Airport authority board surprised by resignation
By Cindy Ekas
Published: Saturday, Aug. 17, 2013, 12:51 a.m.
The abrupt resignation of longtime Fayette County Airport Authority member and current Chairman Fred Davis shocked authority members and Fayette County commissioners.
Davis told commissioners and fellow authority members in a letter earlier this week he would end his tenure on the authority as of Friday.
“I didn't know anything or hear anything about Fred's resignation before it happened,” said authority member Jesse Wallace, who is superintendent of the Laurel Highlands School District. “We didn't share any conversations about it.
“It was very surprising to me,” he added. “I always thought that the Joseph A. Hardy Connellsville Airport was a big part of Fred's life. I believe he had been an authority member for more than 20 years, and Fred is also a pilot.”
Fayette County Commissioner Angela Zimmerlink agreed, adding that she received a copy of the resignation letter on Wednesday, which Davis had sent to Fayette County Commission Chairman Al Ambrosini.
“Due to a not unanticipated increase in my off airport obligations and the amount of time they would consume, I cannot continue to commit the hours that I feel are required to support both the position of chairman or even board member,” Davis wrote in the letter.
“Therefore with regret, I resign from the Fayette County Airport Authority effective 11:59 p.m. Friday, Aug. 16,” he continued. “Thank you for the opportunity to have served the community.”
Davis and Ambrosini could not be reached for comment on Friday.
Zimmerlink said the county commissioners will need to fill the vacant seat on the airport authority.
The county will solicit letters from individuals in the community who are interested in serving on the authority, according to Zimmerlink.
Candidates will be interviewed, and an individual will be appointed to serve the remainder of the term, she said.
Ambrosini said earlier this week that commissioners would likely advertise the opening and begin interviewing possible replacements. He said he would like commissioners to vote on a replacement as early as next month.
John “Bud” Neckerauer, airport manager, said Davis, a Dunbar resident and a retired engineer from E.W. Bowman in Uniontown, has been conducting consulting work.
“I really don't know the details of his consulting work, but apparently Fred didn't feel that he had enough time to do both,” Neckerauer said.
The resignation of Davis occurs months after former chairman and authority member Terry “Tuffy” Shallenberger resigned. Former airport manager Mary Lou Fast resigned from her position before Shallenberger's resignation.
In recent months, the airport has been mired in financial problems and faced an operating deficit. For the past two years, the Federal Aviation Administration has continued to cite the airport for safety and other ongoing deficiencies that could jeopardize federal funding.
The authority's next regularly scheduled meeting is Wednesday.
Cindy Ekas is a contributing 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.
- Museum offers tribute to Connellsville’s past
- Classic ballet to take Geyer stage
- Live Nativity planned at Champion church
- Chamber to show ‘Fracnation’ film in Indian Creek Valley center
- ‘Yes Virginia the Musical’ coming to Connellsville
- Groundbreaking for Connellsville hotel shifts to January
- Confluence man pleads guilty to assaults on 2 boys
- Connellsville Area High School receives positive report from Middle States study
- 3 Connellsville area veterans share stories from World War II
- Uniontown to seek assistant business manager
- Wooddale Grange to host bluegrass jammers