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Public makes plea for committee to continue

LAWRENCEVILLE -- Gaye McNeill wasn't finished.

Frustrated by the quick decision of fellow members of the Gwinnett airport citizens advisory committee to disband, McNeill appealed to commissioners Tuesday to get the group back to work.

"We believe we have a task to accomplish," McNeill said of the minority of board members who wanted to continue studying the proposed privatization and potential expansion of Briscoe Field.

Several area residents joined in McNeill's plea, and after Tuesday's meeting, commissioners said they are just as frustrated.

"As far as I'm concerned, I think the committee has a very important role to play, and I'd like to see them schedule meetings again," Chairwoman Charlotte Nash said, adding that the committee has no authority to dissolve itself. "There's still lots of valuable work for the committee to do."

Nash said she has talked with some members of the advisory board, which voted last month on a handful of recommendations but said environmental and economic studies are more necessary than their own deliberations.

Commissioners Shirley Lasseter and Mike Beaudreau said their own appointees to the board said they were frustrated that some of the board members were not open-minded. But the commissioners said they were looking at options as to how they can get them back to the table.

"They are volunteers. You can't force anyone to meet," Beaudreau said.

"They were at a standstill," Lasseter added. "I was very disappointed."

Comments

BevL 2 years, 9 months ago

Commissioners Lasseter and Beaudreau made the statement that their appointees are frustrated because some board members are not open-minded. Talk about the pot calling the kettle black. Mercy! From attending these meetings, it is obvious that some of the most close minded members are for pro-commercialization. For those of us against commercialization - we wonder how, when our quality of life is in danger of being destroyed, we are supposed to be open-minded to how it is done? This committee needs to get back to work to give the public a forum on this vital issue. Those who voted to dissolve the committee should be replaced by citizens who will strive to complete the mission given to the Citizens Review Board by the Board of Commissioners. There will be two sides on this issue but it still should be aired out with all the information that can be gathered to present to the BOC.

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dentaldawg83 2 years, 9 months ago

"Public makes plea for committee to continue"

no we didn't!

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Mack711 2 years, 9 months ago

Maybe this committee thought that the public would never go along with the plan that they came up with. They also know that most in the area do not want to have a commericial operation at this facility.

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LilburnLady 2 years, 9 months ago

Only five airports in the entire United States were given the opportunity to obtain an FAA waiver to allow privatization of the management of their airports. One of these five was Briscoe Field. Since that preliminary application was approved in April of 2010, the county commissioners have repeatedly approved the following through of completing the studies needed to complete that application in final form. County employees have failed to comply with direct orders from the County Commission to proceed and now the "Citizens Advisory Group" has failed to do much of anything except to agree that they should disband. To squander the opportunity to improve our airport (and it does belong to all of the citizens of Gwinnett County) is a complete slap in the face to taxpayers.

We pay the taxes that paid for the initial application, we voted in the Commissioners who approved it and we pay the salaries of the county employees tasked with completing the steps necessary to finalize the application to the FAA. The RFPs have been issued, private contractors have responded and for some reason, the people involved in getting this done have refused to do so. In my opinion, that is a disgrace, particularly when so many of us are unemployed or underemployed and need the jobs and industry that privatization and expansion of the airport would bring to this area. Those that have refused to do their jobs should be fired and those that have refused to participate in any meaningful way to this latest committee should be excused and others recruited in their places.

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R 2 years, 9 months ago

“County employees have failed to comply with direct orders from the County Commission to proceed” WHOA! This line comes right out of the Grand Jury report, seems the commissioner who said it in August simply forgot the opportunity he had for learning a lesson and kicked it to the curb. The finger pointing confirmed for all to see that the jurors were right in their findings, one of which was MILLIONS of wasteful spending and the total lack of appreciation of the county staff and residents that were supposedly to be served. The Boss Hogg style of “Handle it, Handle it” worked on the TV show the Dukes of Hazard as entertainment but really makes for a poor method of government in reality. At times, it’s hard to believe some these officials control over a BILLION of taxpayer funds per year. Seems our “new and improved” board veneer still has a long way to go.

This airport “effort” should simply cease in its tracks at this point and we can mark off funds spent as a reasonable loss in the exploration as promised and that should end the matter. The handpicked committee displayed a DEEP divide over Commercialization of Briscoe which is what IMG warned against. The citizen committee did indicate ways to improve the current operation as a General Aviation airfield which should increase its current operating surplus.

The hollow promises under commercialization of "jobs" are just that – hollow. If we want to”bet” on our future, let our leaders press for Legalized gambling such as video based, horse racing or the full tilt along the lines of Atlantic City NJ casinos.

Now THAT will bring all kinds of “jobs” and tax revenue…

But LIVING here, well that’s a different matter all together.

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jack 2 years, 9 months ago

Please excuse the picking of a nit; "Handle it, handle it" was spoken by the mayor in the show "Carter Country". But, of course, I never actually WATCHED...............

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