Another GJ airport authority vacancy

The longest-tenured member of the Grand Junction Regional Airport Authority board has resigned, leaving the seven-member board one short.

Dave Hibberd, who represented Grand Junction on the board since June 2011, resigned in a letter to the city dated Feb. 5. His departure means that the city will begin a process just completed by the Mesa County Commission, which on Monday appointed Rick Langley, a CPA, to fill one of its slots on the airport board.

Hibberd, the owner of Big Nugget Supply in Fruita, had sat on the special investigations committee of the airport board. His term expires in May 2015.

In his letter, Hibberd said he had a “change in job duties and commitments” that made it impossible for him to remain on the airport board.

“I regret the timing of this resignation, but at this time it is necessary for me to focus my energy on my career,” Hibberd wrote.

Hibberd didn’t return a phone call.

Grand Junction Mayor Sam Susuras, who also sits on the airport board as a city representative, said he has an idea of what he wants in one of the other two city representatives.

“I would like to see somebody who has managed a large business and has a real wide focus,” Susuras said of the perspective he would like to see on the airport board. “I’d like somebody who can really look and see 50 years down the road — where do we want the airport to be? — and not just look at this investigation issue.”

The airport board, which meets next week, is dealing with an array of issues, many of them springing from a November raid on Airport Authority offices. The board soon after suspended Rex Tippetts, its director of aviation, and then fired him.

Since then, the board has redesignated the building under construction, as well as many of the spaces within it, to eliminate descriptions apparently intended to justify federal construction funding. The board also turned back federal money for the project and is negotiating to slow down the project as it searches for ways to pay to complete construction.

No federal money has been used for the project.

The deadline to apply for the post is Feb. 28 and applicants may write to the council in care of the city clerk, 250 N. Fifth St., Grand Junction 81501.

Application forms may be obtained at the City Clerk’s Office or downloaded at


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The mayor signals he’s looking for a candidate with vision and breadth after the county, not surprisingly, rejected one in favor of an appointee who can count the beans.

It looks like the new board has a chance to round out well if the right people come forward. That balance and perspective will be important, especially when the resigning “longest-tenured member” had only three years on the job.

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