid-August.
“I think these renovations and the rehabilitation of 5/23 are fantastic and will certainly help in our efforts to pursue and attract bigger opportunities here in Mansfield. I’d like to see the Mansfield aviation market expand and live up to its full-potential. Should the will of the members of the airport commission align, then there is no doubt that we will move forward toward an increase in a number of activities that could have a positive effect on our local and regional economies,” Bryant stated.
Another item of business briefly discussed was a potential partnership between the City of Mansfield and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).
NASA representatives are scheduled to meet with city officials and commission members for a preliminary meeting to determine whether Mansfield Lahm Airport is an eligible site for future ‘Super Guppy’ missions.
According to NASA sources, Guppy aircraft were specifically designed to transport spacecraft components and have played a significant role in meeting NASA's launch schedules since the Apollo days .
The Guppy was developed in 1962 after President John F. Kennedy declared the goal to reach the moon before 1970. Besides air transport, the only other way to get the Apollo rocket stages from California to Florida was on a slow boat through the Panama Canal. The Guppy aircraft cut not just days, but weeks and months out of the schedules. Without these unique aircraft, we never would have made it to the moon by 1969.
Millions of miles have been flown in support of NASA’s Gemini, Apollo and Skylab programs.
The Super Guppy is unique not only in its shape and size, but in the way that it opens. The aircraft's hinged nose opens more than 200 degrees, allowing cargo to be loading from the front instead of the side. Only a handful of such planes have been built since its introduction in the 1960s .
“This is a big deal, it’s huge,” said Bryant. “I’m not only talking about the aircraft, but more importantly, what a mission like this would mean for our region.”
The NASA preliminary meeting is scheduled to take place in August.
The Mend Mansfield Coalition launched their 1st Safe Summer Friday event yesterday at Johns Park. Members all across the Mansfield & Richland County Community joined in on the fun and included elected officials, county representatives, Mansfield clergy members and representatives from the local media.
The Safe Summer Friday program is geared to engage the entire Mansfield Community and to promote a safe, fun environment that can be enjoyed by all.
There was music, dancing, a tattoo station, free food and drink and even a selfie-station sponsored by NCO Photobooths.
Leading the community in an apparent ‘dance-off’ were Mayor Tim Theaker, Councilman Don Bryant and Richland County Prosecutor Bambi Couch-Paige.
“I was called out by the community to do the wobble. I told everyone I couldn’t dance but they wouldn’t listen. I had people out here calling out steps, telling me to go one way and the other. I even had a little 6 year old girl tell me to move out the way” Bryant said.
“That’s okay, because it was all good fun and next Friday, I’ll be out there showing everyone how to do the wobble and the Nae Nae.”
Mansfield City Schools Board of Education President, Renda Cline, was one of the many volunteers dressed in a bright yellow and orange vest that night, helping to facilitate the event.
“This is a good thing for the Mansfield community. We wanted to help provide a safe, positive atmosphere for everyone to enjoy” stated Cline.
There was also an original performance by a father and son duo, and a performance by Amari Moore, a young man on a mission to follow his dream.
Event organizers Brigitte Coles, Angel Ross-Taylor, Dr. Derek Williams, Tim Holt, Robert and Carolyn Chapman announced the Safe Friday Night program at the previous Mend Mansfield Coalition meeting that took place on June 22nd.
The next Safe Friday Night event takes place Friday, July 17th at Prospect Park and the following week on July 24th at North Lake Park. Each event begins at 6pm and ends at 8:30pm.
For more information on the Safe Friday Night program and/or the Mend Mansfield Coalition, contact Executive Secretary Angel Ross-Taylor at firstname.lastname@example.org or (419) 610-6915.
There have been a lot of changes recently at the Department of Regional Community Advancement over the year, leaving many north end residents concerned whether the city will maintain its RCA program or close the doors of the Ocie Hill building forever.
City officials recently mentioned at a City Council meeting, things would get worse before they get better; but that “things will definitely get better.”
“I wanted to know what that meant,” Councilman Bryant said.
“It’s important as an at-large council member to learn about all of the services and programs the City of Mansfield has to offer, which is why I wanted to meet with the department director to hear her vision moving forward.”
On Thursday, Bryant stopped by the Ocie Hill building for a brief tour and to speak with new RCA Director, Lisa Hall.
Hall is a familiar face to the community as she has spent 15 years of her career working at the Ocie Hill building, with 11 of those years as a director of the Help Me Grow program.
“Public service is my heart, it’s who I am,” said Hall.
Although the RCA budget is limited, Hall did mention there would be renovations completed, mostly cleaning and general maintenance. Also, the gymnasium at the Ocie Hill building will remain closed until everything is operable but, that the majority of the building and programs are open to the public.
“I want to be able to present a clean and a fully functioning facility with more options for the community to enjoy. This is the community’s building and they deserve quality results,” stated Hall.
One of the priorities of the department is fiscal responsibility and getting things back on track. Hall says partnering with the community is essential and she wants to be able to ensure the building is in good condition both fiscally and physically.
Bryant and Hall also talked about the history of the Ocie Hill building.
“From the age of 3 until when I was around 7 years old, I would visit this building with my grandmother and roam the halls. I loved socializing with grandma’s friends and exploring the building. I will always remember those times and watching the seniors play cards, bingo and board games,” said Bryant.
Hall said she'd like to continue to build upon the building’s rich history, “building on what we have.”
For more information on the city’s Department of Regional Community Advancement, you can visit: http://www.ci.mansfield.oh.us/departments-sp-783975672/regional-community-advancement.html or contact RCA Director Lisa Hall at 524-2626.
At-Large Councilman Don Bryant and 6th Ward Councilwoman, Garnetta Pender addressed Coolridge Neighborhood Watch members at their July meeting.
Bryant informed members of the City’s new 911 emergency system that was integrated into operations in May.
“The Next Generation 911 System is an enhanced system that could greatly reduce response times in certain situations because of its advanced mapping system,” Bryant stated.
“The mapping system will provide better location targeting when someone dials 911 from a cell phone.”
Bryant also briefly discussed the City’s partnership with the Mend Mansfield Coalition, describing the coalition as being a “faith-based and neighborhood partnership.”
For more information on Mend Mansfield, you can contact Angel Ross-Taylor, executive secretary at email@example.com or (419) 610-6915.
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