East Hampton Town terminated the manager of East Hampton Airport on Thursday night and re-hired former longtime airport manager Jim Brundige to, once again, take the reins, at least temporarily.
The Board voted unanimously to terminate Jemille Charlton, who has been the provisional manager of the airport since Mr. Brundige left two years ago, and bring Mr. Brundige back as interim airport director through the end of 2017 while the board searches for someone to take over the airport on a permanent basis.
The move to terminate the popular Mr. Charlton was met with lament and criticism from some airport users.
“The pilot community out here objects to his termination,” said pilot Catherine Sly on Thursday. “We believe he is a very qualified, very respected individual who has done a bang up job for this airport.”
Town Supervisor Larry Cantwell said little about the reasons behind Mr. Charlton’s termination, as is policy for municipalities in discussing personnel issues.
“We hired him, and it hasn’t worked out,” Mr. Cantwell said. “It’s inappropriate for us to discuss history, performance and other issues with respect to an individual employee. It’s not fair to whoever that employee is.”
Mr. Brundige managed the airport from 2005 through 2014, when he left to do private consulting. He will take over the management of the airport again on November 1, and serve until at least December 31, 2017. He will be paid a salary of $92,000 per year.
Mr. Brundige said this week he has not decided if he would apply for the permanent manager’s job.
In the meantime he said he’s ready to pick up the numerous capital projects the town has in the pipeline at the airport, including a $1 million perimeter fence around the entire property that the Town Board approved borrowing to fund last week, a new $1 million fuel storage facility, and completion of a taxiway alongside the airport’s main runways.
“I’m here to push these projects forward and see them to completion,” Mr. Brundige said Monday.