Sheldon, Iowa — A member of the Sheldon Airport Commission appeared before the Sheldon City Council at their Wednesday meeting, and questioned the decision to suggest that a Primghar woman be appointed to the Airport Commission.
Airport Commission member Rob Dixon questioned why Kellie Einck of Primghar is being considered to be appointed to the commission, replacing Skip Tanner whose term is expiring. Dixon told the council that Tanner is experienced as a member of the Airport Commission, and is a valuable member who is willing to serve another term on the Airport Commission.
For many years, members of the Sheldon Airport Commission consisted of people from Sheldon. Several years ago, commission members tell us, the by-laws were changed to allow people from the surrounding area to fill as many as two seats on the five member commission. That move was made, according to commissioners, because they were having trouble getting enough Sheldon people to fill all of the positions on the Airport Commission.
Sheldon Mayor Greg Geels tells KIWA that a recent directive from the State of Iowa calls for more gender-balance on government boards and commissions. He said since Tanner was coming to the end of his term on the Airport Commission he thought it the perfect time to recommend a qualified female to fill that position. Geels said he had asked some of the current commission members if they knew of any females who would be qualified, and willing, to serve on the Airport Commission. He says one of the commission members suggested Einck. Mayor Geels says he approached Einck to see if she would have an interest in the position. He says he told her that the remainder of the commission is made up of men, and asked if that would be a problem for her. Geels says she assured him it would not. Einck is used to working in a male-dominated field, she is a diesel mechanic at an implement dealership.
Most of the City’s boards and commissions are made up of members who are appointed by the mayor, and approved by the city council. The Airport Board, however, is made up of members recommended by the mayor, and appointed by the city council.
Mayor Geels wasn’t present for the first half of yesterday’s council meeting, due to being stranded in Rock Valley with a dead battery in his van. Since the mayor wasn’t present, the council opted to table the appointment issue until their next meeting.