Sick And Tired Of Airport PR - And Response

Thursday, January 09, 2014

For the last week I have been baffled and disappointed by what is occurring at the Chattanooga airport. It truly is sad that a taxpayer-subsidized facility has not only driven a private business out of town, but has also lost over $1 million since its construction under the Ron Littlefield administration. Rather than address this discrepancy, the Airport Board now hopes to put more money into a bad decision using a $10 million bond issuance. 

The Airport Authority board’s silence on the issue thus far indicates either a lack of confidence in their decision or fear of backlash resulting from it. Above all, their silence has prompted many Chattanoogans to question the airport’s future direction as well as its current leadership structure.

A rule of thumb for cases such as this: if they adamantly oppose releasing information for public scrutiny, they very likely have something to hide. My question – what does the Airport Authority board so desperately want to hide from the public? 

According to Airport spokesperson Albert Waterhouse, the board "has put additional financing in place so the airport can continue to strategically meet the future needs of all our customers." This quote is nothing more than a public relations tactic intended to avoid any elaboration or explanation about the board’s decision.

The public deserves more than another uninformative Waterhouse pivot statement. If the Airport Authority continues their silence on the issue and refusal to show the public any substantial information about its current dealings, the Chattanooga public will demand change.  

Taylor Watson
Chattanooga

* * *

Today, the Chattanooga Airport Authority Board will vote to encumber we the people to a bond issue to buy TAC Air for about $10 million. The Airport is owned by the public, and I don’t care what their revenue source is, the facilities are owned by the taxpayers.

 

The Airport Authority refuses to provide media, watch groups, or citizens documents or details of their secret deal to buy out Tac Air with municipal bond issues.

 

The appointed Chattanooga Airport Authority Board not only refused inquiry, but a board member actually hung up the telephone on a state-wide watch group called, Tennessee Watch Dog, with insulting comments about their inquiry or questions.

 

It is just mind boggling that none of our elected representatives from the elected City Council or members of our state legislative delegation are demanding that the Airport Authority produce for public review the details of how this $10 millionof public bond issues will be spent in detail, or share what insiders know is a buy out of a for-profit private airplane facility, TAC Air. We want to see this information prior to the vote, not after.

 

The Chattanooga Airport is a publicly-owned facility. What kind of arrogance of power by this appointed board's authority thinks they can enter into bond issues or contracts to buy out a private company without public review or public deliberation. What is worse is that our own elected officials, our representation are not demanding the Airport Authority produce these documents at a public hearing prior to spending $10 million.

 

If we the people do have representation through our elected officials and the Airport Authority refuses disclosure to state watch groups or media, what kind of government is the Airport Authority?

 

Let us see the deal, before the deal is done.

April Eidson


Send Your Opinions To Chattanoogan.com

We welcome your opinions at Chattanoogan.com. Email to news@chattanoogan.com . We require your real first and last name and contact information. There is no word limit, but if your article is too long you may lose your reader. Please focus more on issues than personal attacks. (click for more)

Enthusiastically For Patsy

I am enthusiastically supporting Patsy Hazlewood for the state representative seat for District 27. We are indeed fortunate to have someone with Patsy’s qualifications who is willing to serve us and the state in this position. Patsy is smart, competent, conservative and is a proven leader. Patsy’s experience includes working for and heading up the region for a large company. She ... (click for more)

Harr Outlines $40 Million Plan For Chattanooga Light Rail System

Outgoing Chamber of Commerce President Ron Harr on Monday outlined a $40 million plan for a Chattanooga light rail system that would serve not only downtown, but also the Airport and the Enterprise South Industrial Park. In a speech to the Chattanooga Engineers Club, Mr. Harr said most cities looking at such an ambitious plan "would be facing costs of over a billion dollars." ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Choo Choo Adding Clubs, Restaurants In $7 Million Renovation

The historic Chattanooga Choo Choo is adding clubs and restaurants in a $7 million renovation, it was announced in front of the South Market Street landmark on Monday morning. The Comedy Catch will be moving from its longtime home in Brainerd and there will be a new 500-person music venue that will be in addition to Track 29. The new venue, managed by Track 29, will feature a ... (click for more)

Prep Football Practice Starts Today

Coaches barking instructions, players blocking and tackling, quarterbacks and receivers working on timing routes and error-free handoffs to fleet-footed running backs.   In the greater Chattanooga area and throughout the state it can mean just one thing. It’s time for Prep Football 2014.   Today is the first official day ... (click for more)

NPSL National Championship To Be Played At Red Bulls Arena

The NPSL announced on Monday that the national championship match between Chattanooga FC and the Red Bulls U23 will be played on Saturday at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, New Jersey.  The match will be played following an MLS match between New York Red Bulls and the New England Revolution.   Local fans took to social media to appeal for the game to be played in Chattanooga. ... (click for more)