Airport Commission will not recommend AVPorts; CARD committee will hear from $60,000 swimming pool consultant tonight

28 Oct

At last, good news to report.  The Airport Commission will not recommend hiring AVPorts to manage the airport – just when I thought these guys would trade a cow for a bag of magic beans.

And, here’s the refreshing part – 13 people lined up in the council chambers to tell the commission not to recommend this deal. That’s actually a lot of people to attend one of these commission meetings. They all said they thought AVPorts’ proposal was too expensive and many felt AVPorts was making promises they could never keep. For one thing, somebody pointed out, AVPorts has never successfully brought commercial service back to any airport they’ve worked for, and that was the carrot they’ve been dangling for months now. 

Some people opined that “there’s no hope” for regaining commercial service.  I’m glad to hear that – why we need commercial service with Sacramento International Airport less than a two hour drive up a road we’ve spent millions of tax dollars improving is beyond me. The commercial service conversation is being kept afloat by a very small group of self-servers, who, as my grandma used to say, can’t see past the end of their own nose. They want commercial air service, for themselves, for their puffed up visions of what Chico is “supposed to be“, so they don’t have to feel as though they come from a podunk town when they are hobnobbing with their expensive friends in the Bay Area and LA. They’re embarrassed of our town because we don’t have big, stinking jets flying over our homes, dropping space peanuts through our roofs?

It’s hard to relate to this crowd – maybe because they don’t really live in Chico, they live on the road and in the air between their “homes” – storage units – in the Bay Area and Hawaii and other wonderful places. Chico is just one of the places they temporarily hang their hat, sticking their johnson into our business here for their personal gain and then hitting the road for better prospects. I’ve met these people through these meetings Downtown, I get to know their faces just about the time they pack up their carpet bag and head for some other little burg that still has a few loose bucks to grease their palms. 

AVPorts got about $200,000, just for coming to Chico and entertaining us at a couple of meetings. I’m still laughing about the idea of putting city staffers in pilot’s and stewardess uniforms, having them walk around City Plaza during functions, acting like, “Flying is FUN!”  Brings back memories of a, uh, simpler time…

The real simpletons here are the council who agreed to this deal. AVPorts actually mentioned hiring a specific person – Rod Dinger, who has run Redding Airport. What’s wrong with our council and staff? Why can’t they just hire an airport manager?  We need a $200,000 consultant to hire a person? 

The same thing is going on at Chico Area Recreation District this afternoon, 4pm, CARD Center on Vallombrosa. A consultant will report on the $60,000 “feasibility study” being run to get the voters to put a bond on their homes to pay, not really for an aquatic center, but for the $1.7 million pension deficit currently hanging over CARD, and CalPERS, like a time bomb. I’d sure like to think 13 members of the public would come in to express their concerns about CARD’s spending policies – especially now that they are thinking of taking over the Nature Center, including another management salary, and promising money for projects like the recent pump track and improvements at the skate park. In 2012 they laid off employees and cut hours so they could avoid paying Obamacare for their hourly workers, opting instead to make a $400,000 “side fund pay-off” to CalPERS toward salaried management pensions. Current CARD management pay NOTHING toward their own pensions out of salaries over $100,000.

They also ran a survey a couple of years ago that came back negative – the taxpayers do not support a bond for a facility that will primarily be used for private clubs.  But the CARD board recently voted to spend another $60,000 trying to tell us we do! Helloooooo? 

Meetings People, you got to attend the meetings.

 

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2 Responses to “Airport Commission will not recommend AVPorts; CARD committee will hear from $60,000 swimming pool consultant tonight”

  1. Jim October 28, 2015 at 6:13 am #

    Two Hundred Grand down the drain with AvPorts, Sixty Grand for the CARD consultant, another Hundred Grand to study traffic on The Esplanade. We are spending money once again like we have it.

    I don’t see why we need an airport manager. Why pay someone $200,000 a year to sleep in their office?

    What is going on out there can easily be handled by the the City Manager and his multiple assistants.

    • Juanita Sumner October 28, 2015 at 6:46 am #

      Thanks for saying – one minute we’re in financial trouble, but here we have $200,000 to throw at these idiots.

      I do agree the airport needs a manager – the city manager’s office has mismanaged it for years, and Orme’s dependent on “experts” – that’s why he hired a consultant, he knows nothing about running an airport.

      I’ll go so far as to say, sell the airport to a company that can manage it properly. The plane owners and other tenants have been complaining about various things for years, like the fueling station. The city has used the airport to get money for Downtown salaries without really running it properly, it’s been a red hole for years.

      I think it’s interesting to compare local airports on this AirNav site – Chico is the only one that doesn’t offer around the clock fueling, you have to call Northgate Aviation “after hours.” I’ve heard a lot of complaints about getting fuel. Pilot friends of mine say they like to go to Oroville or Willows to fuel.

      http://www.airnav.com/airport/KCIC

      http://www.airnav.com/airport/O37

      http://www.airnav.com/airport/KWLW

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