Airport manager nominee narrowly approved, gets one-year contract

Jarred Hester
Posted: Sep. 10, 2013 12:16 am Updated: Sep. 24, 2013 1:15 am

Herald-Whig Staff Writer

The Quincy City Council voted 8-6 Monday to confirm the one-year appointment of Jarred Hester as manager of Quincy Regional Airport.

The vote had been tabled for a month to allow the Aeronautics Committee to review Hester's hiring.

Alderman Steve Duesterhaus, D-2, chairman of that committee, said the panel concurred with the appointment.

"We can easily demonstrate the need to have someone out there full time overseeing that operation," Duesterhaus said.

Mayor Kyle Moore said the appointment will enable the city to address issues presented by the Federal Aviation Administration.

"We had some glaring problems, so it was the task of my administration to get those fixed," he said.

Hester said he has worked with the FAA. He comes to the city from Westermeyer Industries in Bluffs, where he was the training manager and safety coordinator.

"I've also dealt with several different types of audit issues as well as reach full compliance for several types of standards," Hester said.

Voting against the hire were Aldermen Paul Havermale, R-3, Mike Farha, R-4, Tony Sassen, R-4, Mike Rein, R-5, Jennifer Lepper, R-5, and Dan Brink, R-6.

Brink questioned Corporation Counsel Lonnie Dunn on whether the one-year deal violates the city code, which specifies that the airport manager appointment should be for a term of four years.

Dunn said he would have to review the code.

Havermale said he was concerned about potential pay raises for Hester if he completes certifications. When the council approved salaries for elected officials in October, annual stipends of $750 were approved for City Treasurer Peggy Crim and City Clerk Jenny Hayden if they maintained professional certifications, in lieu of pay raises the next four years.

Hester will receive a starting annual salary of $53,811, but can receive additional pay by completing certifications, which will count as part of his base salary. As part of the agreement, he will have to complete his bachelor's degree in professional aeronautics within six months and the Accredited Airport Executive Program through the American Association of Airport Executives within 42 months.

Doug Olson, director of human resources, said the city offers similar deals for other positions and provides additional compensation to mechanics at Central Services for certification completion, though that is part of the bargaining unit contract.

Hester said the one-month delay in the vote allowed him more time to prepare for the new role and the council more time to consider his appointment.

"It was important for the City Council to do what is best for the region," he said. "The airport is a very valuable tool and resource for our region, not just necessarily for the city of Quincy. So I think it's important that they always take a step back, review all the facts and all the information and make the best decision possible for going forward."

The council moved the start date of Hester's one-year contract to Tuesday, instead of the original start date of Sept. 9.


In other action Tuesday, the City Council:

• Approved buying a network storage unit for $22,995 that will be paid for with a three-year loan from First Bankers Trust Co. at an annual interest rate of 1.96 percent.

• Approved using $28,000 in tax increment financing money for the Northside Boat Club to install a fully enclosed lift to make the club accessible for people with disabilities.

• Rezoned nearly 40 acres of land west of Spring Lake Estates Additions and Eagle Trace Condominiums for single-family residences. Developer Adam Booth withdrew a proposal for a subdivision at the property in 2011 after opposition from area residents, but he asked the city take up the zoning issue again this month. The subdivision plan goes before the Plan Commission Tuesday night.

• Passed an ordinance to restrict parking time for buses, tow trucks, step vans, dump trucks, flatbeds and box trucks on a city street or alley. Parking for those vehicles will be restricted to one or four hours, depending on whether they are being loaded or unloaded. The city currently enforces a similar ordinance for freight trucks that weigh more than 16,000 pounds and tractor-trailers.

• Rezoned 1612 N. 24th as commercial and issued a special-use permit for a planned development at 1739 Oak.

• Granted a variance at 1806 Chestnut to allow for an 8-foot fence.

• Reappointment of Rocky Murray to the Quincy Housing Authority Board.

• Proclaimed Sept. 12 to Oct. 15 as "Big Read 2013."