Airport under seige |

Airport under seige


In recent months and over years past, the airport has been under siege from opponents that have misled the community by special interest groups. These individuals have complicated the airports weight ordinance to a point of confusion, hoping the voters will just get fed up with the whole issue and vote “no” to the Douglas County Question No. 1. You have heard all the rhetoric debating the noise issues, aircraft landing weight and fed compliance. However, are you aware this is not the real issue?

This issue is about discrimination and keeping a legal agreement with the FAA for funds that the county has accepted for airport maintenance and airport safety projects. The funds received from the FAA are your tax dollars at work, paid through airline tickets, aviation fuel taxes, airport users from all over the nation, etc. These airport improvement funds maintain airport maintenance operations throughout the country much like the fuel taxes you pay at the gas station that maintain our roads and highways. This is your money being put to good use and if we don’t utilize it, some other airport and community will.

Despite whether Question No. 1 passes or not, the county is obligated to the FAA to meet our commitment for 20 years to maintain the current airport standards, or face breach of contract for funds received. Therefore, as Douglas County voters, we have a simple choice. We can use FAA funds to maintain our airport, or we, the residents, can pay for the airport out of our pockets for the next 20 years. One way or the other, the airport will remain open and have to be maintained. Currently, the airport is self-sufficient, providing millions of dollars each year to the county and to local businesses, and sustains a health work force.

I have faith in the wisdom of our voters to vote wisely and to see beyond the opponents of Question No. 1 who have imaginary contractor friends telling them what to do and individuals who have unethical practices twisting FAA words so as not to maintain airport compliance, or businesses that urge you to vote “no” with half page ads that are misleading, or personal interest groups that care only about themselves that will directly hurt the community as a whole.

I urge you to consider the ramifications of voting “no” that will adversely affect us personally and our county. Voting “yes” to Question No. 1, will keep our tax dollars in Douglas County and utilize our funds for other valuable resources like education, seniors and economic vitality.

Vote with integrity through truth and educated facts, not opponents who have imaginary contractor friends.

Scott Lether

Former Airport Advisory Committee Chairman