Tuesday, July 18, 2017
Ontario airport authority loses another key member
By Liset Márquez
The Inland Valley (CA) Daily Bulletin
A United Airlines plane makes its approach for a landing at Ontario International Airport.
ONTARIO - It is still not clear why the Ontario International Airport Authority lost one of its founding commissioners, weeks before the departure of its CEO.
Lucy Dunn, president and CEO of the Orange County Business Council, resigned June 16, after nearly five years on the five-member authority.
In a letter directed to the authority’s president, Alan Wapner, Dunn tendered her resignation effective immediately. The two-sentence notice, which was provided to this publication, gave no indication for Dunn’s reason for stepping down.
“It has been my honor and privilege to serve and I wish you, your colleagues on the commission, and OIAA staff all success in the future,” Dunn wrote in the letter.
Efforts to reach Dunn through her office were unsuccessful.
The Ontario City Council announced the formation of a joint-powers agreement creating the authority in August 2012.
The council appointed Wapner and Jim Bowman to serve on the authority while San Bernardino County supervisors approved the creation of the authority and named then Supervisor Gary Ovitt to it later that same month. Ovitt has since retired and Supervisor Curt Hagman, whose district includes the airport, is on the authority.
Shortly after being named to her post, Dunn said John Wayne Airport in Santa Ana complements ONT and is critically important to the Inland Empire and its recovery.
“Ontario has longer runways, a state-of-the-art cargo-moving facility and it has opportunity for growth that is complementary to a growing population in the Southland; so they complement each other,” Dunn said in 2012.
A day after Dunn’s resignation, the commission met in a special Saturday meeting to discuss in closed session the then-executive director’s performance evaluation. At its next special meeting, July 5, the authority announced it had parted ways with CEO Kelly Fredericks. In a statement, Wapner alluded to a conflict between Fredericks and the commission.
Mark Thorpe, who was hired in August as chief development officer, will serve as interim CEO.
“Former Commissioner Dunn was a tremendous asset to the Ontario International Airport Authority (OIAA) Commission since its creation nearly five years ago,” Thorpe said in an email. “The OIAA benefited greatly from her leadership and service, and will continue to do so for years to come. On behalf of the OIAA, I wish her all success in the future.”
Ontario City Manager Al Boling said as part of the bylaws of the joint-powers agreement, the Ontario City Council is responsible for filling Dunn’s at-large position. The council, according to the bylaws, can select anyone in the airport’s catchment area, which includes Riverside and San Bernardino counties, to northern San Diego County and eastern Los Angeles County. The candidate must have either experience in the business industry, air traffic or transportation.
Due to the recent vacancy, Boling said the city has not identified a process or timeline for the replacement.