Mayor Jack Ellis said he wants Macon-Bibb County Parks and Recreation director Mike Anthony to pull double duty and oversee operations of the city's two airports.
Anthony, who said he spent 10 of his 27-year Air Force career as a base commander, would take over aviation duties from former director Rex Elder. Elder was brought in temporarily after director George Brown was let go at the end of last year as numerous Federal Aviation Administration and Transportation Security Administration violations came to light at Middle Georgia Regional Airport.
Brown has appealed to the City Council in an apparent attempt to get his job back, but a hearing date has not been set.
Anthony would take the airports position on an interim basis, which wouldn't require a council vote. But the council would have to vote on any salary increase for Anthony, which Ellis supports.
Councilwoman Willette Hill-Chambliss said she thinks Anthony handling both jobs "would be too much."
Chambliss is chairwoman of the council's Public Properties Committee, which has most airport operations under its jurisdiction.
Hill-Chambliss said Anthony is doing a good job at the parks and recreation department and should be allowed to concentrate on that. Thursday, Ellis announced he is moving Larry Fortson, Anthony's second-in-command at the parks department, and promoting him to interim Centreplex manager.
Anthony said he can handle both jobs, because once the FAA and TSA issues are addressed, the airport staff can handle day-to-day operations. There also are plans to hire an operations manager to take some of the work load from the director.
Anthony served as interim airports director after Elder retired from the airport and before Brown was hired. He has been credited with getting a project to rebuild the terminal at Middle Georgia Regional Airport back on track during that time.
Ellis said Anthony is "one of the most capable individuals I have met ... in moving projects forward, getting things done, and that's what we need a lot of right now."
Chief Administrative Officer Regina McDuffie said there is no set timetable for moving Anthony into the airports job, partly because of Brown's pending appeal.
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A larger project to redo runway markings at the airport will take longer, likely into the spring, but it is under way.
That meeting had been set to discuss Middle Georgia Regional Airport, which faces the loss of commercial service because of federal sanctions.
The city of Macon will hire an airport operations manager and bring in a consultant to revise its airport security plan as it pushes to maintain commercial flights at Middle Georgia Regional Airport.
Five people from the private company managing Macon's airports were at Middle Georgia Regional Airport on Friday, costing Macon a minimum of $500 an hour under the city's contract with the company.