Rowe steps down as Carson City airport manager

The Carson City Airport Authority is looking for a new airport manager.

Tim Rowe, the Carson City Airport’s manager for the last six years, resigned on July 2 and left the job on July 14.

“It has been my pleasure to work at the Carson City Airport these last six and half years and I feel like I was able to leave it a little better than when I began,” Rowe wrote in his final report to the authority.

The Airport Authority on Wednesday created a three-member committee consisting of Chair Linda Law, Vice Chair Brian Vowell and member Larry Harvey to find an interim manager and develop a job description and process for finding a permanent replacement.

Three people came forward during public comment to offer their services in the meantime.

“Eight and a half years ago I was asked to serve as the interim manager,” said Dirk Zahtilla. “It was a turbulent time at the airport and I had a lot of problems to deal with.

“I was there six months, for four as acting manager, for two training my replacement.”

Zahtilla said he would like to fill in as interim manager but had no interest in the job on a permanent basis.

Two contract staffing representatives spoke. Walter Shepperd, vice president and chief services officer, Personnel Plus Inc., said he wanted to make the authority aware it could avoid hiring a temporary manager by using an employee lease service and Bobbi Thompson, airport manager, Minden-Tahoe Airport, and chief financial officer for ABS Aviation, said her company would offer similar services with workers skilled in airport management.

“As we’ve watched what happened at your great airport, we’d like to offer our services in contract management,” said Thompson. “We can have someone in place in 48 hours.”

But the authority members agreed the board should take its time and be deliberative about finding both an interim and permanent manager.

“We’ve uncovered a few things that have been neglected for a few years. We want to make sure we do this right,” said Vowell. “We have the opportunity to hit the reset button.”

After the meeting, Vowell and Law said they’ve been going through airport files.

“We’re finding some things are tardy for lack of a better word,” said Law.

But she said they’ve just begun going through the files and may eventually find what they need, and Rowe has been helpful.

“Tim has been very responsive,” said Vowell.

In May 2016, the authority, made up mostly of members who no longer sit on it, voted down a motion to fire Rowe.

The measure was brought by two members, then Chair Karl Hutter, and Vice Chair Don Peterson, who no longer serve on the authority. Peterson resigned from the authority two days after the vote.

Law and Maurice White, the two remaining members on the authority from last year, both voted against firing Rowe.

The authority members said they would like to see a new manager drive needed revenue growth at the airport.

For that reason, the authority will decide whether possibly to divide the permanent position between an operations manager and a business development manager or to find one person who can handle both functions.

“I never understood why the airport wasn’t growing, wasn’t expanding,” said Thompson. “To me a good manager in any business has to take care of the day-to-day and also look to the future, be a cheerleader, be a promoter.”

Law agreed.

“I think it is a watershed moment,” she said.

The three-member committee will bring its work back to the authority, which has to approve an interim manager and plans for hiring a permanent airport manager.


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