Delta County Airport manager resigns
By ILSA MINOR
The Daily Press
ESCANABA — Citing her physical and mental health and differences with the county board, Delta County Airport Manager Andrea Nummilien has resigned. Friday was her last day.
“It is with deepest regret that I leave a position that I love but I can no longer conscionably follow the ‘new direction’ the County Board of Commissioners has chosen to go under the ‘leadership’ of the chairman,” Nummilien wrote in her resignation letter submitted Wednesday.
When speaking with the Daily Press, Nummilien described the last few months as a “constant barrage of stress.” Among the stressors she noted were her increased workload after taking on the additional duties of the assistant airport administrator in late-February after the resignation of Dylan Gauthier and a series of events she said were “things that you wouldn’t expect to have to deal with in a professional setting from people in power.”
Nummilien said one of the key events leading up to her resignation was the board’s termination of former Delta County Administrator Emily DeSalvo on February 11. She described DeSalvo’s termination as “a blow.”
Unlike DeSalvo, who gave an 11-minute speech alleging unethical conduct by the board prior to her termination, Nummilien said she was not ready to speak about the individual incidents leading to her resignation.
“It’s just an accumulation of things that are not normal. … There were so many things that happened that were not normal, and the stress of it prevented me from doing a good job here, in my opinion,” she said.
Earlier this year, the airport advisory board requested temporary additional compensation for Nummilien for her added workload. The request was ultimately approved unanimously by the county board, but a vote on the issue was tabled at the April 18 meeting due to an investigation into a complaint by Nummilien that, according to Board Chair Dave Moyle, referenced Moyle and Commissioner Bob Barron.
That investigation has since closed.
“I loved working for the county. I loved my role here. I really felt like I contributed to making sure our airport was successful, and it will be successful. We’ve got a lot of really great people in place to ensure that it will be a success going forward,” she said. “I’m very thankful for my part that I got to play in that, but the board has indicated that they’re going in a new direction and I’m not willing to go that same direction.”
The “new direction” of the board has become something of a mantra for the commissioners, who frequently reference the county’s change of course during meetings. While individual commissioners have expressed their goals for the county, the commissioners as a whole have not fully-defined the nature of the new direction.
“I’ve been in the public sector long enough to know that everybody has different perspectives and different opinions on things, at the end of the day I can make peace with not wanting to go in the same direction as them,” said Nummilien.
Nummilien, who is currently pursuing a masters in public administration, has been with the airport since 2019. The letter announcing her resignation included an apology for not giving more notice, stating she had to end her employment with Delta County “as soon as possible” for the sake of her health and mental wellbeing.
“There are a lot of people that are disappointed that I’m leaving, and wish I could have stuck it out longer. And you know, I guess I’d count myself as one of them too, but at the end of the day, it just got to be too much,” she said.