As of Wednesday, September 21, 2011
© Copyright 2013
Gwinnett Daily Post
Let's set the record straight regarding Gail McNeil's allegations. Gwinnett County staff received direction in a May vote of our elected commissioners, all with equal weighting. The directive was quite clear; move ahead with the RFP for possible commercialization of Briscoe Field. A follow-up action by staff was naturally expected. The inquiry by some of the commissioners into the delay of this action is appropriate. It should not be spun into fictional drama by supposition. A "contentious" debate was resolved by a 3-2 vote in favor of an RFP.
Fly Gwinnett Forward was formed to apply facts and logic to issues surrounding Briscoe Field. For example, the Hartsfield-Jackson study of a potential hub airport site is irrelevant to Gwinnett. Briscoe Field's RFP is framed to study the benefit of a regional airport model. Regarding taxpayer risk, we understand that lease obligations, performance bonds, and revenue streams could not only benefit, but protect our citizens. Gwinnett is indeed poised to benefit from an underutilized asset which now generates $85M million in total economic output, all while basically receiving no orchestrated support.
Indeed "something just ain't right." With the call for transparency and further citizen input, some continue to vilify commissioners. Unfortunately, the baseless jabs are aimed at commissioners who seem to understand their fiduciary responsibility to Gwinnnet's citizens and the region. Sadly, a vocal minority can misinform our electorate. The only saga here is one created by those wishing to bury an opportunity before it can be framed.
-- Paula Hastings