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Ethics plague airport issue

Chair Nash questions Briscoe 'consensus'

Artist rendering of the potential privatized Briscoe Field. Artwork provided by whyprivatizebriscoe.com.

Artist rendering of the potential privatized Briscoe Field. Artwork provided by whyprivatizebriscoe.com.

LAWRENCEVILLE -- County officials made a behind-the-scenes "consensus" decision last week to move forward with a controversial airport privatization process.

With accusations of violating the state's sunshine laws, commissioners voted Tuesday to follow the speediest option available for the controversial privatization process that could open Briscoe Field to commercial flights -- a decision that three board members had told staffers about last week outside of a public meeting.

Chairwoman Charlotte Nash said the move a week ago violated the trust of an electorate rocked by ethical concerns a year ago that resulted in the resignation of the previous chairman and indictment of a commissioner.

"This was done outside the light of a public setting," Nash said. "This is a bigger issue than just the airport to me. We are falling into a trap of doing things the way that has been done in the past. ... The least you can do is hear it publicly, so no matter what people think about the issue, at least they don't have to say it was done in a back room."

Nash said she only learned of the informal decision in passing and canceled a planned anniversary trip with her husband to attend Tuesday's session after finding out.

"No one had the courtesy to discuss the situation with me," she said.

But the three commissioners who supported moving forward in May -- Shirley Lasseter, Lynette Howard and Mike Beaudreau -- once again voted Tuesday to draft a request for proposals. This formalized the "consensus" reached a week ago to move forward with a process that could have the county negotiating with a private operator by the end of the year.

While at least one of three qualified companies seeking to privatize the general aviation airport has said it wants to allow commercial flights, no specific proposals have been submitted.

After May's 3-2 vote to allow the commercial option to remain despite a public outcry, the three commissioners complained that a request for proposals had not been issued all summer. In fact, Beaudreau said the delay was "borderline insubordination" by the county staff.

"It seems like we are going back to the future. The vote was taken," Beaudreau said.

Howard said she was disappointed in the report because she had expected it to include the awaited request for proposals. Instead, the report recommended commissioners state a clear goal -- commercialization or not -- before moving forward and gave four options, urging caution.

Howard made a motion to set up a meeting with IMG leaders for commissioners to ask questions. If a quorum of commissioners attends, the meeting is expected to be held in public within the next two weeks.

The board also echoed a May vote that set up a citizens committee to review the process and make recommendations about the airport.

Comments

OVERIT 2 years, 11 months ago

Wow..if anyone re-elects Beaudreau, Lassiter and Howard you are crazy... this is one nasty swamp that needs to be drained fast!! Mike Beaudreau just who do you think you are?? You are an elected official and you can and should be fired.

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NewsReader 2 years, 11 months ago

Are you serious? Isn't this "swamp" a "protected" wetland where these people thrive and survive? A "swamp" is a rather fitting place don't you think?

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Gregory 2 years, 11 months ago

County officials made a behind-the-scenes "consensus" decision last week to move forward with a controversial airport privatization process.
Liars...cheats...and deceptive people who cannot see the writing on the wall....aren't there reports that say this is no good, shouldn't there be clear goals as reported last week.

Makes no difference to these no good people in the BOC. Sell us down the river so your friends can get paid. When Gwinnett turns into a cesspool...lets see how much money your friends pull out of the county. I'd guess most people who can afford to leave will. The area will be replaced by garbage. How many times can the BOC sell us out before they realize that there ill fated ideas hurt us more than help us?

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mwilliams 2 years, 11 months ago

Groegory, Do you shop at Walmart?

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dentaldawg83 2 years, 11 months ago

Sure Charlotte, Sure..

plausible deniability...yep, we really are gonna fall for that one..

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Jose 2 years, 11 months ago

Jose says: he believes Nash and her comments, coming out in a public forum and declaring she does not agree in the decision is a bold statement that will be watched. Now the other Rats it is clear that Gwinnett has some more house cleaning too do. If they don't want to allow John Q Public to weich in then it truly tell's their true colors and it is GREEN as in in Ben Franklin green.

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mwilliams 2 years, 11 months ago

Where is the question of ETHICS?... This headline is very misleading. This vote to issue an RFP was done months ago in plain, and clear view of public eye. I'm still asking why it has taken so long to get this rolling. Why did the county choose to spend many thousands of dollars to study how to ask companies to make a proposal...... The vote was whether or not to ask for proposals. The vote was YES. So why did we spend all of that money, and hold the RFP up for months?????

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flagger 2 years, 11 months ago

Why is it our commissioner doesn't listen to his constituents when they scream loud and clear that they are opposed to the airport expansion..I wish i had my last vote back!!!!!! from the last election.. fool me once, shame on you... we won't be fooled twice, and have a memory like an elephant...

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BufordGuy 2 years, 11 months ago

Beaudreau knows he will not be re-elected next time around. His socialist garbage plan sealed that. He's looking to bigger and better things for him and setting himself up best he can while he's got some time left on the commission.

