City announces immediate retirement of Galusky as airport director

MORGANTOWN — An hour before Thursday’s ribbon cutting ceremony unveiling new aircraft hangars at the Morgantown Municipal Airport, the city issued a press release announcing the immediate retirement of airport director Mick Galusky.
Given the sudden nature of the announcement, the timing given the planned hangar launch, and recent news that a pending U.S. Department of Transportation decision could potentially end commercial service at the airport, City Manager Paul Brake said he worried about how the news would be perceived.
Both Brake and Galusky said there was no pressure for Galusky to move on.
Galusky cited personal reasons for the move, explaining, “It was my decision.”
“There are reasons that I’d really rather not discuss,” he said. “I’ve been here a while. It’s been very exciting for me and it’s opened up a lot of opportunities. I appreciate all the opportunities I’ve had here with the city.”
Galusky started at the airport in August of 2010. He’s served as the airport’s director since February of 2016, initially in an interim capacity. Prior to that he served as deputy director for two years.
Following the ribbon cutting, Brake said his preference would be to keep Galusky in the fold, echoing his remarks in the city’s press release.
“Mick has been a valuable asset to the city,” Brake said in the announcement. “It’s going to be hard to find someone with his work ethic and dedication. I wish him well on his retirement and want to thank him for all he’s done for the airport.”
Morgantown City Council was notified of the move late last week.
“I don’t think it came as a surprise. We knew he was considering it. I think the unexpected part of it was we weren’t expecting it to happen quite so soon,” Mayor Bill Kawecki said.
Brake said the city sought proposals from three national recruitment firms, but settled on ADK Consulting & Executive Search, a Florida-based firm that specializes in placing airport executives. ADK quoted the city a cost of $19,600 for the search.
Brake will oversee some of the directional duties during the search, though ADK may also provide a consultant to assist with those efforts until a replacement is named.
Brake said ADK will  seek out and screen the initial applicants before handing a list of candidates off to the city for interviews.
“It’ll probably be July or August, best case scenario, before we can bring someone on,” Brake said, adding that the opportunity to lead the planned growth at the airport — including a 1,001-foot runway extension — will make the job attractive to the right candidates.
“For someone who is savvy in property development and could really hustle and make this an even more robust facility, there are limitless opportunities,” Brake said. “I think we’ll attract the right individuals, and I remain optimistic that we’ll get someone who’s energetic and has the get-up-and-go mentality to be a true value to our airport operation.”
According to information available on the city’s website, airport director is the sixth highest paid position with the city, at $42.26 an hour.
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