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State Reps Disappointed in Selection of BR Lane at Airport

18 Oct

by Ken Davidson

State Representative Rick Niemer tells Mayor Freeman-Wilson to back off on airport.

State Representative Rick Niemeyer speaks in Hammond.

Speaking to a group in Hammond today, State Representative Rick Niemeyer expressed grave concern over the appointment of B.R. Lane as interim director at the Gary Airport. In response to a question, Niemeyer stated:

The idea of the legislation (SB 585) was to get qualified people . . . if they want state support, they better back off.

In response to a question from an audience member, Niemeyer seemed frustrated that the process put in place to provide a more viable airport appears to have been hijacked again by the City Administration.  State Representative Hal Slager was much more diplomatic, expressing concern for the process.  Representative Slager said:

My concern here is that if procedure is not followed the risk is a bad impression for any of the suitors  . . .

Slager went on to say that allowing the search firm, who was already paid, to complete its work was the best way to get professionals in place to attract the best possible partnership.

B.R. Lane was appointed as interim airport director at the last meeting of the airport board.  She was previously the Chief of Staff to the Mayor and is not FAA Certified to run the airport.  One source familiar with airport operations explained “She cannot even leave her office without an FAA Certified escort.  She is not allowed in secure areas by law.”