The Shreveport Airport Authority has been in the news constantly. So what are the benefits of being a board member? Columnist John Settle gives his opinion.

No, they don’t get paid big bucks.

At least not publicly.

At one time appointment to this 5 member board was the creme de la creme of civic appointments.

Now many consider a seat on the Port of Shreveport Bossier to be more glamours.

Bragging rights being what they may—lets look at the board "beenies", as in benefits.

For starters,  high dollar portraits of board members hang on the wall at the Shreveport Regional Airport. There’s a lot of passenger traffic on that wall just left of the restaurant going to the gates!

Also there are free tickets to Mudbug Madness, the Red River Revel, the State Fair, Shreveport Symphony and Christmas in the Sky.

Who got all of them is unknown–at least that is what the airport staff says. At least 3 board members did get season Symphony tickets.

Add to that is airport sponsorships to events/organizations closely associated with board members.

These include the Symphony, State Fair, Christmas in the Sky and Robinson Film Center.

Lastly, what board members say or how the vote at authority meetings is virtually secret.

The board minutes are not published online–despite the fact that the Open Meetings Law dictates this.

The cherry on top is the selection of the next airport director.

 The screened applicants were forwarded to board chair Waynette Robinson and board member Jonathan Reynolds for screening.

How much involvement of the other board members in this process is an unknown.

Ballengee and two other board members hired the last airport director who was basically proved to be a failure. The current board hired the same head hunter firm that recommended him.

The board’s recommendation is to be forwarded to Shreveport mayor Adrian Perkins. The final candidate must be approved by the Shreveport city council.

The board meets this Thurs. Sept. 19 at 10 am in the regional airport’s board room.