Hundreds of airport protestors crowd BOC meeting

LAWRENCEVILLE -- Two things were very clear by the end of Tuesday evening's Board of Commissioners meeting: The public outcry regarding any proposed commercialization or expansion of Lawrenceville's Briscoe Field isn't going anywhere, and many want the recently defunct citizens advisory committee brought back to life.

The vast majority of the 450-seat auditorium at the Gwinnett Justice and Administration Center was filled with anti-Briscoe expansion supporters sporting red shirts Tuesday evening. About two dozen took to the podium before the close of the meeting, most rehashing oft-heard arguments against commercialization.

Several, however, opined for the board to take some type of action to reactivate the Gwinnett airport citizens advisory committee, which recently disbanded.

"I want to appeal to you to not have the committee dissolved, and to have them study this proposal more," Dacula resident Rob Patterson said. "As a citizen I feel like the citizens are a little bit outgunned ... Let's keep this as viable input for the citizens."

Lawrenceville Mayor Judy Jordan Johnson also stepped to the podium.

"I do believe in the power of committee," Johnson said. "I would encourage the commission to reinstate the committee and let them finish their work."

Tony Powell, a member of the advisory committee, called the group's previous meetings a "very honest exchange." He asked the board to let them continue to work.

"We need the action of this commission to really give us the instruction that we can go back to work," Powell said. "We want to do it, we want to finish it, we want to make a good decision, we want real facts and real evidence."

The problem is, commission action may not be the way to make it happen. After Tuesday's meeting, Chairwoman Charlotte Nash said she thought the committee had a "very valuable role" in the process, but that it was up to them to come back together.

"My stance is the committee didn't have the ability to dissolve itself," Nash said. "So I think it's a matter of the committee themselves could decide to go back to work."

The citizens board disbanded in December, less than two months after being fully formed.

While all members seemed to agree on the need for the studies, the committee was tied on the issue of whether to dissolve. The tie was broken by the group's chairman, Tip Cape, who said he was willing to reconvene once the study results are in.


Don 3 years, 7 months ago

Why are they surprised that the exporation committee disolved? Afterall was it not the one major task that they had to accomplish was to see if this was feesable? Once the BOC decided to let RFP's out that indicates the direction they wanted to go.

Once again this is a case that the BOC is going to do what they want to do without listening to any of the taxpayers or residents of the area.

To me it was a slap in the face to the committee.

And can someone answer this? Why is it that Tip Cape was the chairman of this group? Let me see Rudy Bowen is on the transportation board and if memory serves me correct Tip is his son-in-law and they are developers. Could 1+1=2 in this case? I wonder where Wayne Mason and Kevin Kennerly come inot play on this?

There is a stench around this deal just like the trash and stadium and land deals!


Mack711 3 years, 7 months ago

If the BOC approves this plan it will be another 'Trash Plan' that will cost us the taxpayers an increase in taxes while the developers pocket the increases. The committee disolved probably because they could not come to an agreement on what to do or maybe told to disolve by the BOC because their wish list was not carried out. Any way you look at this the citizens will lose this one.


Cleanupguy 3 years, 7 months ago

NO sounds a lot like GO, just a slight mistake, so full steam ahead! Maybe we should forget the puppet panel and convene a Grand Jury right now, and save the time.


Kent 3 years, 7 months ago

We are so blessed to have Mike on the board, because he listens to those who put him in office. He paid attention to constituents wishes while voting for the land deals, the stadium, the trash plan. We will get our chance to vote before long.



R 3 years, 7 months ago

At the first meeting, after the vote for committee chairman, there appeared to be a parliamentary maneuver because the committee chair had requirements to answer to the BOC. If so, couldn’t the BOC request the chair to convene a meeting and upon refusal, select the vice chair or other member and then replace any who chose not to continue the effort?

Perhaps that will occur once the RFPs are received and a vote to select a vendor is made.


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