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mickey 2 years, 11 months ago

Until the rest of the house is clean, Charlotte is only one person!. Come on people, we got rid of Charlie.....we can do it!

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JW 2 years, 11 months ago

After the garbage fiasco and this mess there is absolutely no way Beaudreau can be re-elected and he knows it. I'm going to go out on a limb and say he's not stupid so that leaves corrupt. If Danny Porter digs a little with these three I'm guessing he can find a trail. Only logical reason why Beaudreau and others are so out of step with voters. Seen it too many times on Gwinnett Commission. It's time for two things to happen. 1. Grand Jury investigation. 2. Recall Beaudreau. He's in until December 12. By that time there's no telling how much damage he can do. The silence from the Gwinnett Republican party on his performance to date doesn't speak well for them. Better find a real Republican and "run em". Hey Beaudreau.....bring one of your town hall meetings to the Dacula side of the county and see what kind of support you've got.....

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mary 2 years, 11 months ago

This is how the classic politician Beaudreau does business. He is a wolf in sheep's clothing who claims to listen to constituents needs while doing what he #&^# well pleases. It is all about him. His little "listening tours" and "meetings with Mike " are a joke. I hope his aspirations of a bigger political position turns out to be the flop he is. I voted for him because I thought he had high standards and moral character, and would be a servant of the people. What a disappointment.

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R 2 years, 11 months ago

Since the report we bought for over 100K stated the Airport issue needed to be clarified before proceeding and we are now demanding RFP completion, how much more will Gwinnett spend on this phase? No problem - cell tower revenues will cover it “Brilliant!”

Where is the question of ethics you ask? “It all depends on what the meaning of is, is “

Retirement packages of the new normal - 2 Grand juries just might be cheaper… Sewer plant - Wayne Hill Stadium - Bert Nasuti Airport – Mike Beaudreau What the heck is next, MARTA 2.0 Full Bore?

Won’t you please just take a gold watch like the old days?

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NewsReader 2 years, 11 months ago

Ethics Violations? Hahahaha, LOL, say it isn't so!

Corruption at all levels is the GBOC's trademark. These people are going to shove this Commercial Airport down our throats just like the garbage plan, just like they are working with the ARC to clear the forest of all the trees to make way for blacktop. I no longer have any faith in the voter population to do what is necessary and right. People are far too busy promoting their own self-serving agendas to take the time to view, let alone care, about the impact of their decisions on everyone else around them. As for me, I don't care anymore either. Build your commercial airport. I, for one, will never use it, nor will I be anywhere in close proximity to patronize any business that supposedly develops as a result of it.

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mwilliams 2 years, 11 months ago

I don't see this as a case of anyone shoving anything down our throats. This is a very clear case of our elected officials getting the answers before making decisions. In my opinion, this "COULD" be as a big of an impact on our economic development as Gwinnett Place Mall did in 1984. I say "COULD"..... There are still a lot of questions to be answered. I like the thought of what this "COULD" be for Gwinnett's future. But I am not totally convinced yet either. I will weigh that out when we get the proposals of what someone is willing to do. There is no doubt, that the airport is a drain on our taxpayers now. It "COULD" be a big swing the other way. And it "COULD" bring many jobs here. Higher wage jobs. And it "COULD" spur some very much needed redevelopment in that are. I'm glad that we are finally moving forward to accept proposals. Then we can grade those, and decide whether it is a good fit or not.

I am a very big proponent for the idea of the scheduled service at Briscoe Field. But I am staying open minded until we get the proposals in. I might advocate strongly against it once the dust settles. I would ask that anyone stay that open minded, whether you are for, or against the "IDEA" of it. The commissioners need our support to make the right decisions. So far, the right decisions to get the information, have been made. I give them an "A" as a group for doing that.

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ec 2 years, 11 months ago

"Despite Public Outcry"??!!! I love how all of the media outlets ONLY talk about the residents who oppose privatization and commercial flights at Briscoe. PLEASE talk about the people in Gwinnett County that SUPPORT exploring this opportunity to bring more business to Gwinnett and potentially become a viable reliever airport in the North Metro Atlanta area.

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OVERIT 2 years, 11 months ago

yes but do you and MWilliams live near the airport?? Will you have to put up with the noise and traffic daily if could and would bring. Or just when you need to drive over to catch a plane? This is a bad idea.

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mwilliams 2 years, 11 months ago

Change is very exhilarating when done by us, and very deliberating when done to us..... Change is hard sometimes. We are not the same county we were in 1984. We have become a global society, with a global network. Gwinnett has grown up. We have our own Baseball stadium, our own arena, sports teams.etc...... We are like our own international city. And we are certainly not a bedroom community anymore. Sometimes I wish it was like 1984, when I could take my dirtbike from Duluth to Lawrenceville, on dirt roads and trails, and only cross one major paved road, once..... But it's not. We need the tools to play in the major markets that we compete with. Like it or not, and no matter where we live in Gwinnett, those are the facts. It's changed around us....And now we have to embrace those changes, and look to the future. I don't want this county to die and become a wasteland because we did not prepare, and be progressive enough plan for our future growth. We have the best schools, best parks, best chamber of commerce......we have it all here..... But our transportation options are light years behind. ....We have to build for our future...

