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New faces expected at airport meetings

There will be new faces at Brainerd Lakes Regional Airport Commission meetings in 2013 as Commissioner Kevin Goedker and Interim Airport Manager Rick Adair both step down from their positions.

At Thursday’s commission meeting, both men were thanked by other commissioners for their work on behalf of the airport. Goedker, who said he’s served on the airport commission for about six years, has served as the Brainerd City Council’s representative. He didn’t run for re-election to the council in 2012.

Adair started his service as a commissioner in 2007 and was appointed temporary volunteer airport manager on Dec. 6, 2011. Later that month he was named interim airport manager and stepped down from his commission post.

“It’s probably been the longest two-week job, I’ve ever had,” Adair said when the commission presented him a plaque for his service.

Commissioner Beth Pfingsten noted that Adair served first as temporary volunteer airport manager and then served for a period of time as interim airport manager at 25 percent of the pay of the previous administrator.

Jeff Wig, a dean at Central Lakes College, is set to begin his tenure as airport manager on Jan. 14.

Newly elected Brainerd City Council member Gary Scheeler, who served two years on the airport commission during a previous stint on the city council, sat in on Thursday’s meeting.

He has expressed interest in being Goedker’s replacement on the airport commission. A decision on that appointment could be made as early as Monday at the Brainerd City Council’s organizational meeting.

Crow Wing County Commissioner Rachel Reabe Nystrom currently represents the Crow Wing County Board. She is considered a likely choice to continue in that role again.

Airport Commissioner Jeff Czeczok said he’s interested in continuing as a city council appointee to the commission. A decision on that post is expected this month as well.

The commission decided to meet in a working retreat or planning session at the conclusion of its March meeting.

Commission members agreed to invite Jeff Anderson, recently hired by Rep. Rick Nolan, D-Minn., as a district director, to attend the airport commission meetings.

Commissioner Andy Larson said he could address the Brainerd City Council and provide an annual report. He asked Commissioner Don Jacobson to help compile information for the report.

Commissioner Larson was elected chair of the commission. Jacobson was elected vice chair. At the conclusion of the airport commission’s 30-minute meeting outgoing Commissioner Goedker commented on the brevity of the session.

“If they all would have been that short I would have stayed,” he said.

The commission’s next meeting is at 9:30 a.m. Feb. 7.

MIKE O’ROURKE, associate editor, may be reached at 855-5860 or He may be followed at

Mike O'Rourke
Mike O'Rourke began his career at the Brainerd Dispatch in 1978 as a general assignment reporter. He was named city editor in 1981 and associate editor in 1999. He covers politics and writes features and editorials.
(218) 855-5860