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Legislative Audit Commission


January 28, 2003

The Legislative Audit Commission meeting was called to order by Senator Ann H. Rest, Chair, at 1:00 PM in Room 316, State Capitol. Senator Rest indicated the purpose of the meeting was to review the program evaluation report on the Metropolitan Airports Commission.

Members and other Legislators present:

Senator Tom Neuville Representative Dan Larson
Senator Ann H. Rest
Senator Wes Skoglund
Senator Jim Vickerman


Senator Rest acknowledged receipt of a letter from Roger Brooks, Deputy Legislative Auditor for the Program Evaluation Division, which indicated he would be resigning his position at the end of the legislative session. Senator Rest indicated there would be additional discussion concerning Mr. Brooks' state service and accomplishments at a future meeting.

Senator Rest recognized James Nobles, Legislative Auditor. Mr. Nobles reviewed the reasons for selecting the Metropolitan Airports Commission (MAC) as an evaluation topic and some of the recent controversies surrounding MAC. Mr. Nobles noted that MAC does not receive much legislative oversight. He indicated the Financial Audit Division was conducting an investigation of allegations concerning improper use of hanger space at the airport, and would be issuing a report on that in the near future.

Mr. Nobles introduced Joel Alter and John Yunker, who would be presenting the evaluation report, as well as Todd Wilkinson, evaluation specialist who worked on the study. Mr. Alter reviewed the questions addressed in the study, methods used in conducting the research and answered questions from members.

Mr. Yunker reviewed MAC's finances and compared them to the condition of the industry nationwide, and answered questions from members.

Mr. Alter reviewed noise abatement efforts by MAC and issues concerning notification of the public concerning MAC meetings and issues. Mr. Nobles indicated such discussions should be on the record. Mr. Alter noted that while the Governor's office appoints members of the MAC, there has been very little oversight by the Governor's Office the last four years. Mr. Alter reviewed the recommendations contained in the report and answered questions from members.

Senator Rest recognized Vicki Grunseth, MAC Chair, and Jeff Hamiel, Executive Director of MAC. Mr. Hamiel indicated that it was a stressful time for MAC inasmuch as both the program evaluation and special review into hanger use were being conducted at the same time, but that he appreciated the professionalism of the staff involved. Both Ms. Grunseth and Mr. Hamiel indicated efforts to better inform the public concerning meetings and projects at the airport were in process. In response to questions from members, they indicated they would look into ways to make MAC meetings more accessible to the general public and noted they would be reviewing the bidding process used for concession vendors.

The meeting adjourned at 2:30 PM.

Senator Ann H. Rest, Chair

Jean Barnhill, Recording Secretary


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