No jet invasion
Have you ever noticed that when there is a complete lack of evidence to support certain people’s arguments that they invariably turn to conspiracies? This is the case with Dave Nelson’s theories (Special Interests Weigh In – Sept. 29, 2010, letters) that special interests are at work conspiring at the airport and in government. Mr. Nelson, and a few vociferous others, envision a “jet invasion.” This is right out of the Land of Oz. If a “jet invasion” was going to be a reality, it would have happened already. The fact is that there is no economic demand for such activity. In that Mr. Nelson has an aversion to conclusions made by ‘academic types’, I suggest he go to the airport himself and get the latest statistics on jets landing over the current, unenforceable and ignored weight limit ordinance. If he did, and disregarding the firefighting aircraft which we all agree are highly beneficial, he would find that since 2003 to mid-September 2010 there have been 88 such aircraft (mostly business type jets). That is less than one a month. Heavy jet traffic cannot be supported at our airport, period. There is inadequate supporting infrastructure, the county can’t afford to build it, neither can the airline/commuter companies. The FAA is not pushing any such plan, and the proposed ordinance (County Question 1 on the upcoming Nov. 2 ballot) restricts infrastructure expansion.
Everyone might be interested in knowing that the County is currently doing architectural and engineering studies on developing an aviation complex at the airport that would be oriented to soaring, general aviation and education. Using Mr. Nelson’s naysayer’s argument, this bit of intrigue would have to be explained as the “grand conspirators” just trying to cloud the issue. The county is committed to enhancing soaring at our little airport – not having “gliders disappear”. Soaring tourism is a huge money maker for the businesses of our county.
What everyone who pays taxes in Douglas County needs to realize, and what the naysayers neglect to tell you, is that if you vote the way Mr. Nelson wants you to, you will be voting, in effect, to increase local costs. We lose the FAA funding and the maintenance requirements continue to increase. The county has only two options without FAA funding: increase taxes or drastically reduce or eliminate unmandated services (i.e. library, youth programs, senior services, etc.). We cannot keep operating our airport in accordance with the mandatory standards without the one million dollars of our federal tax money, already paid, that the FAA gives us per year. Pass County Question 1 and Mr. Nelson and the few others can organize and promote an amendment whenever they like. It is absurd to forgo our tax dollars over the concept that certain people have a better ordinance in mind, yet they have been unable over the last four years to articulate it and always want to delay another two years.
Vote yes on County Question 1 and prevent having to come up with money from other county budgets or raising taxes. It’s your pocketbook.