Taxpayers to

       Stop Airport Waste, LLC

                                                      ®StopAirportWaste.com

 

"We like our airport,

                      but we like it just the way it is." 

The Weekly Navigator

A new direction to restore County prosperity

 (log on weekly for a new fact the "powers that been" don't want you to know)

 

Fact #10: Unable to get FAA funds to pay for airport expansion, NC DOT's Aviation Division and the County Bd. of Commissioners granted $1.8 million in state tax money to extend the MCAirport runway.

                           (click here to view past factoids)

 

 

T-SAW To Perdue:

Block $1.8m Grant From DOT Fuel-Tax Fund

 

     T-SAW has asked Gov. Bev Perdue to rescind the recent $1.8-million state grant to Moore County Airport Authority for stage one of the runway exten- sion project.

     "If funds can so easily be transferred from the state highway improvement fund (i.e., fuel excise taxes) to a pie-in-the- sky project designed solely to attract a few more golfers to Moore County, taxpayers’ money can as easily be shifted to better use supporting our families, our children and our schools," Fred Korb wrote in his letter to Perdue.

      Korb also reminded the governor that, facing an $11-million deficit last year, the County Education Department was forced to close one of North Carolina’s top-rated elementary schools (Academy Heights) and to cancel the schools Orchestra program, which had served Moore County children since 1975.

      DOT Aviation Director Richard Walls replied that the $1.8-million transfer to the airport came from the state Aid to Airports Program, but neglected to mention that the program is funded with state highway taxes.

    Walls also failed to address the complaint that the DOT keeps wastefully showering cash on Moore County Airport at a time of nationwide calls for government austerity due to budget shortfalls, layoffs and cutbacks in essential services.


Women Voters Cancel Forum After Airport

Pulls Out

 

League Forced to Drop

T-SAW vs. Airport  Debate On Expansion

 

       In a disturb-ing rebuke, the Moore County Airport Authority recently snubbed an invitation from the League of Women Voters to participate in a public forum on airport expansion.

    Airport Authority Chairman John Owen said he turned thumbs-down on the League's forum, which had been in the works for weeks, because "it would not be productive from our point of view."

    T-SAW already had accepted the invitation, understanding it would be an informal debate similar to the recent League-sponsored forum on fracking.

     The Airport group was well aware that League policy requires equal representation of opposing points of view at their forums. The Authority's decision to pull out effec-tively forced the League to cancel.

    Airport Manager Ron Maness told T-SAW's Dave Korb the Authority chose, instead, to schedule their own "public forum" so they could "keep some control over this thing."

    ThAuthority''open house' is tentatively scheduled for Saturday, March 31. 

 

Clearing the Air

A Memo From

T-SAW's Founder

We now realize it's time I came clean about my intentions, what we're trying to accomplish with this campaign.

Some people are confused, even The Pilot's Editor Steve Bouser, who asked twice during a recent conversation whether we're only interested in protecting my home near the north end of the runway from an airport take-over, like the theft of Eva Dowd's property, under threat of condemnation, for half what it's worth. 

Steve should know better. Two homes on Highland Drive have recently sold at prices considered reasonable in this market. So, we're no longer con-cerned about the airport's power to seize private property by eminent domain.

Fact is that we like life  among the Pines and Sandhills, with other transplants and especially the Real People of Moore County, such as the Biscoes and the Dowds and the Fryes and our friends whose family names are recorded in 250 years of County history.

Moore County is a beautiful place to be and to become.

We just want to keep it that way. For Real Folk and for us Carpetbaggers.

There are more important things to do with our tax money than to grow this silly playpen for people, like me, who've owned airplanes. Let's stop the waste of our tax dollars, hey?

         Best, Fred

 

What's  next ?

 

T-SAW  Legal Challenge Fund now accepting support

 

     In consultation with attorneys, T-SAW has begun weighing options for legal challenges to block the Airport Authority's and County Commis- sioners' hijacking of millions of taxpayer dollars.

     Our non-profit 'T-SAW Legal Challenge Fund' is now soliciting donations to cover attorney fees.

 

================

 

STOP AIRPORT WASTE

by adding YOUR NAME to the Petition.

