Amid internal turmoil, the Martha’s Vineyard Airport commission took steps to hire a new airport director this week.

Commissioners voted 4-2 Monday to offer the airport director job to Cindi Martin, the former head of a regional airport in Montana. At press time Thursday, commission chairman Robert Rosenbaum said a contract and possible start date were still being negotiated.

Ms. Martin is the former director of Glacier Park International Airport, a small seasonal airport located in Kalispell, Mont. She retired in 2016 after 10 years on the job, and since then has worked as a contractor for the American Association of Airport Executives.

If she accepts the job, she will replace airport director Ann Richart, who leaves May 5 to take a position as director of aviation for the state of Nebraska.

“This sized airport is my forte,” she said after the job offer was announced on Monday following interviews with four finalists. “I was born and raised in a coastal community. This kind of community is home for me. I love the seasonality and the ebbs and flows.”

The vote by commissioners came at a meeting that saw fireworks at the end when airport commissioner Clarence A. (Trip) Barnes 3rd abruptly resigned and left the meeting.

“I’ve been here awhile and can’t seem to make any kind of meaningful contribution. It’s been fun working with you and I wish we could have gotten more done,” Mr. Barnes said.

It was the second resignation in four days. Commissioner Rich Michelson

turned in his resignation to the county commission last Thursday. “Though I feel I have contributed a lot in my five years on the airport commission, my efforts now and going forward have been compromised by the lack of transparency and oversight by the current chairman and his vice chairman,” he wrote in an email to county manager Martina Thornton. “The last two years of asking questions about the state of airport finances and getting no answers from the finance committee . . . have been disappointing to say the least. Being told that what’s going on is not commission business goes against the state law that enables the commission.” The county commission is the appointing authority for the airport commission.

Mr. Barnes, who was one of two commissioners who had instead wanted to hire assistant airport director Geoffrey Freeman, said he resigned in protest over the job offer to Ms. Martin. He said the decision to not hire Mr. Freeman was the last straw for him after long feeling ignored by commission leadership.

“He was the best candidate,” Mr. Barnes told the Gazette later, referring to Mr. Freeman. “A local guy who knows all of the players . . . knows where the problems are . . .I finally said if I can’t get this guy in there, why am I banging my head against the wall?”

On Monday candidate interviews ran from morning until mid-afternoon.

In addition to Ms. Martin and Mr. Freeman, Jemille Charlton, a former airport director from East Hampton, N.Y., and Jonathan Vrabel, a former airport executive from Lansing, Mich., were also interviewed. The four finalists had been selected by New York-based ADK Executive Search, which assisted with the search.

Following interviews, airport commissioners ranked their favorites by secret ballot at a public meeting preceding an executive session.

Four commissioners ranked Ms. Martin highest while two ranked Mr. Freeman as their top choice.

Meanwhile, the airport commission is now down from seven to five members.

Mr. Rosenbaum said both resignations were unexpected, but he downplayed the timing and Mr. Michelson’s concerns.

“It’s just coincidental that they happened at the same time,” the chairman said. “In regards to Rich Michelson, his view of the role of the commission was different than mine. Commissioners have expressed that the role of the commission is to set policy and the role of the airport manager is to manage. Rich felt that we should actually be managing at a rather detailed level.”

As for Mr. Barnes, Mr. Rosenbaum said he had been honored to work with him, despite their disagreements over the future of the airport.

“He’s an institution here on the Island,” he said. “Trip was a great asset . . . but he decided he wasn’t being effective.” Despite the resignations, Mr. Rosenbaum said the commission is in good shape and he looks forward to working with new members when they are appointed by the county commission.

“The role of an airport commissioner . . . it’s a big time commitment,” Mr. Rosenbaum said. “We have a really good breadth of knowledge. We’ve got financial expertise, outreach, management. I’m really happy.”

Fellow commissioners agreed and said the two resignations, while unfortunate, are not an indication of a larger problem.

“It’s a loss for the commission for both of them to leave. I wish that they hadn’t, but I think we will get past this,” said commissioner Kristin Zern. “I think that we are going in the right direction.”

Commissioner Richard Knabel concurred.

“I think the leadership of the commission is excellent,” he said. “I think we’re making some good decisions. I think we are on the right path.”