Gary Mayor Responds to Airport Director Appointment Vote

 

On Friday, the Gary/Chicago International Airport met during a special meeting to address the airport budget for 2014.  During the meeting a discussion arose about the need of the board to appoint an Interim Airport Director.  Board chair Tom Collins did not believe the matter could be addressed in the absence of an agenda outlining that issue.  In an effort to ensure that there was leadership at the airport, Board member Alesia Pritchett moved to appoint City of Gary Chief of Staff BR Lane as Interim Director of the airport.   The motion failed for the lack of a majority.  Board members who voted against the motion were concerned that the issue was not properly on the agenda and wanted to ensure that such an important decision was made to the letter of the law.
“I support BR Lane as the Interim Airport Director because of her vast experience in the areas of compliance, negotiation, real estate and because of her direct involvement with the Gary /Chicago International Airport.   Since assuming the role of Chief of Staff in January 2012, Lane has played a critical role in the advancement of airport initiatives. She has worked closely with the RDA, the Airport board and staff, state and federal officials, the Gary/Chicago compact and others to address regulatory concerns, budgetary matters and the completion of the runway.   She is also keenly aware of the work of the P3 ad hoc committee to attract a private partner to invest in one of Gary’s greatest assets.
It is not unusual for a board with all new members to have procedural glitches in the early stages.  The vote today was more indicative of board miscommunication and not a referendum on BR Lane’s qualifications or ability to serve at the Gary/Chicago International Airport.  As the board moves forward, I have every confidence that they will serve the best interests of the city and citizens of Gary.  All of the board members and I agree that strong leadership is important to achieve the objectives, which include the completion of the expansion and barrier removal and the completion of the P3 process.”Karen Freeman-Wilson, Mayor




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