 

Together we'll

    Stop Airport Waste

 

 

Moore Commissioners Reprimand Airport Authority

Over Refusal to Answer Information Request

  

Airport Managers Also Lambasted for Rejecting

Women-Voters Invitation to Public Forum,

Verbal Assault on T-SAW Taxpayer Group

   

Tim Lea Again Casts Lone Vote

Against Funding for Airport Expansion

 

    CARTHAGE, Feb. 21 – Moore County Commissioners blasted the Airport Authority for rejecting the Commissioners’ request for an explanation of how 15 parcels of land ended up in the hands of the Authority, instead of County taxpayers as originally intended.

    "I’ve heard time and time again ... that this property is controlled by the Moore County Board of Commissioners. It is not," Commissioner

                                                       ---------------------------------------

'February, the month the Airport Authority was exposed

for the web of deception and distortion that

Airport managers have weaved for years’

                                 ---------------------------------------

Tim Lea told the Board at its Feb. 21st session. Lea added that land taken by the authority was supposed to have been deeded back to the County taxpayers, but that never happened.

    "My concern is ... (the Authority) can encumber this property" without coming to the Commissioners for approval. While the Airport Authority is required by law to ask for permission to sell the property, airport managers can do anything else with it, including leasing it out.

    "By putting that property in the Airport Authority’s name," Lea told airport managers Ron Maness and Carol Thomas, "you take control of it away from Moore County taxpayers."

    Commissioners unanimously requested the real estate data at their Feb. 7th meeting. "A simple request," said Lea, later adding, "Since we do the appointments to the (Airport Authority), we should at least receive the courtesy of a response. For that to be totally ignored is causing me heartburn."

    Lea also chastised the Airport Authority for failing to submit minutes of their meetings for Commissioners’ review and approval as required.

    Commissioners’ Chairman Larry Caddell said he would get an explanation from Airport Authority Chairman John Owen. "I don’t see how it’s such a big deal. I’ll deal with it personally."

    "Mr. Caddell needs to be told it is a very big deal to us taxpayers," Fred Korb, chairman of Taxpayers to Stop Airport Waste (T-SAW), remarked after the meeting. "Every piece of property deeded to the Airport automatically goes off the County tax rolls. That’s just one more way County taxpayers are paying directly for this misguided plan to expand the airport."

    "February," said Korb, "will be recalled as the month the Moore County Airport Authority showed its true stripes. They’ve been exposed for the web of deception and distortion that Airport managers have been weaving for years."

   Korb referred to two recent incidents which showed the Authority’s arrogant contempt for County taxpayers.

    One, the Authority’s refusal to take part in a public forum sponsored by the League of Women Voters.

    The other, the insulting verbal assault directed against him at the last meeting of the Airport Authority board.

    In a letter to Authority Chairman Owen, Korb’s son Dave wrote, "We are shocked by, and we protest, Board Secretary Bill Bateman’s unprovoked verbal assault against my father and me after adjournment of (the Feb. 14) board meeting.

    "Bateman’s threatening tone, his harassment and insults must surely be an embarrassment to other members of the board."

  (click here to read the entire letter)

    The T-SAW representatives asked Owen whether the public can expect the same treatment at an upcoming Airport open house, which the Authority has tentatively scheduled for March 31. Owen said the public will be offered a presentation on airport expansion, but will only be allowed to ask questions, not to present any contrary points of view.

    "This unfortunate incident is further evidence," Korb wrote, "that your ‘open house’ is designed to restrict public comment (in Ron Maness’s words, to keep "control of this thing").

    Authority Chairman Owen said he rejected an invitation from the County League of Women Voters to participate in a real public forum on airport expansion, because "it was not productive in our view."

    The League had already invited T-SAW to make a presentation of its own, when the Women-Voters forum had to be cancelled due to Owen’s refusal to take part in informal debate. "It’s League policy to have all sides in any controversy represented at their forums," said Fred Korb. "As a League member, I have to respect that, despite being very disappointed the forum had to be called off."

    In their letter, T-SAW leaders urged Owen to "avoid further embarrassment by reconsidering and accepting the League’s invitation. With all due respect, sir, refusal appears to have contributed to the public perception of your "public forum" as a sham.

    "We are offended by the Airport Authority’s specious, ever-changing, arguments for carrying on with airport expansion. Many of our T-SAW friends succeeded as entrepreneurs on their wits; they take a dim view of a "business/welfare client" that relies for its existence on government handouts.

    "Accept this reality, John: You cannot silence the hundreds of Moore County taxpayers, who oppose the waste of tax dollars on airport expansion, as much as you might try."

