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Supes look at reorganizing Stockton Airport

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Posted: Tuesday, March 25, 2008 10:00 pm

STOCKTON - San Joaquin County has operated Stockton Metropolitan Airport since 1956, but the Board of Supervisors will consider whether to reorganize how the airport is governed in an effort to give the greatest public representation and efficiency.

The board is taking advantage of being without an airport director to consider a reorganization of the airport's staff and governance.

The airport's future was discussed at Tuesday's Board of Supervisors meeting and supervisors were hesitant to take the airport out of their control.

"I would never support giving up governance of the airport," Supervisor Leroy Ornellas said.

In a survey of other counties, the county's Human Resources Department found that 22 of 30 California counties that responded to San Joaquin County's inquiry have county-operated airports. Four have city-operated airports, and one - Alameda County - has its airport operated by the port authority that runs the Port of Oakland.

County Administrator Manuel Lopez recommended keeping airport operations in the Board of Supervisors' hands so that he and the board can continue to monitor the airport's recent growth. He also said any decision on the matter would likely come a few months from now.

Stand-alone department: Sacramento, Tuolumne, Yuba, Kern, Ventura, Orange, San Bernardino.
Within county public works department: Alpine, Mariposa, Sutter, San Mateo, Marin, Lake, Humboldt, Lassen, Mono.
Within county department of transportation: Sonoma, Mendocino.
Within county administration department: Calaveras.
Within agriculture commissioner's office: Colusa. roads and airports department: Santa Clara.
Within general services: Solano.
Airports not county operated: Stanislaus, Placer, Butte, Shasta, Alameda, Fresno, Kings, Tulare.
- Source: San Joaquin County
  • The San Joaquin County Board of Supervisors approved an application for $170,000 in Homeland Security funds to purchase a Telephone Emergency Notification System, which would allow public safety officials to contact the public on the phone with emergency alerts in the event of an emergency and disaster. The grant would also include two years of operational costs.
  • Supervisors approved agreements with Moss Beach Homes and Lutheran Social Services to provide transitional housing for youth emancipated from foster care or juvenile probation placement. It will cost the county up to $1,151,000.
  • The board adopted an agreement with Catholic Charities for a prenatal care program at a cost of $25,000. The program assists expectant mothers to getting prenatal care through one of 16 parishes or five community health fairs in the county.
  • The board reappointed Gertie Kandris of Woodbridge to the county Mental Health Board. Her term will expire in 2011. Her husband, Tasso Kandris, is also on the Mental Health Board.
  • The board renewed the contract of Jeffery Smith as construction inspector for the Facilities Management Division. Smith retired in 2007 and is limited to 720 hours per fiscal year. His major projects include the Micke Grove Zoo expansion project, infrastructure development and the possible renovation of the sea lion exhibit.
  • Supervisors adopted plans to widen Brandt Road in Lockeford to four-foot paved shoulders on each side between Highway 88 and Jack Tone Road. Brandt Road, along with Golfview and Morse roads near Micke Grove Park, will be resurfaced.
  • The board approved an agreement with the city of Stockton for the maintenance and operation of a traffic signal at Eight Mile and Lower Sacramento roads. Stockton will perform the labor, which will cost about $4,000 annually, and bill the county for half.
  • The board renewed its agreement with Michael C. Herring Enterprises for body removal services for the county coroner's office. Herring will continue to charge the county $90 for each body removal until March 2010, when the cost goes up to $95. The cost will increase to $100 in March 2012. The county will pay an estimated $450,000 during the five-year life of the contract.
    - Source: San Joaquin County

The airport has grown significantly in the past two years through added passenger flights to Las Vegas and the Phoenix area, though air service to Phoenix will be suspended from July through September before resuming in October.

Additionally, the Board of Supervisors approved several long-term leases that require tenants to construct aviation-related buildings on airport land. And in February, the board approved the master plan for the Airport East Business Park, which will attract an estimated 14,000 jobs to the county, Lopez said.

In a related matter Tuesday, the board directed its Human Resources Department to recruit for an airport director to replace Barry Rondinella, who left in 2007. Steve Hicks is the interim director. The process is expected to take three to four months.

Lopez said it will cost the county about $30,000 to recruit candidates since the county stands to pay for transportation and lodging when applicants are interviewed.

Supervisor Steve Gutierrez said he doesn't want to circumvent the normal hiring process, but he wouldn't want to spend $30,000 if the board decided that Hicks had done a "stellar" job and deserves the job.

Contact reporter Ross Farrow at rossf@lodinews.com.

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