OGDEN — Pending one final city council approval, Ogden City's protracted search for a new airport manager is over.
Ogden Chief Administrative Officer Mark Johnson said a candidate for the position has accepted a contract offer from the administration and will likely begin in late January. Johnson said the city won't be revealing the name of the new hire until after the new year.
Before the new manager starts, the Ogden City Council must first approve a special salary range for the position. The administration has proposed to bump the airport manager salary range up to $84,024 to $114,817. Currently, the salary range listed for the position is $70,687 to $96,591, typical in the city for starting division managers.
The city council has set a public hearing on the proposal for Jan. 8. The pay increase requires a public notice and hearing because it constitutes a budget amendment. After the hearing, the council will take action on the proposal and as of now, appears poised to approve the salary bump.
Jon Greiner currently serves as manager of the airport. He announced his intention to retire more than eight months ago. The city began a nationwide search after Greiner announced his retirement and during the initial phase of their search, collected applications from 39 people — none of which were deemed qualified.
After failing to attract a qualified candidate, the city hired ADK Consulting, Inc. to help with the search. The firm, which specializes in recruiting airport administrators, recommended the city increase the position’s pay scale. The city interviewed five candidates recommended by ADK after advertising the new salary range.
Johnson said the new hire currently manages another airport in the United States.
For more than a decade, the city has subsidized the airport at a rate of about $500,000 to $750,000 a year. Expanding commercial air service has been identified by the city as the best way out of insolvency.
The airport currently offers commercial service between Ogden and Mesa, Arizona twice a week, with flights by Allegiant Air. Two other Allegiant flights out of the airport (to Los Angeles and Las Vegas) were cut shortly after the service began in late 2017, due to low passenger numbers.
The city is now focusing on bringing commercial business service, with smaller aircraft and shorter regional flights that service the Intermountain West.