Airport continues general manager search: Thursday meeting to decide new board vice president |

Airport continues general manager search: Thursday meeting to decide new board vice president

Before the recently elected Truckee Tahoe Airport District board members are sworn in Dec. 1, the current members will discuss at least three issues in their meeting this week that will impact neighboring communities.

Board members Ken Foster and Don Starbard were re-elected in last week’s election, and newcomer Connie Stevens will take over F. Robert Marshall’s seat. They will join sitting board members Donald Bedard and Barbara K. Northrop.

The board meeting at 9 a.m. Thursday will include discussions on the general manager selection process, noise abatement and the appointment of a new board president and vice president.

The former airport general manager, Peter Soderquist, resigned June 6 after nearly four years at the airport.

One of the responsibilities of the general manager is to comment on operations and policies at the airport, a role which places the manager in the community as a relations representative.

The general manager selection process may move forward if the board decides to enlist the services of a recruiting firm.

“We’re going to interview five recruiting firms … to help us complete the process that will give us the ability to make a (general manager) selection,” Foster said.

Interim General Manager Phred Stoner was instructed to find five recruiting firms to present to the board earlier this fall.

Foster said he is familiar with at least three of the recruiting firms, which specialize in filling vacancies at public entities.

The board went through the selection process earlier this summer to find a new general manager and received 31 resumes. The search was narrowed down to 16, then down to seven.

“After that, five of the candidates backed out,” Stoner said. The airport board then started the process over to increase the number of applicants.

“Talking to other managers in other districts, everybody is having a tough time finding employees and retaining them,” Stoner said.

There will be presentations from the recruiting firms during the meeting.

“The board may not choose to retain a firm at this meeting,” Stoner said.

“What’s really important for the airport is to figure out a way of reaching out to the community.” said Kathleen Eagan, Truckee’s first mayor. “Failure to really be proactive could be a problem in the long run.”

Current president Ken Foster will relinquish his role to vice president Don Bedard, as determined by airport policy.

The president and vice president are annual positions. The board members share the responsibility each year.

“The president sets what is on the agenda each meeting, moderates the meeting, makes sure the meetings are run in a proper order and polls the board for further discussion,” Stoner said. “He is also the point contact for the general manager.”

The board will discuss who will be appointed as the vice president to Bedard in their meeting.

The board will also hear an update on noise abatement and consider possible action, although there are no clear items for discussion at this time.

“The noise abatement item is on the agenda primarily because we are committed to discussing noise,” Foster said.

Stoner added that aerial photographs for departure and arrival patterns which may minimize noise may be presented to the board.

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