After a good 45 minutes of arguing over semantics, the Martha’s Vineyard Airport Commission last week approved a plan by county manager Carol Borer to provide administrative assistance and staff support to the Martha’s Vineyard Airport Commission and the airport manager.
The management plan was approved by the county commissioners at their Dec. 17 meeting and by the executive director of the Massachusetts Aeronautics Commission, Stephen R. Muench, during his meeting with Martha’s Vineyard officials on Dec. 10. The agreement is effective immediately and can be terminated through written notification by either party.
The proposed agreement requires the approval of all three bodies because of certain grant assurances that MAC placed on its $7.2 million commitment to the new terminal project last spring.
“There is a provision in our county charter that talks about delegating authority at the business park to the county manager so that it would no longer be an airport function,” explained commission chair John Alley recently. “The Massachusetts Aeronautical Commission strongly disagreed with this provision, so grant assurances were developed to protect their extremely large investment in the airport’s future.”
 According to Mr. Alley, MAC said it was open to management agreements between the airport and other bodies, but it wanted assurances that its approval would be sought should one be developed.
Last week, the commission solved its wording worries by stating in its approval that the agreement will not disrupt the traditional chain of command at the airport. Mrs. Borer will be viewed as a contractor, they said, and will report back to the airport manager, who is in turn responsible to the airport commission. The commissioners also agreed that the management agreement is only a temporary solution to under staffing needs, and is subject to yearly review.
Mrs. Borer listed her duties in the management agreement as follows:
•Answer questions, resolve issues and generally facilitate the daily operation of the business park.
•Prepare requests for proposals; open, summarize and recommend action for the commission with regard to the lease of airport property.
•Prepare leases for commission and tenant execution; insure compliance with all lease terms by tenants, including the collection of rents and fees.
•Assure tenant compliance with rules and regulations of the commission, MAC, the FAA and any other applicable statues, regulations or by-laws.
•Coordinate the infrastructure needs of tenants with the plans and goals of the commission and MAC.
•Prepare quarterly written reports for the commission and MAC and report personally to the commission on a regular basis.
“With the departure of Joe Dinielli this month and no decrease in Phil Reynold’s workload,” wrote Mrs. Borer, “I suggest that the airport commissioners and airport manager would benefit from the availability of a full-time administrative staff person and this office can provide that capability in the most cost effective and efficient way.”