YVRA Aviation Director resigns

Jim Parker, aviation director at Yampa Valley Regional Airport, is resigning.

Parker, who has been aviation director since 1999, said the resignation is at the request of Routt County Manager Tom Sullivan's expectations.

Parker's resignation is not connected with an investigation that recently began into wrongdoings at the YVRA, Parker and Sullivan said. "(It's) one of those unfortunate things that came out and the timing couldn't have been any worse," Parker said.

Parker's resignation is effective July 31, or earlier if he finds another job. Parker, like almost all county employees, is not working under a contract with the county. He said there was no settlement involved in his resignation.

Sullivan said that Parker has good, in-depth technical skills and works well with federal and state agencies. However, he does not have some skills that Sullivan said are needed for the job.

"Jim, while he's had some successes and we've done a lot of good things since he's been here, has some deficiencies, and there have been some failures as to things that didn't get done," Sullivan said.

He would not give specifics.

Sullivan emphasized the resignation was not connected to the investigation. Some of the alleged wrongdoings happened before Parker took the position, and discussions about Parker's resignation were taking place before the investigation began, Sullivan said.

Parker's name was brought up in the anonymous letter that sparked the investigation at the airport. The letter alleged that Parker asked airport employees to use county vehicles to help him get an elk he had killed.

Sullivan said an investigation by the Sheriff's Office confirmed Parker's story that only private vehicles were used. Parker's name was not mentioned in any other context.

Parker said he was disappointed he was asked to resign.

"I thought we had a good team and we were making progress addressing some of the concerns the county manager and some of the community leaders had in terms of managing the airport," he said.

He said he would not challenge the county's decision because he thinks too much of the airport and county.

Sullivan has rewritten the job description for the position Parker is filling and has renamed it airport manager. The new job description must be approved by the Yampa Valley Airport Commission and by the Routt County Board of Comm-issioners.

Sullivan said he hopes to fill the position by August.

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