As part of the application process to the FAA, county employees interviewed community leaders. Community leaders interviewed included:
- Mayor, City Councilman and staff of City of Lawrenceville (previous administration)
- Leaders of Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce
- Leaders of Partnership Gwinnett
- Congressman and staff
- Superintendent and staff of Gwinnett County Public Schools
- CEO and staff of Gwinnett Hospital System
- Barrow County Economic Development Manager
- Georgia Department of Transportation Aviation Manager
- FAA Southeast Regional Office Director and staff
- Interested Private Partner
Based upon these interviews, this statement was included in the application to the FAA:
“There appears to be a high level of consensus both within the community and among county officials for evaluating the potential benefits of privatizing the airport to support the region’s growth and maximize the county’s economic return on the airport.”
It is understandable that homeowners are uncomfortable that the Chamber of Commerce, Partnership Gwinnett, and even neighboring county leaders had input into the application process, but not one representative of a homeowners group in the county was interviewed. Was the “Interested Private Partner” the CEO of Propeller? If so, the CEO of Propeller does not even live in Gwinnett County, so why would he be considered a community leader? Is it common practice for the county to ask the bidder on a county contract if he thinks moving forward with his own project is a good idea?
If the “Interested Private Partner” was the CEO of Propeller, can our elected officials still assure us that Propeller did not have an advantage that was not afforded to other bidders? Perhaps the “high level of consensus” stated in the FAA application is no longer applicable, as the City of Lawrenceville has pledged to use $20 million to fight commercialization of Briscoe Field, saying that it would destroy Lawrenceville.