County airports post draws few applicants

cconley@islandpacket.comDecember 12, 2012 

The vacant Beaufort County airports director position has attracted little interest from job-seekers since the position was first advertised nearly a month ago.

And the county is still looking for a librarian and someone to lead its Parks and Leisure Services department, a position empty for more than six months.

The jobs are among nearly two dozen the county seeks to fill -- also sought are a court clerk, and EMT and an emergency dispatcher.

Nonetheless, county officials don't seem alarmed by the number of openings or the lack of applicants -- "I'm not losing sleep over it," Councilman Steve Baer said Wednesday regarding the airports job.

As of yesterday, just six people have applied for that position, which will pay between $53,000 and $70,000 a year. It came open in early November when director Paul Andres resigned.

A statewide search for his replacement began a few days later.

County administrator Gary Kubic said the applicant pool seems a little low "at first blush" and he hopes it will grow. Regardless, he prefers a field of well-qualified candidates to many less-experienced ones.

"It's depends on who the applicants are," he said Wednesday. "If it's a disappointing six, I'd say it's low. If it's six very competitive candidates who have the things we want, I think it's sufficient."

He said the decision for a statewide search allows the county to save money during the hiring process and on relocation costs after an applicant is selected.

The airports director manages the general-aviation Beaufort County Airport on Lady's Island and the Hilton Head Island Airport, which offers commercial flights to Charlotte.

Rob McFee, the county's engineering director, is managing both facilities until Andres' replacement is found.

At this point, it's not clear when that will be.

A search committee of county staff and Airports Board director Joe Mazzei has not scheduled interviews. The position will remain open until a replacement is found, a county spokeswoman said Wednesday.

"Everything is moving along," Mazzei said of the county's airports. "There has been no real impact (from Andres' departure,) and we are hoping we will be able to fill this shortly with a qualified candidate to move the airport forward." A PALS director is not likely to be named until sometime next year: Kubic said the county awaits reports from two consultants that will influence the county's pick.

"The logic is not to do anything too early, to get those reports, and to use those reports as an interview tool so that any future director of PALS knows going in the expectations of the county," Kubic said.

Follow reporter Casey Conley at twitter.com/EyeOnBeaufortCo.

Related content:

Beaufort County airports director resigns, Nov. 13, 2012

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