Citizens to Bowles: "Give us the same access to airport meetings that the special interests get."
The Airport Action Group sent the following letter to UNC President Erskine Bowles.
The citizens of Orange County have been totally left out of the airport process while UNC and their legislative allies have been colluding with the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) and other special business interests.
January 9, 2009
Dear President Bowles,
We are very concerned that most of the process that could lead to a potential airport in rural Orange County is being carried out behind closed doors. We are further concerned that private business interests and the national pilots organization, the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA), have played important roles in the process while the citizens of Orange County have been conspicuously ignored.
According to a December 22, 2008 press release from AOPA, they are planning to meet with you in “early 2009”.
The citizens of Orange County deserve at least as much access to the process as a national pilots association. Furthermore, as North Carolina citizens, we have every right to a process that is transparent and adheres to the fundamental governing principles of our democracy.
As you may know, there are three organized groups in Orange County who represent the citizens. They are the Airport Action Group, Orange County Voices, and Preserve Rural Orange. We request that citizen representatives from these groups be allowed to participate in any meetings that you have with AOPA or any other special interest groups. Furthermore, we request that a mechanism be developed to provide timely information to the citizens groups concerning any meetings that pertain to the airport.
We look forward to further involvement with this issue.
Airport Action Group
CC: Chancellor Holden Thorp,
UNC Board of Governors
Orange County Board of Commissioners
Rep. Verla Insko
Rep. Joe Hackney
Sen. Eleanor Kinnaird
Rep. Bill Faison
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