Why people won’t go to airport plan meetings | RecordCourier.com

Why people won’t go to airport plan meetings

by Art Fontaines

The opinion Mr. LaSor wrote on Nov. 7, 2007, ignores the message and attacks the messengers. Instead of explaining his total disregard to the voters’ wishes, he chose namecalling as his vehicle. The “small vociferous, disingenuous, misleading group” will not be drawn into such verbal exchanges. If we are disingenuous and misleading, what should we call his secret meetings behind closed doors? Why were there no general public representatives in attendance as reported by fellow Airport Working Group members, themselves?

I quoted Mr. LaSor in regards to asking a “money person” about airport growth. His or her name was not disclosed. Instead, he now gives us statistics about 6,000 light jet planes from the General Accounting Office, without providing a reference. An article in the June 13, 2007, issue of Time Magazine states there are 18,000 private jets with an additional 9,000 coming over the next decade. In addition, 4,000 light jets will be available as well. The Wall Street Journal, in their Nov. 6 and 7, 2007, issues, published two articles and one editorial which are pertinent to our situation.

These involve the FAA’s decision to cap JFK airport flights, blaming private jets for creating delays at airports and the U.S. Congress taking the $50 billion airport excise taxes to cover the need to do away with the AMT. (References provided to the editor) The FAA has a big problem and they need places to put these 31,000 planes. The Airport Working Group needs to update its information. Once again, do we need the FAA or does the FAA need us?

Further, the Nov. 9, 2007, issue of the Reno Gazette-Journal lists Tahoe as the No. 1 destination for this winter’s travel packages. They promote it as ski and play golf on the same day. Build it and they will come.

Mr. LaSor makes reference to the need for “well-reasoned suggestions.” Jennifer Ware gave an excellent presentation of well-reasoned suggestions by the Carson Valley Vanguard Coalition in the last meeting of the working group. They were clear, comprehensive and came from the organization, of which Mr. LaSor is a member.

I predicted he would gloss them over and he did. And now he has the gall to ask the public to get involved. How is the public going to “feel welcome” if there is a threat of being derided in the newspaper the following day? We did and we are now labeled “vociferous, disingenuous and misleading.” Without the public’s input the AWG has now become irrelevant.

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Speaking of being disingenuous….

I believe Mr. LaSor’s admitted ambition to start a soaring business is clouding his judgment. We cannot rely on his cavalier attitude for a 20 year plan for our airport and valley. He may not be suitable to be the chairman. He should, at least, resign his chairmanship, if not altogether, from the working group.

Neither I, nor the Vanguard Coalition can do this alone. Those of you who want to keep this airport small must stand up now and be counted. The working group should be modified to include a parity of airport owners, if not a majority, so we can defend ourselves from the threat of the special interest money groups and the FAA. The process, as it is today, is not working for us.

I believe an owner-controlled board of directors should deal with all operations at the airport; that being the only way we can achieve our goals and have us, the owners, in direct control under the board of county commissioners.

— Art Fontanes is a Minden resident and a member of the Carson Valley Vanguard Coalition.