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The Good Old Boys Club

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opinion Brainerd, 56401
Brainerd MN 506 James St. / PO Box 974 56401

We Brainerd City Council members and Crow Wing County Commissioners must examine and change the good old boys network that is operating in the Brainerd Lakes Regional Airport.

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The city council and county commissioners each appoint two citizens and an elected official to serve as airport commissioners. Once appointed these six commission members have total autonomy regarding the operation of the airport.

At the airport commission meeting on Dec. 6 Beth Pfingsten, chairperson of the airport commission informed Airport Manager Sievek that he was being reassigned to a temporary position of construction coordinator. The salary will be 75 percent of his current wages. Mr. Sievek will be paid $62,000 annually. Will he be paid benefits which are now $26,000?

The airport manager failed to maintain certification protocols for deicing equipment, which resulted in the cancellation of a Delta flight departing from Minneapolis to Brainerd.

Commissioner Adair was appointed interim airport manager.

What qualifications does Mr. Sievek have that qualifies him to be a construction coordinator?

Does he have any prior experience in construction management?

Why is the construction coordinator’s position just temporary? Is it to provide Sievek a well paid position until he retires June 1?

What were Sievek’s qualifications when he was hired as airport manager? He was a former county commissioner and a member of the Airport Commission.

Has Rick Adair managed an airport before?

What qualifications does Mr. Adair have to manage the airport? Other than being an airport commission member and his enthusiasm for the airport?

Last spring the firm of Douglas Kuepers, an airport commission member was appointed as on-site construction manager.

The city of Brainerd should withhold its payment of $155,500 to the airport until the airport commission rescinds the motion to hire Steve Sievek as construction coordinator.

Bob Olson

Brainerd City Council member

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