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BufordGuy 2 years, 11 months ago

Any of y'all watch the debate at the commission meeting Tuesday night. It is on-line go check it out.

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Max 2 years, 11 months ago

I just wasted about 1 and 1/2 hours watching it. Reminded me of what my old First Seargent used to say " we look like a monkey having carnal knowledge with a football"

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R 2 years, 11 months ago

mwilliams “There is no doubt, that the airport is a drain on our taxpayers now. It "COULD" be a big swing the other way. And it "COULD" bring many jobs here. Higher wage jobs. And it "COULD" spur some very much needed redevelopment in that are. I'm glad that we are finally moving forward to accept proposals. Then we can grade those, and decide whether it is a good fit or not.” Information released to date reported that Briscoe, as it is today, is a “Zero” drain as it revenues match expenses. So it drains in what areas? Please elaborate.

And if you are in fact a Chamber of Commerce member, please identify as such.

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OVERIT 2 years, 11 months ago

mwilliams still did not answer my question do you live near or around the airport will your daily life be affected by this airport? Will your property value drop even more because large jets are flying low over your house. I agree are you part of the Chamber or Commerce or a friend of Mike Beaudreau's

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kevin 2 years, 11 months ago

Sure looks like there will be 3 commissioners being replaced if they vote to allow commercial flights. Transparency was short-lived on the BOC. This BOC will eventually listen to the people, but it is obvious that some have made up their minds to vote fo rthis expansion, regardless of what taxpayers say they want. Are we already going back in time with this BOC. People- do yourselves a big favor and stop re-electing people. This is 75% of your problems here. They get too close to theri money people, eespecially all the developers.

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NewsReader 2 years, 11 months ago

Dream on Kevin. Like I said, "I no longer have any faith in the voter population to do what is necessary and right." You just watch. It's that "Not my representative" mentality. Too many people have their head buried too far in the sand to see, let alone comprehend, what's going on around them.

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KillJoy 2 years, 11 months ago

There is only one way to remove an elected official with an "r" behind their name in this county and its called: A Grand Jury!

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kelleylake 2 years, 11 months ago

Nash, you can't get off that easy. This scenario sounds like "good cop -- bad cop" -- that you had no idea of this behind the scenes activity? Oh, it's those rogue BOC members?? Why did we elect you? The public has spoken -- we don't want privatization of the airport, we don't want commercial flights, or any other rendition of this -- we don't want it. Put it on the ballot and let us vote on it, since this is an issue that affects all of us.

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CD 2 years, 11 months ago

Kelley: it cannot be put on the ballet because only those opposed or those with a beneficial, monetary interest would vote. The Chamber has to fight this battle the only way they can: shill supporters. We need to hold Nash to her promises and we need to consider those promises broken should she not sway a 3rd vote. After all, VanGundy and his Iphone have told us that it will be okay.

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Freddie 2 years, 11 months ago

If someone thinks it's a good idea to sell my peace and quiet, I want a bigger cut than is being proposed for me. Plain and simple. This airport deal isn't worth it for me, you, nor the average Gwinnettian... airports suck, and everyone knows it. Only the cronies will reap any benefit from it and the rest of us will be covering our ears.

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vsaputo 2 years, 11 months ago

Everyone is culpable, Nash et al. And, EVERYONE will live near the airport...Snellville, Norcross, Loganville will not be safe havens. I live near Hamilton Mill and I can hear the planes at 10k feet coming into ATL. Is it okay to spend the money to study it? Yes, if it is in fact a study and not something that will simply agree designed to rubber-stamp it as a good idea. But, as it has been pointed out over the week, this BOC is not to be trusted. When we start from there...pros and cons are meaningless.

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terry 2 years, 10 months ago

1st Gwinnett does not need the airport . There are other airports not far away. 2nd the county needs to rezone the property for other uses and simply close this nusance.

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KarenB 2 years, 2 months ago

If this passes, it will ruin, Grayson, Dacula and Lawrenceville. You think your property values have gone down, wait if they pass the commercial airport. Fought with Mike Beaudreau a couple of years ago about how Gwinnett County doesn't protect it's taxpayers with ordinances. If you don't have a HOA with good rules, you will get big camper trailers allowed in backyards. He was rude with his responses to me. I'm having signs printed saying, VOTE NO FOR MIKE BEAUDREAU, TAXATION WITHOUT REPRESENTATION! Elected officials don't listen to the very people who elected them into office. They are to represent the people, not shove things they want down our throats.

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