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Airport manager to retire May 15

Johnson cites 'personal reasons'

Posted: May 2, 2013 - 11:20am  |  Updated: May 2, 2013 - 11:13pm
Airport Manager Jeannie Johnson, who is also a former borough assemblymember, will leave her position at the airport May 15, she said.  Juneau Empire File
Juneau Empire File
Airport Manager Jeannie Johnson, who is also a former borough assemblymember, will leave her position at the airport May 15, she said.

The manager of Juneau International Airport said Thursday that she has submitted a letter of resignation.

Airport Manager Jeannie Johnson will leave her position at the airport May 15, she said.

“Right now, I think that my resignation letter is probably making its way through the system,” Johnson said.

Johnson, 65, said she is retiring for “personal reasons.”

Jerry Godkin, chairman of the airport board, praised Johnson’s work in securing state and federal funds for the airport, such as for the planned Snow Removal Equipment Facility that will provide storage space for heavy equipment used to clear the tarmac during winter weather.

“She leaves a legacy here in Juneau with a lot of projects that have been great for Juneau and Southeast Alaska,” said Godkin. “She got these projects off and going, and some of them are near completion. Others are in various stages.”

Johnson has been airport manager since 2009. Before that, she served on the airport board. She is also a former borough assemblymember.

According to Godkin, Johnson has already stayed on for longer than the time she committed to serve when she was first hired.

“Jeannie was hired approximately four years ago, and she gave a commitment to be here for three, and she was almost for four,” said Godkin, adding, “The board was truly pleased with that.”

Johnson’s retirement date coincides with her 66th birthday, she said.

“It’s a birthday present,” Johnson joked.

Johnson is the second prominent city official to announce plans for retirement in as many weeks. City Attorney John Hartle said last Monday that he is leaving the government at the end of June.

Juneau's airport is owned by the municipal government, but it is run semi-autonomously as an "enterprise fund." As such, the airport manager is hired by and reports to the airport board.

Godkin predicted the search for a new manager could take as long as half a year.

“I would say typically by the time you advertise and wait for stuff to come back, and we have our board meeting in May — I’d be optimistic to say that we can do that in four to six months,” said Godkin. “Maybe sooner, which would be good for continuity of projects that Jeannie has started.”

The airport board meets next Wednesday evening, and Godkin said he expects the search process will be discussed in executive session. He suggested a subcommittee of board members could be appointed for that purpose, just as the Borough Assembly has done as it seeks to hire a new city attorney.

Godkin said he will likely be able to provide more information after next Wednesday's board meeting.

While the board seeks a successor to Johnson, Deputy Airport Manager Patricia deLaBruere will serve as acting manager.

DeLaBruere did not immediately respond to a request for comment Thursday.

• Contact reporter Mark D. Miller at 523-2279 or at mark.d.miller@juneauempire.com.

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