The specter of Elliott Field has resurfaced.
City ownership was a bad idea in the past and it is doubtful the overwhelming opposition has dissipated.
Although a new mayor and city council has assumed power, the body remains unwilling to enforce stipulations or adopt ordinances to protect established residential areas from poorly located industrial incursions.
Conducting business behind closed doors only reinforces distrust of city government.
Mayor James Grogan has chosen to not disclose specifics about the purchase.
What is the purchase price?
Is the price in line with the assessed value of this property?
What is the city willing to allow when attracting development?
Do the plans include efforts to revive the creation of an airport authority?
This last question is the most troubling of all.
When elected officials give control to a pseudo government authority, it allows them political cover to claim they have no ability to regulate an entity of their own creation.
Research events in Paulding County to see an on-point example of how residents were steamrolled using this tactic. Municipal ownership enhances eminent domain possibilities.
Regardless of how this project is administrated, there are obvious problems.
Dawson County does not have highway infrastructure to support increases in commercial truck traffic. Existing bridge weight restrictions will require trucks to route through downtown. This will decrease safety and increase public and private property damage. Also, municipal ownership will decrease property tax revenues.
Concerned residents should contact Sen. Steve Gooch and Rep. Kevin Tanner asking them to consider using GDOT funds to upgrade roads and bridges to support future growth before allocating funds for this airport purchase.
Take the time to call Rep. Collins, Sen. Isakson and Sen. Perdue, informing them of opposition to wasting limited transportation funding on the proposed FAA grant. Federal offices can be reached at (202) 244-3121. The switchboard operator will connect you to the proper office.
Voters sent a clear message to government to drain the swamp. A great place to start is the city limits of Dawsonville, because local control is not a reassurance. It is a legitimate cause for concern.