The Charleston County Aviation Authority doesn't normally allow public input during its monthly meetings, but on Thursday it did - and it got an earful.

Some members of the public are still stewing over the airport board's decision to retain Arnold Goodstein as its attorney without seeking competitive bids - at least until the new budget year begins in July.

They also said they didn't like board chairman Andy Savage's response to record requests or his conduct during the January meeting of the authority, which devolved into personal attacks.

On Thursday, Charleston County Republican Party Chairman John Steinberger said he was upset by Savage's response to a request for records related to Goodstein.

Steinberger said he was trying to ascertain how Goodstein could work full-time as the agency's outside counsel while also being classified as a fully disabled veteran,

In his Dec. 21 written response, Savage wondered why Steinberger would question Goodstein's military service and why he was asking the authority for records it has no control over. Savage called Steinberger's records request "a cowardly attempt to cast discredit" on Goodstein and called for an apology.

When Steinberger was allowed to speak at the end of the Aviation Authority board meeting in January, he took offense at being called a coward. Savage reiterated that it was a "cowardly" act and the meeting quickly turned into personal attacks before board members adjourned to avoid further embarrassment.

Another citizen addressed the board Thursday. Jock Stender also criticized Savage's response to Steinberger. He said the chairman should be replaced along with Goodstein and North Charleston Mayor Keith Summey, who also sits on the board.

By law, Summey, as mayor, gets a board seat along with the mayors of Charleston and Mount Pleasant, where the authority owns airports.

Stender also called for the board to expand its membership to Berkeley and Dorchester counties.

Authority members did not respond to any of the comments.

Reach Warren L. Wise at 937-5524 or