 

From the T-SAW archive

 

What The Pilot Got Wrong

State Taxes, Not 'Tourism' Levy, Funding Airport Expansion

    Paper Fails to Correct Reporting Errors!!!

    If you read The Pilot Friday (1/20) you might have gotten the idea that only "Tourism Tax Money" is being used for expansion at Moore County Airport.

    And on Tuesday, two columnists in The Pilot reported "the feds." or FAA, had given the $1.8 million for extending Runway 23 this year.

    Not so fast. What the paper failed to report was that the NC Department of Transportation, which had been denied expansion funding from the Federal Aviation Administration, granted $1.8 million in state tax money for extension of the North (Whispering Pines) end of the runway.

    In a 3-1 vote Tuesday (1/17) County Commissioners approved the grant and turned it over to the MC Airport Authority with no strings, or oversight, attached.

    The lone vote against the move was cast by Commissioner Tim Lea (photo, left), who was thanked later by T-SAW founder Fred Korb for his vote, as well as for Lea's heavy grilling of Airport Manager Ron Maness about questionable Airport spending and dubious expansion schemes.

    The other three Commissioners in attendance also voted to add $200,000 in County funds to grow the runway.

    Maness, backed up by Commissioner Nick Picerno, maintained before the vote that the Airport has never asked for County tax money for anything other than capital "improvements."

    "This is nothing short of deliberate distortion," said T-SAW's Fred Korb later. "Maness and Picerno also want you to believe tens of millions of dollars in FAA funds, being spent on other Airport construction projects, are not raised through taxes."

    Korb referred to Picerno's characterization of FAA funding sources as "user fees" paid by passengers as part of their ticket cost. 

   "They can call it anything they want," said Korb. "We say a tax by any other name still smells like a tax."

    In a recent press release, the T-SAW executive board,said they are shocked by The Pilot's refusal of our request to correct the numerous errors contained the paper's front-page report.

    "It is clear," said the board, "that The Pilot is not only a partner in,this deliberate attempt to deceive County taxpayers, but a cheerleader for the Airport Authority and its blatant distortions."

    

    

Commissioner Picerno Seen Defending

Dubious Claims by Airport Manager

'Whose interests do these Commissioners serve?

Certainly not the interests of County taxpayers ...'

                                   - T-SAW board member

 

        MOORE COUNTY, NC (Jan. 22) – Leaders of Taxpayers to Stop Airport Waste (T-SAW) say they are appalled, "but not surprised," by County Commissioner Nick Picerno’s rush to defend dubious claims put out by an airport official at the Commissioners’ meeting Tuesday night.

        "How can one of the County’s top elected officials be so out of touch," asks T-SAW’s Fred Korb, "with the needs of the County’s parents and children and the desires of all Moore County taxpaying voters?"

        Korb aimed special criticism at Picerno’s attempt to back up the claim by Airport Manager Ron Maness that airport expansion is having no effect on airport neighbors and other taxpayers.

        "Wasteful government spending of any sort, particularly on the futile dream of a big commercial airport, should not happen at a time when schools are being closed, and teachers and first responders are being laid off," Korb told the commissioners at Tuesday’s meeting.

        During the board’s questioning of Maness, Picerno stated that he was unaware of any such layoffs.

        Another T-SAW board member asked, "Need we remind County voters of cutbacks in essential services while the airport and some noses grow?

        "This latest waste of taxpayer funds," she added, "comes just months after the County was forced to close its top elementary school to relieve a projected Education Department deficit of $11 million."

      She pointed, too, to another victim of last year's education cutbacks, the widely praised County School Orchestra Program, which had served Moore County's children for 36 years.

      "Who do these Commissioners serve?" yet another T-SAW member stated angrily. "Certainly NOT the interests of County Taxpayers, but the Special Interests of a small sector of our business community, the people we refer to as 'The Pinehurst Hotel & Golf Cartel'. They'll be hearing our message loud and clear right up to November elections."

 

           T-SAW Founder, County Chairman Picerno Spar

Over Tax Spending For MCAirport Expansion

 

       WHISPERING PINES (Friday, Dec. 2) -- Moore County Commissioner Nick Picerno visited Village Hall yesterday to sit down with representatives of Taxpayers to Stop Airport Waste (T-SAW).

