Airport manager removed after vote

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Greenbrier Valley Airport has lost its manager after a vote held by the Greenbrier Valley Airport Authority (GVAA) on Tuesday, June 18.

Stephen Snyder is no longer the manger, and Martha Livesay, the current CFO and human resource manager at the airport, was appointed to fill his place until a permanent replacement is found.

Snyder has been the airport manager since early 2015, and has seen the airport through recent improvements with new air travel service through SkyWest Airlines. However, tensions have been high in recent months between the airport and the Greenbrier County Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) after the airport considered opening their own CVB.

In October 2018, when serious discussions about forming an airport CVB began to surface, Snyder said that the airport needed money, and a conduit for that money. He defended the idea of an airport CVB by listing how Charleston Yeager and Clarksburg both have airport CVB’s to fund airport-related marketing, and said, “None of this was meant to poke anyone in the eye.”

In February, the GVAA ultimately voted against opening their own CVB. Board members Deborah Phillips, Greg Furlong, and Mike Rose all motioned against its formation, while GVAA Chairman Lowell Johnson and County Commissioner Mike McClung were the only two members to vote in favor.

County Commissioner Lowell Rose said. “McClung supported Snyder 110 percent” in his effort to create an air service CVB. “There’s no denying that Snyder has done a good job at the airport,” he said, though he also “did things the commission members disapproved of.”

Shortly thereafter, in March, McClung was voted out of the airport authority and replaced with new County Commissioner Tammy Shifflett-Tincher. She said, “I have attended the meetings [at the airport] and I would like to see more collaboration and cooperation within the community.” She motioned to remove McClung, “to be replaced by myself.”

Before McClung left, he said, “This is not about removing me from the Authority board. It’s about removing the airport director [Stephen Snyder].”

Voting to remove Snyder from his position were Tincher, Phillips, and Furlong. Chairman Johnson and Rose both voted against the motion, which then passed in the 3-2 vote.

On his departure, Snyder said, “It’s been my absolute pleasure to serve the people of the valley and the region. I think air service right now is beyond anybody’s expectation.”