In an email dated 11-20-09, an officer of Propeller explained to then-Chairman of the Board of Commissioners, Charles Bannister, how to complete the application to the FAA for the privatization of Briscoe Field, and expressed concern about meeting deadlines. It is understandable that taxpayers feel uncomfortable that an officer of Propeller was so intimately involved in the county’s application that he took the lead in explaining how to complete the paperwork and personally followed the application through the FAA, meeting with and making numerous telephone calls to the FAA about the county’s application.
In the application to the FAA, it stated:
“Understanding the impact privatization could have on the community, Gwinnett County instated a public information and citizen involvement program for the airport privatization process.”
We have been unable to ascertain that any such public information and citizen involvement program actually took place before, or even in the months following, the application submittal.
Do average citizens feel comfortable knowing that Airport Privatization Task Force meetings that were held at the Chamber of Commerce included the registered agent for Propeller and county employees, but not one single representative of an HOA was invited to attend? HOA’s were only to be additions at a later date, but were never added. The meetings of the Airport Privatization Task Force Committee were not subject to the Open Meetings Law, but were subject to the Open Records Law because of the participation of county employees, and most citizens of Gwinnett were not aware that they were taking place.
Can our elected officials assure us that Propeller, who is now the sole bidder on this project, did not have an advantage that was not afforded to other bidders?