The Islip Town Board has approved the appointment of the former manager of Republic Airport in Farmingdale as the town’s new commissioner of aviation and transportation.
At a meeting Tuesday, the board voted 4-1 to hire Shelley LaRose-Arken, who was Republic’s manager for about 10 years until leaving in April.
Board member Trish Bergin Weichbrodt voted against the appointment.
“It’s an exciting time,” said Supervisor Angie Carpenter before the vote on the appointment.
She said the town had conducted a national search for the position and in LaRose-Arken, Islip would have “an airport commissioner who actually has experience running an airport day-to-day.”
LaRose-Arken will oversee the town-owned Long Island MacArthur Airport in Ronkonkoma, which has lost half of its daily flights since 2007 and at least $5.5 million in revenue since 2010.
In February, National Airlines, based in Florida, announced it would offer flights between Islip and San Juan and Aguadilla in Puerto Rico starting June 1, but within weeks the airline announced that it had not yet acquired an aircraft for the service.
Maine-based Elite Airways is another newcomer to LIMA and will launch flights to Maine, South Carolina and Florida next month.
LaRose-Arken was on jury duty this week, town officials said. She is expected to start the $125,000-a-year position on Tuesday. She did not immediately return a phone call for comment.
In an interview, Bergin Weichbrodt said she voted against the appointment because Carpenter did not disclose the other candidates for the job.
“How can I vote yes and appoint somebody when I don’t know the full extent of the process?” she said.
Carpenter and two adminstrators met with multiple candidates but Bergin Weichbrodt said her request for a list of them and their resumes was denied.
In an email statement, Carpenter said: “The councilwoman was appropriately part of the selection process. After a nationwide search, and a thorough vetting and interview process by the search committee appointed by the supervisor, a final candidate was selected. Each of the board members, including the councilwoman, had an opportunity to interview the candidate, and offer their feedback.”
LaRose-Arken has also held positions in noise abatement at Cincinnati/North Kentucky International Airport and Westchester County Airport. She has a bachelor’s degree from Florida Institute of Technology in aviation management and flight technology, and is a licensed pilot.