Allegheny County Councilman Gastgeb gets $113,500 job with airport authority
Allegheny County Councilman Vince Gastgeb will become director of corporate and community relations for the county's airport authority.
Gastgeb, 49, a Republican from Bethel Park, said he plans to keep his seat on County Council while working for the Airport Authority. He said a provision in the county Home Rule Charter that bars council members from receiving pay from county authorities doesn't apply to the Airport Authority.
Gastgeb, a former sales manager for Sara Lee Foods, will be paid $113,500. County Council members, who are elected, are paid $9,000 annually.
“We've made a tremendous investment in the airport. Now it's time to go externally and make it a better airport for our region,” said Gastgeb, who will start Feb. 19.
The new position “is designed to increase the awareness of Pittsburgh International Airport ... in an effort to increase air travel in Pittsburgh,” authority spokeswoman JoAnn Jenny said.
Gastgeb said he plans to meet with corporate leaders to drum up more business for the direct flights available from the airport, as well as officials at travel websites to ensure that their software lists all the flights available from Pittsburgh.
“Also because the state Legislature is in session ... I have to work with the lobbyist we hire to see that our interests are being taken care of,” he said.
Gastgeb served as Allegheny County co-chairman for Gov. Tom Corbett's 2010 campaign. Corbett, R-Shaler, defeated then-County Executive Dan Onorato, D- Brighton Heights, by 460 votes in their shared home county, despite its two-to-one Democratic registration advantage.
“Vince and I have, obviously, had very public disagreements in the past, but I believe that he is a good choice for this position at the Airport Authority,” said County Executive Rich Fitzgerald, who was council president during Onorato's term.
Gastgeb led the Republican opposition as GOP caucus chairman.
Both joined County Council at its formation in 1999. The county Home Rule Charter says council members “shall not receive any salary, stipend or other compensation from the county or any county authority.” Gastgeb said that doesn't apply to the Airport Authority because state law created it.
Authority solicitor Mike Wojcik said he didn't review that aspect of Gastgeb's hiring. “I focused on federal laws that would tend to disqualify Mr. Gastgeb from employment by the Airport Authority and found none. I did not, however, look at any other legal authority as that was not within my proper scope of review,” Wojcik said.
County Council solicitor John Cambest could not be reached.
Staff writer Tom Fontaine contributed. Mike Wereschagin is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7900 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Rossi: Looking at the next great Steeler
- After early criticism, Haley has Steelers offense poised to be even better
- McCullers’, McLendon’s prowess in clogging trenches crucial to Steelers defense
- Penguins not alone in top-heavy approach to salary cap
- Reds solve Cole, stave off Pirates’ 9th-inning rally
- Steelers swap draft pick for Eagles cornerback
- Roman Catholic Church in midst of culture clash over gays
- Steelers notebook: Injuries finally become issue at training camp
- Starting 9: Examining Pirates’ deadline decisions
- Pirates notebook: New acquisition Happ more than happy to fill spot in rotation
- Missing deaf, autistic teen last seen on North Side