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Isn't some of my tax money involved?


What? Twenty bucks? That might buy you and me a couple of latte's at Starbucks but it is hardly enough of an investment to justify divulging potentially hundreds of thousands of dollars spent on proprietary market research into the public domain.


Its use and utility was the driving force and information that put a signature on a contract for a forty-year lease that pays the taxpayer for the use of the facility.


You do remember that they are paying the county/AA funds in this transaction. They are removing the burden of a fair portion if not all of the expense of the terminal and airport from local taxpayers.


The quicker we complete our portion of the contract, the sooner that happens.


The plain fact is that the anti-forces are delaying the airport paying for itself. There is a contract that is in place that most of have confidence will remove significant expense off the county's taxpayers in the short term and over the long term work to diligently increase the ratio of commerical/industrial property on the county's property tax digest in relation to homes, effectively lowering the portion of local taxes for schools and county operations borne directly by homeowners.


The reason this is being fought so passionately falls into three areas and they are totally and utterly separate from the merits of the project.


First, there is the financial interests of Delta airlines which over the past decades has solidified its position as the dominate airline in Atlanta to the point of being considered a monopoly (with 80 percent market share.) It seeks to eliminate any outfit it doesn't control and it doesn't control the outfit that has the contract to operate Paulding's Silver Comet Field.


Second, there is the politics. Paulding has always had two factions that vie for dominance and the Austin's and a Dallas Centric view is central to their efforts. When they are in power, developments like the industrial park at Chatt Tech occur. The airport is another development that is cozily located in the western half of the county.


When the other group is power - Jerry Shearin's administration is a key example - investment occurs more concentrated on the eastern side of the county with projects like Bill Carruth Parkway, etc.


The difference really has been where the money is spent and what it is spent for (promoting home building or education, promoting sewerage to promote home building or industrial development)


The issues aren't the issues raised in elections; issues raised in elections are considered tools to get your guy in. Allegations of criminal corruption, true or not, are commonplace and are often raised by people whose intentions and world view consider the plunder possible from public service to be their justification for running in the first place. That has moderated in recent years - certainly the players are more sophisticated - but in some long past administrations the record is undeniable. I need simply mention a sheriff convicted of child exploitation and a road-barn manager convicted of theft by conversion or even a commission chairman who was accused of bid rigging.


In all honesty, I've seen worse elsewhere.


And finally, one of the attractions of Paulding has been its relatively isolation and conservatism. Inertia, in the realm of physics, is the tendency of things at rest to stay at rest. Paulding has been among the more restful communities and it has attracted residents who prefer things to stay the same. This has happened in part because of the housing boom and rapid growth across the Atlanta metro area. Those most disturbed by change in Cobb, Fulton, Douglas and yes, Whitey, Clayton counties chose to move here to avoid the inevitable changes that swept across the region.


Over the past 20 years this group has been constantly disappointed by the political leadership in the county which is charged with preparing the county for a population that some estimate to be over 450,000 residents by 2050. See, change is happening. It has momentum and it is not going to stop.


However the politicians, recognizing they can pander this anti-growth attitude, seek out and use issues that literally turn this group into a swing voting block. The 'out of power' faction lies to them to gain their support and then, when elected, inevitably disappoints restarting the cycle.


Since we all know; and it is almost a mantra here - at least my mantra - perfection eludes us all - it is impossible to satisfy everyone all the time. People can and should be held responsible for what they do and regrettably, sometimes they aren't. But in terms of overall investment in the county, it would appear that this particular administration has been amongst the fairest in the way it invests county money throughout the county.


Further the anti-growth faction, in its fervor, continues to raise concerns regarding growth and that is their right under the constitution. That not everyone shares the depth of their concerns is the right of those who recognize that change is difficult.


We all know from religion that idle hands are the devils workshop and we also know that since home building went bust in 2007, there has been an inordinate number of idle hands. That is spelled limited opportunity.


Jobs, more jobs, better jobs, more-better jobs are the only answer to that and we have a moral obligation to do whatever we can to promote more jobs and better jobs. Is it not silly to expect perfection in that quest when we are not perfect in any else we do?


The best we can do is try. And when we listen to those who say, don't try, somehow I feel we're being immoral. We're shirking a responsibility.


So, my advice to those out there in pcom land is that they select leaders who are going to try and pass by those who say we shouldn't or it is not our job.






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