Airport panel boosts salary

WILLIAMSTOWN – The Wood County Airport Authority unanimously Tuesday approved to increase the pay and vacation time for the manager at the Mid-Ohio Valley Regional Airport.

Following a short executive session, the authority announced Manager Jeff McDougle would receive a $5,000 raise and one additional week of paid vacation effective immediately.

Authority President Bill Richardson, Vice President John Pfalzgraf, Treasurer/secretary Tim Flinn and Terry Moore voted yes to a motion by Moore, the previous airport manager. Wood County Commission representative Wayne Dunn was part of the discussion, but is not a voting member of the authority.

“This is something Jeff requested from us when we discussed us working together in this capacity more than seven months ago,” Richardson said. “At the time, the board agreed to revisit the matter in six months and we apologize it took us a little longer.”

McDougle was hired at $50,000 when he began the transition to manager in October and took over the position in January when Moore retired. Moore then was appointed to the authority to replace McDougle, who had been a member since 2009.

“We feel the salary increase and additional vacation is fair based on the job Jeff has done,” Richardson said. “He has performed most exemplary in difficult times.”

Since McDougle became manager, the airport has had changes with the commercial air service, including a February announcement from carrier Silver Airways that service to Cleveland Hopkins International Airport in Cleveland would end because United Continental Airline, which Silver Airways flies under with a codeshare agreement, dropped the Ohio airport as a hub. The subsequent wrangling required by McDougle to ensure the airport and local community never lost air service required a great deal of time and energy, Richardson said.

“In the last few months, Jeff has done very well as we have held long meetings and discussions in making decisions about the new air service and with more long meetings and phone calls in preparation for the switch in service, this raise is well-deserved,” Richardson said.

He added another reason the board approved the pay increase was to give McDougle a salary more comparable to managers of regional airports about the same size, including at Morgantown Municipal Airport and North Central West Virginia Airport in Clarksburg.