November 27, 2014
Rate this
RIAC to develop criteria for Dillon’s successor behind closed doors

Peter Frazier, counsel for the Rhode Island Airport Corporation (RIAC), is confident the authority has properly posted today’s meeting, where the board is scheduled to define the attributes it hopes to find in a successor to Kevin Dillon.

Richard Langseth, who closely follows developments at the airport, questioned Tuesday whether RIAC met the 48-hour public notice as required by state law. Further, since the board is discussing the criteria for a president and CEO (not candidates for the job), Langseth says the full meeting should be open to the public. According to the agenda posted on the Secretary of State website, after opening with a public comment period at 9 a.m., the board will go into executive session.

“It [the meeting agenda] was posted before 9 a.m. on Monday. From that standpoint, we’re rock solid,” Frazier said.

He said the notice was posted in public locations, as they usually are, but did not appear on the Secretary of State website until about 10:46 that morning. He explained there was a delay because the state website was down.

That would appear to put the posting well within the 48-hour requirement unless the July 4th holiday is subtracted from the calculation, in which case it misses it by 76 minutes. Frazier reasons RIAC met the requirement because hard copies of the notice were posted in public locations before 9 a.m. Monday.

As for the board going into executive session, Frazier said that is permissible. Specifically, the agenda lists the reason as “Investment of Public Funds Where Premature Disclosure Would be Detrimental to the Public Interest (Executive Search Criteria).”

He said the reasoning for discussing the criteria on which the board will make its selection behind closed doors is so candidates for the job can’t rehearse for interviews.

“We’ll be as public as we can possibly be,” Frazier assured.

He added that RIAC takes compliance with open meeting requirements “very, very seriously” and that he is “comfortable we are doing what is in the best interests of the state.”

The board is also expected to name an interim director and a selection committee at today’s meeting before going into executive session.

Dillon, who is leaving later this month to assume the job of president and CEO of the Connecticut Airport Authority based at Bradley International Airport, has retained ADK Executive Search of Atlantic Beach, Fla., to conduct a search for his successor. The firm specializes exclusively in searches for airport management.

Frazier, who served as interim director for three months after Mark Brewer left RIAC about five years ago, said he would be happy to fill that job if asked.


Comments
5 comments on this item

With any business there are closed door meetings. I don't think the public should be in every board meeting. I just hope whom ever the airport hires to take over does as good if not better than Mr. Dillion and continues his legacy.

The discussion behind closed doors was the search criteria and requirements for the job. The reasoning used was "investment of funds." Here is the statute used:

"A matter related to the question of the investment of public funds where the premature disclosure would adversely affect the public interest. Public funds shall include any investment plan or matter related thereto, including, but not limited to, state lottery plans for new promotions."

The argument given by RIAC was that if this information was made public then the candidates could rehearse the answers. That is the investment of public funds that RIAC was concerned about. The only way this might make sense is if the executive director will be asked to execute an investment plan for RIAC in such an obscure way that one candidate might have more off the cuff experience than another. Why would an executive director need to know about investment plans anyway?

Here is the problem that pops up. In 38 Studios there was a lot that was never brought to the public until the company crashed. Like the need to get film credits when the company did not qualify for the same. Why would anybody want a new RIAC executive director to have the power to make secret deals in public funds investments? Where does this secret thing end? What happens if the investment is never disclosed and it adversely impacts the airport and/or the people of Rhode Island?

Michael12012 notes that "with any business there are closed door meetings." RIAC is not a business and it must follow open meeting laws including a careful adherence to the rules of the exclusions.

Deals behind closed doors, Sounds shady to me! Dillon did a shity job and RIAC needs to be desolved...

Langseth should file a complaint with the RIAG. This is the insulting rationalle they used to hide Dillon's true pay level from WPRI which reported Dillons pay was outsized for people in similar positions (and there was the HIDDEN pay they claimed was a "personnel matter" and would not discuss). Rodent Island is not worth trying to save, most smart people are simply relocating out of RI, however so why bother with these things. Langseth filing a compliant will help, but not affect the big picture.

To the person who wrote

"I just hope whom ever the airport hires to take over does as good if not better than Mr. Dillon and continues his legacy. "

Continues Dillon's Legacy? They had better do better, much better!

As for Mr. Dillon's legacy,,,,,,,,,,,,,

He was paid nearly $300,000 a year to reach certain goals.

1) To ensure the construction of an 8,700' runway (he failed to accomplish that)

2) To improve relations with residents negatively impacted by the airport (he failed to accomplish that)

3) To improve annual passenger counts (he failed to accomplish that)

4) To secure funding for the work proposed in the EIS (he failed to accomplish that)

5) To improve the profitability of TF Green (he failed to accomplish that and left us with a lower bond rating)

Note that the EIS approval did not ensure a longer runway will be constructed. It only attempted to disclose environmental impacts and anticipated mitigation.

Fact-RI

As for the new CEO to start soon, I hope they have done their due diligence as to why RIAC has had more than five President/CEO/Executive Directors in the top slot ALL LEAVE after what is considered a fairly short tenure and they all left due with the airport having lower and lower and lower passenger counts, lower bond ratings, lower debt coverage ratios, and they make a big deal that Jet Blue will service PVD, but don't tell you that for every seat Jet Blue sells, the airline that made TF Green what it is, Southwest, and other airlines will likely sell a seat less, and they don't tell you that adding one airline (Jet Blue) they have lost four plus airlines.

The airport now has too much debt to operate competitively.

You must be logged in to post a comment. Click here to log in.
Welcome to RIjobs.com
Copyright © 2014, Beacon Communications. Powered by: Creative Circle Advertising Solutions, Inc.