UPDATE: Brian Lockhart, CT Post here.
Pauline Mize of Bellport, Long Island has been appointed acting manager at Sikorsky Memorial Airport replacing John Ricci who was terminated by the city following the fallout over a $400,000 payment involving developer Manny Moutinho’s Stratford mansion driveway as part of a municipally owned airport improvement plan that a state judge ruled city taxpayers had no obligation to pay. Ricci recently announced his retirement from the city.
Mize, 58, has airport experience including as manager of Gabreski Airport in Westhampton, Long Island. She is commuting to Bridgeport from Long Island via the Bridgeport & Port Jefferson ferry that runs multiple times per day from Port Jefferson to Bridgeport. Her salary is based on roughly $94,000 a year. She started work on Monday. Mize was unavailable when OIB placed a call to her at the airport Wednesday afternoon.
The city is apparently still moving forward with a national search for a permanent airport manager.
After more than 20 years of service as airport manager Ricci was let go, according to city officials, because he did not apprise officials of his friendship and past business dealings with Moutinho. Ricci disputes the city’s narrative of the events asserting he recused himself of any dealings involving Moutinho in the process and apprised officials of his relationship with the developer. Supporters of Ricci claim he was scapegoated for the city’s dubious handling of the Moutinho driveway deal.
More on that issue here.
News release from Mayor Bill Finch:
Bridgeport Mayor Bill Finch today announced that Pauline A. Mize has been appointed as Acting Airport Manager at Igor I. Sikorsky Memorial Airport, the city-owned airport located in Stratford.
From 1998 to 2005, she worked for Suffolk County as the Airport Manager at Francis S. Gabreski Airport in Westhampton Beach. As airport manager, she obtained $10 million in federal funding to revitalize airfield lighting systems. In addition, she also restructured the airport administrative procedures, formed the Gabreski Industrial Park, obtained funding for and supervised creation of the Airport Business Plan, and obtained designation as a Rebuild NY Now site for a brownfield site located on the facility among other projects.
“Pauline brings a wealth of experience in airport management, project management, grants administration, and development which will be of enormous help as we move forward with the safety zone improvements at Sikorsky Airport,” said Mayor Finch.
Ms. Mize has worked for more than 20 years identifying and procuring federal, state and local grants for varied projects including aviation, parks, wastewater treatment and marine and economic development projects while working in various capacities for Suffolk County government and the City of Glen Cove, Long Island. Most recently, she worked with the City of Glen Cove to secure $21 million in ARRA funding to build a new ferry terminal and waterside improvements. She also served as the Senior Grants Administrator for the City of Glen Cove, and has worked for FEMA as a project specialist and economic development targeted recovery team member.
“I look forward to the challenge, and am pleased to have been selected to take the helm as acting manager at the airport to direct the safety zone project. My goal will be to make the airport a safer facility for the flying public, our tenants and the surrounding neighbors,” said Mize.
Her appointment began Sept. 16 and she will be paid $94,161 as Acting Airport Manager.