Who would want MidAmerica job?

October 28, 2013 

I read about talk of terminating the contract of MidAmerica Airport Director Tim Cantwell with mixed feelings. I don't think it's as simple as just pink-slipping the incumbent. Before we unfurl the "Cantwell must go" banner we need to pause and ponder.

On one hand, Cantwell has been a well-paid and well-traveled advocate for what he envisions will someday be lucrative operations at MidAmerica. His vision has never really materialized. In the meantime he's enjoying the journey, traveling hither and yon at generous county taxpayers' expense.

On the other hand, before St. Clair County Board Chairman Mark Kern stops dancing with the one he brung to the party, he needs to find a DWTS-caliber dance partner. A bird in the hand, even an unpopular old crow, is worth two in the bush.

When I visited Cantwell at his MidAmerica office, I didn't run into any heir-apparent being groomed to take the football should the starting QB go down with a Sam Bradford-like season-ending injury. As the Rams are finding out, you need a viable back-up plan to avoid all being lost.

To imply that Cantwell is irreplaceable is probably a stretch, but he is the long-time airport maestro and brain trust. Knowledge is power.

I'm guessing there isn't a long line of worthy candidates knocking on Kern's door looking to take on this momentous challenge.

Stuck between a rock and a hard place? I guess we'll see.

Bill Malec


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