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Mr. Clement - Thank you for your insight into the merits of the airport as it stands today. The problem is that long-term, the County cannot support underwriting the facility unless a few things are agreed to by the BOC: 1) commercial aviation; 2) development of a customs facility, 3) runway expansion to attract larger corporate aircraft, 4) corporate hangars are built to accommodate those corporate jets and 5) the airports infrastructure needs are brought up to 21st Century standards.
Taxes (both fuel and property) paid by private pilots are not going to move the "needle" over the long-term. The restaurant, while nice, doesn't flip enough hamburgers to generate enough tax revenue to light the runway lights for one night, especially the "rabbit lights" at less then minimums. And the police helicopter division may be one of the biggest tax burdens to the public. If you total up the number of hours in the air versus the cost to maintain (all in), I doubt the benefits outweigh the costs. And long-term, police departments will be using less expensive to maintain and safer drones to patrol the skies! Plus, a helipad facility doesn't require a 5,000 foot runway!
Consequently, if the BOC doesn't do something now along the lines outline in paragraph ONE, the 25 year outlook isn't all that great. And please don't tell me about "flying lessons" as the number of GA pilots is on the downswing other than the foreign students training for their commercial at the airfield. One more item, please don't tell me about the impact of Guest and ATP as those two companies could leave tomorrow for a better deal elsewhere.
Jeez R and company, your comments have been wonderful reading and quite humorous. Now that the airport is dead, what's next on your agenda? Surely you guys have to vent on something else.
Let me suggest you look at the misuse of County property by its employees. Since when is every employee entitled to a county vehicle for personal use. Look around Jackson, Hall and Barrow counties and you'll see County cars parked in residential driveways. Now, I know they are there on "official business" using your tax dollars to pay for that commute. Plus, I'm sure the County issues 1099s at the end of each year. Right? Who said public employees are underpaid. Not here in Gwinnett that's for sure.
If you want to really get riled up, how about addressing the free ride by all those airplanes landing in and out of Briscoe. They need to pay a LANDING FEE. If you think about it, you have less than 200 private aircraft owners enjoying the benefit that the rest of us are paying for their private airport. And, believe me, the hangar fees are nominal along with the ad valorem tax being paid each year.
So what's next . . . the stadium, the environmental impace of the Mall of G, the rec department gone wild, the bloated school district board, the gestapo police force, the zoning board that corrupt, etc.
In order for this issue to come before the voters in November, Gwinnett County's state legislators or the Goverrnor must make a recommendation. And, since Delta owns the lot, this ain't going to happen any time too soon. So, frankly, this whole thing of the public expressing it's own opinion is null and void. So much for the democratic process whether you are for or against commercial traffic into Briscoe.
Your remarks are pathetic and completely disrespectful. I said, "bring this to a vote so that the process precludes any BOC member or planning department employee from being influenced by criminals, liars and deceivers.
Do we need to go back and compare all those rezonings the Planning Department didn't recommend but the BOC approved anyway against large deposits made in their personal bank accounts? This all too too troubling. So much for a transparent government. Collectively, the BOC should be blown up. Charlotte is still tied to Wayne Hill, Beaudreau is an idiot., Lynette's much too nice a person, and then there's an idiot representing L'vlle named Heard who's been around the political ranks far too long. They all need to go.
There's already one in place, the Zoning Commission. And these people are crooks too!
Here's an idea for all . . . place the privatization/commercialization on the July ballot and LET THE VOTERS DECIDE FOR THEMSELVES rather than let the BOC take the easy way out (since they can't seem to make a decision one way or another for themselves). Pretty radical idea here but at least it would be 100% transparent to all whether the 800,000 residents of the County want this or not. Forget all the hyperbole and emotion, just let the voters (spelled: residents) decide for themselves.
Here's a novel idea to cut spending . . . eliminate the personal use of the County's Police cars. Let's see, I'm not sure where it's been written into the officer's contract that they are entitled to drive to and from work at the expense of the taxpayer. Say, the average officer works 240 days a year, 15 miles round trip per day, that's 3,600 miles a year, at 12 miles per gallon, that's 300 gallons of gas at an average price per gallon of $5.50, that's $1,650 in tax payer money for EACH officer's personal car use. Okay, take the $1,650 and times that by say 500 officers, that's $825,000.
Now, take that same equation and apply it to the other County department's and the number could be more than $5.0 million in reduced expenditures. Note to Commissioners: since we live in the world of entitlements, can I borrow one of your cars for my personal use too? Seems fair to me.
Don - All the more reason to privatize the airport and place the "risk" away from the County and direct it to the private sector. If the County is completely removed from any downside risk in the event of a default, the worst that could happen would be a completely re-developed airport with completely new facilities and no commercial air service all at the expense of the private operator. Conceptually, the idea of privatizing anything is probably hard for citizens of Gwinnett to get their arms around but these deals are typically structured as part equity (think: owners' cash) and equity (think: borrowing money from the private sector from BIG Banks or other lenders and NOT MUNICIPAL Bonds). The money and interest rate is calculated based upon the future cash flows of the business (airport is this case). The higher the risk, the higher the interest rate. If the County decides to move forward with privatization, they (the County and its attorneys) would have an indemnification clause written into the agreement so that in a worse case scenario, the citizens would NOT be left holding the bag on this one (unlike the Baseball stadium or the Gwinnett Arena). I know this sounds all like big business stuff, but it's really not and the County operates way beyond Mayberry RFD these days.
Jack - If you spent thirty minutes reading through the Citizens Committee report (and wading through all the political speak, hyperbole and rhetoric), you'd find that there is no way the airport generates any where near the funds to "redevelop and re-vitalize" its infrastructure. Those pilots have been getting a free ride for far too long. Time to have them pay up! It'd be like you and the misses going over the Ryan's Steakhouse, going through the line and then asking the guy next to you to pay for your food. Enough of this use of public money for everything under the sun. And by the way, when do I get to use one of those Gwinnett County public cars that I see driving up in Hall County late at night for personal use! Must be nice to have the citizens furnish the gas too.
Last login: Friday, June 1, 2012