City makes appointments to airport board

City Commissioners made their appointments to the Great Falls Regional Airport Authority Board last week.

The applicants were Anthony Aretz, Joe McKenney and Todd Timboe.

The commission interviewed the applicants during a special meeting before making the appointments and Commissioners Bill Bronson and Owen Robinson recused themselves from the interviews and the vote.

Commissioner Mary Sheehy Moe said, “boy, what a hard choice.”

Aretz is the president of the University of Providence, a retired Air Force officer, a private pilot and worked on his family’s now-closed small airport in Illinois.

McKenney owns the Cart Wheel Casino and is a former Montana legislator.

Timboe is an accountant.

Their applications are available here.

Moe moved to appoint McKenney and Timboe based on their long familiarity with the Great Falls area, since Aretz is a relative newcomer to the city, having assumed the role as president at UP in 2016.

Commissioner Tracy Houck said she thought Aretz was the most knowledgable.

Mayor Bob Kelly said he’d rather have Aretz because he’d have a different perspective than those already on the airport board.

There was no public comment on the motion, which failed 1-2.

Houck moved to appoint Aretz and Timboe and the motion was approved.

The airport board was created by joint resolution and has seven members, four are appointed by the city and three are appointed by the County Commission.

The city has two vacancies on the board.

Earlier this month, the county appointed Robert Smith for their vacancy on the board.

The board is the governing body and sets policy for the operation and management of the Great Falls International Airport. The board employs the airport director, who hires staff and oversees daily airport operations.