Cassie MacDuff

Cassie MacDuff
cmacduff@pe.com

Published: 07 October 2011 10:29 PM

The embattled San Bernardino International Airport Authority took some giant steps in the right direction last week, ordering a review of contracts with a controversial developer and promising to become more transparent.

The steps came at the first meeting of a subcommittee discussing how to go about hiring an interim executive director (the director retired after an FBI raid last month).

Subcommittee member Josie Gonzales, a San Bernardino County supervisor, ordered the authority to begin posting agendas on its website. And she told Assistant Director Mike Burrows to get someone to answer the phones, or she’d come down there and do it herself.

Gonzales has long been frustrated that callers can’t reach anyone on the agency’s published phone number except by going through a long voicemail tree and leaving a message.

Burrows promised the agenda would be posted in time for the Oct. 12 meeting. At 4 p.m. Friday, the web page was still “under construction” and the phone still answered by a recording.

Gonzales also asked that airport commissioners get a list of current staff so they can figure out how many people the agency employs and what they do.

By phone Friday, she told me she believes the agency is top-heavy. It had an executive director, assistant director, aviation director, finance director, information services director and more — too many chiefs and not enough Indians, as she put it.

With all those highly paid directors, I’ve long wondered why the agency needed to hire an outside company to manage the airport — and when it arrived, put it under the direction of Scot Spencer.

Spencer is a convicted felon banned from the aviation industry by a federal judge. He’s the target of the FBI investigation, along with some of those directors.

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