TUPELO – The Tupelo Regional Airport faces another shake-up just weeks after its plan for a $9.3 million runway expansion hit a roadblock.
Now the facility could lose its top employee.
Airport Executive Director Terry Anderson hired Tupelo attorney Jim Waide on Thursday amid rumors he could lose his job. The five-member airport board met in private Monday to discuss personnel matters, and though all were mum on the nature of the talks, indications are that Anderson might not survive.
The board meets Tuesday, but it’s unclear if one member will attend: Carlisle “Smitty” Harris reportedly resigned on Thursday.
When contacted, Harris declined to confirm or deny the reports, referring all questions to Mayor Jack Reed Jr., who told the Journal he knew nothing of it.
As far as Anderson’s situation, Reed said he had no control over the board and thus no comment. But Waide called any attempt to oust the nine-year director “outrageous.”
“It’s totally to the contrary to the best interests of the city of Tupelo,” he said, “and to the Tupelo Airport Authority.”
Unity among airport officials frayed during recent conversations with Reed and the City Council over the airport’s runway expansion project.
Anderson has pushed hard for the plan, which would force the relocation of West Jackson Street Extended. Residents generally oppose the relocation, and recently some airport officials appear to side with them.
Emily Le Coz/NEMS Daily Journal