SHELDON—Despite outside pressure, the Sheldon City Council stuck with its decision to appoint Kellie Einck of Primghar to the Sheldon Regional Airport Commission when it met Wednesday, Aug. 21.
Einck’s appointment initially came up during the Aug. 7 meeting but was tabled after commission member Rob Dixon took exception to her replacing longtime member Skip Tanner.
“I have nothing against Skip, Skip has served well in that role,” said mayor Greg Geels. “Again, it’s time for fresh blood and encouragement from the paper getting more people involved, all of these things were going through my head when making this appointment. I did not know it was going to be this level of correspondence.”
Before the vote, Geels, who recommended Einck for the position, stood by his decision. He noted the legal precedence and shared information from the Iowa Ombudsmen Office.
Iowa passed a law in 2012 that required all city, county and state boards to be gender balanced.
“We have moved this appointment to statute compliance — obeying the law in essence — that’s unfortunate,” Dixon said. “Again, I’m in support of Skip. This isn’t anti-Kelly; this is pro-Skip with all due respect to Kelly. She’s been innocently pulled into these proceedings.”
Dixon said losing Tanner’s experience on the board would be detrimental despite what some “silly law may say regarding gender balance.”
“I’m all for that, but give me a break,” Dixon said.
Geels said when he talked to Tanner, he was fine with being replaced while Dixon said Tanner told him otherwise. Geels also noted another member of the five-member commission could offer up their seat if Dixon thought Tanner’s experience was irreplaceable.
In the end, Einck’s appoint was unambiguously supported by the council.
The 23-year-old, who is a licensed pilot, will start her five-year term on the commission in September.