Fayette Airport Authority lays off manager
The Fayette County Airport Authority voted 4-1 Wednesday night to lay off airport manager Mary Lou Fast and to terminate her three-year employment contract.
Authority member Jesse Wallace voted against the furlough just moments after members returned from a brief executive session.
“I'm not going to be a part of this,” Wallace said.
After the meeting, Wallace said he did not think Fast should be furloughed because “she is a good employee.”
“I would like for her to stay,” Wallace added.
Fast declined to comment on the layoff, which is immediate and indefinite.
Mark Shipley, an employee of Aviation Network, an airport tenant that transports transplant patients and organs to various hospitals in the Northeast, talked to Fast after the meeting.
“You have been the best employee this airport has had,” Shipley said as he hugged Fast and wished her good luck in her future endeavors.
Fast had been employed as airport manager for more than four years. Her original two-year contract was extended to three years. She was completing the third year of her contract, which was scheduled to expire in October.
Three of the authority's five members agreed to allow Fast to collect her severance package. Authority solicitor Gretchen Mundorff said the authority members could not discuss the details of the severance package.
Authority members Wallace, Myrna Giannopoulos and Terry Shallenberger voted in support of the severance package. Two members, Matt Thomas and Fred Davis, abstained from voting.
Authority members declined to comment on why Fast was laid off, but they indicated that the stress level at the Joseph A. Hardy Connellsville Airport has been very high recently. They would not comment on rumors that several authority members were considering the possibility of resigning.
Fayette County Commissioner Angela Zimmerlink attended the meeting but did not address the authority or make any comments.
In other business, Mark Shipley of Aviation Network asked the authority to consider entering into a commercial lease for space his company has been renting at two smaller T-hangars. Shipley said his company has been renting the smaller hangars for several months because it needed additional space. Aviation Network has a commercial lease for a larger hangar and office space.
Mundorff was directed by authority members to draft new leases last year. The leases were completed in December, but only 15 of the 40 tenants have signed them.
Russ Jones of PennDOT's Bureau of Aviation said the Federal Aviation Administration requires the authority to have written leases.
If the mandated leases are not in place, Jones said, the authority could be in jeopardy of losing federal funding.
In a recent audit, the FAA listed the leases as one of the findings the authority needed to address.
Cindy Ekas is a freelance writer.
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.
- Record golf ball collection drives Connellsville native
- Barn fire no obstacle to opening of farm store near Dawson
- Fayette County firefighters group elects new president
- Pilgrims ready to return to Mt. St. Macrina
- Daily Courier columnist knew, loved Connellsville community
- 2 dead in Bullskin crash
- Pair of suspects sought in South Union robbery
- Earlier start, free meals among changes as Connellsville Area schools start Monday
- Purchase paves the way for razing of Connellsville building
- Fire heavily damages Connellsville home
- Columnist knew, loved community