Aviation board 'talks the talk'

Commissioner Sanford Hilsman said he was concerned that airport personnel can't speak with board members without permission from the airport chief.

Yvette Aehle

Yvette Aehle

ALBANY, Ga. — The Southwest Georgia Regional Airport's communication policy was the topic of discussion at a called Aviation Commission meeting Monday night.

While the only item on the board's agenda Monday was a closed-door discussion of personnel matters, the commission discussed the matter in its open meeting before briefly going into the closed-door meeting.

Airport Commissioner Sanford Hilsman called the meeting to air concerns he had stemming from a lunch meeting he was setting up with Deputy Airport Director Ken Johnson.

Hilsman said he was concerned that Johnson felt as though he had to cancel because Director Yvette Aehle has a policy that requires subordinates meeting with commissioners to share what was discussed with her.

"From where I stand, we have to be a cohesive unit and I think this could be something that would tear us apart," Hilsman said. "I've never seen an organization who had a director who had to know everything employees are talking about."

Dr. Charles Gillespie, who also is an aviation commissioner, said that the policy was developed by the commission.

"It was not her policy; it's the airport commission's policy," Gillespie said.

Aehle said there was nothing nefarious about the policy, but that she felt employees who talk to commissioners should explain what is discussed when it involves airport business so that she can stay "in the loop."

"If it's something personal, I don't care what's talked about, but if something about the airport comes up, I'd appreciate knowing what is being discussed so I can be kept in the loop," Aehle said. "It's really just professional courtesy."

After a few minutes of discussion, the board voted 5-0 to go into executive session.

After less than two minutes of discussion, the doors open and the meeting was reconvened and no action taken.


Puzzled 2 years, 7 months ago

Is this news? Is this a topic worthy of Commissioner attention? I don't think so! Any person with a smiddgen of intelligence would know that a boss expects to be kept informed of employee conversations with public figures or the media with regard to company business. It is more than courtesy, it is common sense. This is just crap!


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