Guest Editorial: Airport progress more of a railroad job

The 2/27/09 "My Turn" column by the airport commission chairman listed 14 items as accomplishments initiated or assisted by the Airport Commission. Not so unless rubber-stamping them qualifies as initiating or assisting.

Mr. Tim Costello, Airport Manager, was the driving force behind most of those items while the Commission had little input other than to agree that they were worthwhile and then vote that Mr. Costello oversee and complete the projects. Not much there!

One item listed as an accomplishment "creating a basic set of operating rules" is another inaccuracy. The commission did work long and hard on an "operations and procedures manual" as mandated by Ordinance 505, which created the commission, but somehow these operating rules were renamed without a vote by the commission and called "Airport Operating Rules." Instead of a best practices manual for airport users, there were now 19 pages of "rules" which later were codified into law becoming a Cottonwood City Ordinance.

The article further states that "recently several members of the Commission decided to resign. This was their personal decision. We all owe these individuals a debt of gratitude and appreciation for they were very much a part of the accomplishments of the Commission in the past 18 months."

I am one who resigned but I want no part in taking the credit (really the blame) for railroading the operations and procedures manual into airport rules. In addition, the same article included finger-wagging at the public about the lack of attendance at meetings. When 11 airport users spoke up at a City Council meeting against making a good procedures manual into an ordinance of rules and only two, both commission members spoke for it, council at the same meeting approved the measure by unanimous vote without further investigation into those complaints and concerns.

So much for input from the public.

In addition, one member of City Council, who asked no specific questions, even chastised those airport users who offered their opinions along with commission members who did their best to comply with ordinance 505 and lectured them on "getting along."

In a democratic form of government, differences of opinion are the backbone of our freedoms and boot-licking is not an option.

Why would anyone wish to volunteer their time, effort and talents only to be chastised for their sincere comments? Would you?

Lawrence J. Minch is a former member of the Cottonwood Airport Commission.

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