Last night I . Based on what I saw and heard, if the BOC goes forward with Briscoe expansion any private operator is doomed to failure.
In May, the BOC voted to proceed with the RFP and to establish a citizens committee to advise the BOC on the RFP for Briscoe. No timeline or procedures were detailed in this vote. No one ever appointed committee members. My recollection is that the BOC agreed not to go forward with the next step (RFP) until the citizens committee made recommendations to the BOC. Apparently no one took action on either item, hence last night’s lengthy discussion. But the important thing is that now the three legacy members (Howard, Beaudreau, Lassiter) want to push forward with the RFP without recommendations from the citizens committee and despite the recommendations of the IMG consultants.
We (C4BG) have told the BOC since October of 2010 that in order to issue an RFP the county needed to have a strategic goal and that the RFP would flesh out the tactical methods to achieve that goal -- this is a standard business procedure. When Charlotte Nash took office, she confirmed this to the BOC in a meeting. There are two distinct issues with Briscoe -- privatization and expansion. The BOC must have a clearly stated goal in the RFP. Based on last night's meeting, the "fuzzy" RFP being pushed will not instill confidence in potential bidders.
My impression is that the three legacy board members are trying to expand the airport without taking a vote or making an outright decision to expand the airport. They want to avoid responsibility and accountability to voters for what is a very unpopular position. They are looking for scapegoats to blame (county staff and IMG consultants) when the private operator fails. From my experience, I've concluded that Gwinnett has three BOC members which have no leadership capabilities whatsoever. They are also attempting to continue "business as usual" in back room deals regarding airport decisions despite citizen opposition and without citizen input.
Any citizen that expects honest and transparent government should be outraged.