Public airing | Arkansas Blog

Friday, January 28, 2011

Public airing

Posted By on Fri, Jan 28, 2011 at 11:37 AM

Give the public a say in evaluating Airport Director Ron Mathieu’s job performance? That was the suggestion of Gen. Wesley Clark, recently appointed to the Little Rock Municipal Airport Commission, in his first meeting with the commission’s personnel committee this morning.

Clark’s suggestion came up during discussion of the instruments the commission will use to evaluate the director. Commissioner Tom Scheuck thought Clark was changing the subject when Clark asked if the airport solicited public comment on its operations. “We’re talking about evaluating the director,” Scheuck said. “I want to see what the public says about his job performance,” Clark replied.

The commission will conduct Mathieu's annual job performance review at its meeting Feb. 15.

Mathieu told Clark the airport has a twitter site (@LITAirport) and a Facebook page (Fly Little Rock Airport). “We get tweets all the time,” he said, most of them positive. Kay Arnold, chair of the committee, noted, laughing, that it was the commission that criticism was directed towards, rather than the airport. Mathieu said he would compile all comments for commissioners.

Clark also said the airport’s administration should be evaluated on its goals, including its efforts toward getting a direct flight to Washington, D.C., and other good connections. “It’s terrible,” Clark said, that Little Rock now has no direct flights to the nation’s capital. Arnold remarked there once were three direct flights to Washington on weekdays, but Scheuck interjected that it was because we had a president in Washington. Arnold smiled before retorting that no, it was in the 1970s, before deregulation, and “sometime around your 50th birthday.”

Mathieu told Clark that U.S. Airways would like to provide service from Little Rock to Reagan International, if it prevails in a settlement of its suit against Delta Air Lines over landing slots at Washington and New York.

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