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"Las Vegas officials hoping to entice airport director to stay on"


Thursday, December 21, 2006

County leaders hoping to entice airport director to stay on
KVBC-TV Ch 3 (NBC), Las Vegas (NV)

The future of McCarran Airport is at stake, at least according to some county leaders. In November, airport director Randy Walker announced his resignation, but now many say it's vital he stay on.

The county voted Wednesday to attempt to negotiate with Walker. That means they're willing to pay him a higher salary. How much, we don't know yet, but county leaders are hoping extra money and incentives will be enough to entice him.

McCarran is the fifth busiest airport in the country, handling up to 44 million passengers every year. Also there are expansions underway and the new Ivanpah Airport is in the planning stages.

Walker has been airport director since 1997 and many believe now is an important time for him the stay on through the developments. "I think he's demonstrated through his past performance that he has the ability to do that," said Clark County Manager Virginia Valentine. "McCarran, as you know, has won several awards; they were commended for their response after nine-eleven."

By comparison, Walker's current salary of approximately $184,000 is anywhere from $50,000 to $100,000 less than directors at other large airports.

We've been told that he may be offered a salary in the $200,000 to $240,000 range as a base, but that's not set in stone. And furthermore, he's given no indication he's even interested in staying.

If Walker does agree to a salary increase the actual figure and incentives will have to be approved by the County Commission.

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