March 16--A second member of the Glynn County Airport Commission has resigned.
Tommy Stroud told board members Friday in an email that he plans to follow the lead of former Chairwoman Laura McKinley and airport Executive Director Steve Brian by stepping down.
"I'm writing to not only inform you of my decision to resign from the Glynn County Airport Commission, but more importantly to express my appreciation for the pleasure and learning opportunities I experienced from being associated with you while serving on this commission," Stoud wrote.
The resignation came a day after McKinley and Brian announced their resignations and follows months of feuding between the commission and some of its tenants, most vocally Stambaugh Aviation that has said the airport is so poorly managed and levies such onerous restrictions on its business it is considering moving its 102 employees to Jacksonville.
Stroud did not return telephone messages Friday.
The shake up in the organization of the airport commission is a sign to Scott Stambaugh, who co-owns the company with his brother, Mark, that performs maintenance on large aircraft, that things could improve.
"I think this is the first step for us to move forward in a positive way to stay here," Scott Stambaugh said.
Stambaugh says he is encouraged by the potential for a change in leadership.
"We don't want to focus on any negativity, we want to roll up our sleeves and work with the county commission and the reorganized (airport) board," Stambaugh said.
The Glynn County Commission met just two hours after McKinley and Brian resigned Thursday to discuss how to improve the relationship between the tenants and airport management.
Among the suggestions made were placing a tenant on the airport commission and removing the oversight provided by Brunswick and Glynn County Development Authority, leaving that duty up to the county commission.
"I think the county commissioners, our elected officials, should play a stronger role ... by having our elected officials have more control, the citizens then have more control," Stambaugh said.
Airport Commissioner Bill Brunson, who became chairman after McKinley's resignation, says much of what is to come is still up in the air.
The airport commission would like to retain former director Brian as a consultant on projects that involve Federal Aviation Administration grant money, including a multimillion dollar runway rehabilitation project, to instill confidence in the agency that the airport is still an effective body.
But, the county commission has to approve that, Brunson said.
"It's going to impact (the airport) significantly if we don't get some direction from the county commission, as far as Steve's consultant position, because I don't know how to go forward with this FAA grant," Brunson said. "I don't believe that the FAA is going to give that money to me and say, 'Go build a runway.'"
Selection of airport commissioners to fill the two vacant positions is also on hold until direction is provided from the county.
Brunson isn't sure if the county commission will ask the airport board to appoint tenants to the open spots or conduct citizen interviews. Those positions are in the hands of the county commission, he said.
"I'm certainly not going to do anything to try to influence their process," Brunson said.
Still, the broken relationship between the airport's management and its tenants won't be fixed overnight.
Brunson says that if a tenant approaches him with concerns, he'll do his best to address them.
-- Reporter Nikki Wiley writes about government, business and other local topics. Contact her at email@example.com, on Facebook or at 265-8320, ext. 321.
Copyright 2013 - The Brunswick News, Ga.
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