Martha’s Vineyard Airport acting manager Deborah Potter resigns

The next 20 years are mapped out for the Martha's Vineyard Airport. — File photo by Ralph Stewart

Martha’s Vineyard Airport acting manager Deborah Potter last week submitted a letter of resignation effective March 18. The announcement comes as the Martha’s Vineyard Airport Commission (MVAC) conducts a search to fill the manager’s slot left vacant following the ouster of former airport manager Sean Flynn.

In a press release issued last Thursday afternoon, acting airport commission chairman Rich Michelson announced the resignation: “On behalf of the MVAC, we thank her for the dedicated service to the airport and the Island community. We wish her all the best in her future endeavors.”

The announced departure of Ms. Potter is the latest chapter in a long and tangled airport story that has included a series of lawsuits between the Dukes County Commission and the airport commission over control of the airport. The county commissioners are responsible for appointing the members of the airport commission, which is statutorily responsible for the airport. After battling with the members of its appointed airport commission, and with Mr. Flynn, the county used its appointing authority to eliminate members on the airport commission.

Ms. Potter, the former assistant airport manager, assumed the manager role in August after the newly reconstituted airport commission placed Mr. Flynn on administrative leave, citing a number of airport deficiencies. Mr. Flynn was then at the start of a new three-year contract.

A series of meetings, mediation sessions, and legal threats ended with a negotiated settlement and Mr. Flynn resigning from his post in December.

Ms. Potter’s resignation letter, dated Feb. 11, was brief. She said the resignation was due to “a variety of personal and professional reasons.”

“As appropriate, during the next 30 days, I will work to resolve any transitional issues and will try to prepare as much information as possible to assist current and future staff with the transition,” Ms. Potter said.

Ms. Potter could not be reached for further comment.

Airport Commission chairman Myron Garfinkle of West Tisbury, who is out of the country on vacation, did not respond to calls or emails.