For the most part the Aviation Authority is responsible for paying the debt, investing and gathering the revenue the aviation industry creates in Charleston County. It includes, not only the airports and the flight scheduling, but also car rentals and airport concessions-- the authority oversees millions of dollars.
Recently the former Director Sue Stevens announced she was resigning, then just a couple of days later, in a 7 to 6 vote members decided hire State Senator and former Alcoa executive Paul Campbell.
Thomas Harnett, who is member, is one of six who voted against the hire. "You need to have the very best qualified candidate you can have. Mr. Campbell may be that candidate but we really don't know because we never got an application from him we haven't got applications from anyone else. My biggest problem with Paul is that he wants to remain in the State Senate and I know from personal experience, I spent 8-years in the State Senate. You can't be in the State Senate and run a big business."
Although District 44 State Senator Larry Campbell who will soon be the new director and is set to earn a solid 6-figure salary says he keep his post in capitol city.
"You've got about one hundred and seventy legislators in Columbia at least one hundred and fifty have a full time job. So I am not going to be the only one up there who has a full time job. I am an hour and half away at any one given time."
Some are asking why the rush to get a new director when there are capable people on the board to fill in while a replacement is being vetted. Campbell says at this time they have a lot going and they needed a director to shepherd the process and that is why the vote to hire came so quickly.
"We got the bond issues, we got the Boeing land deal, we've got several things going on we have to deal with and that's why they want me to come in and hit the ground running."
If everything goes as planned Campbell says he will start his new job at the Aviation Authority in about a week.