        "The meeting was productive," said T-SAW founder and chairman Fred Korb, "inasmuch as Mr. Picerno agreed to encourage the Airport Authority to be more forthcoming and honest with taxpayers about airport spending and future airport expansion plans."

       Korb said he's still concerned that Mr. Picerno and other County officials insist "no tax money goes into the airport."

        "The hundreds of Moore County taxpayers, who've added their names to our FAA petition for a freeze on airport spending, see it differently," Korb adds.

        Also on hand yesterday was Village Mayor Bob Zschoche, whom Picerno asked to arrange the meeting with Korb.

                            (Click here to continue reading this article)

 

 

Also in the NEWS!!!                          

                                                                            

Airlines Cut Small Jets                                  Read this, then ask yourself why they're 

      As Fuel Prices Soar                                            wasting money on a  bigger airport          Associated Press Nov. 26                                                         (click here for this MUST READ)

 

 

Korb Speaks Against Airport Spending;                   Moore League of Women Voters Also

Favors Video-feeds of County Commissioners       Seeks Video of Board Meetings

Comments from Taxpayers to Stop Airport Waste

Delivered at Board Meeting Tuesday  (11/15)                           (read transcript of Korb's comments here)

 

 

Airport Land Grab Was Wrong         "... a new low in wasteful government spending,

By Fred Korb                                                                                     land grabbing and cynical backroom shenanigans."

Special to The Pilot (Oct. 23, 2011)                                                  (click here to read the story)

 

 

Airport Needlessly Wastes Taxes      "... between 1990 and (2012), the airport will have

A Look at Some Myths                                              spent more than $30 million of taxpayers' money   

By Bob Zschoche, Mayor of Whispering Pines                                  on capital programs, some ... very questionable."

Special to The Pilot (June 1, 2011)                                                   (click here to read the story)                               

      

Airport Not Paying Its Fair Share       "Every time the Airport Authority tries to dig itself out of

By Robert "Skip" Gebhardt                                                         a public relations hole, it digs itself in deeper."

Letter to the Editor (The Pilot, Aug. 5, 2011)                                    

 

 

Forget About Washington                                   A Summary of Gov't. Waste on Moore County Airport

 -- Hypocracy Begins at Home

Editorial: The Pitch, Whispering Pines  Feb. 2011                                (click here to read the story)

 

 

Airport Expansion Worries SCC         This trip down memory lane is a MUST READ

                                                                                            from 10 years ago, featuring College Pres. John Dempsey,

                                                                                            County Cmsr. Tim Lea and others warning about

The Pilot  June 2001                                                            airport expansion, Read the denials !!!   

                                                                                                              (click here to read some airport history)   

 

                  

 

Is this Picture Worth 30 million Taxpayer Dollars?

Empty hangars ... 70 new & unused aircraft parking spaces. And now they want to extend the runway in 2012 at a cost of another $19 million.  How's that for airport waste?

 

Sign the petition to tell the FAA:

Stop the Waste of Millions in Tax Dollars on

Needless Expansion at Moore County Airport

                                              (already 650-plus signers)

Citizen Petition to the

Federal Aviation Administration

      We bring to your attention, and recommend that you investigate, the grossly improper use of Airport Improvement Program (AIP) funds granted to the North Carolina Department of Transportation Division of Aviation, a state block-grant recipient.

      Pursuant to further investigation, we demand immediate suspension of funding for AIPs administered by the NCDOT, specifically those funds distributed by that agency to the Moore County (NC) Board of Commissioners and the Moore County Airport Authority.

      Pending completion of this inquiry we also recommend a moratorium on airport-expansion construction work currently underway at Moore County Airport (including, but not limited to, expansion of hangar and aircraft apron capacity, runway length, and what otherwise would be considered any activity contributing to airport expansion.)

     This petition is based on findings that the aforementioned projects are ineligible now, and have been ineligible in past fiscal years, for AIP funding under the FAA’s NPIAS and AIP Handbook guidelines.

                                (click to add your name to the petition)

 

 

 

Airport Waste: By the numbers

 

Tax dollars already spent on airport  expansion

                                         = $30 million-plus

                                                          click here for cost breakdown

Projected spending (thru 2014)    

                                 = $19 million-plus

 

Total for airport expansion

                             = $50 million

Tax dollars are being wasted on airport expansion in spite of nationwide calls for austerity, when schools are being closed and teachers, cops and firefighters are being laid off.        

                Stop Wasteful Government Spending

Airport spending:

A County scandal

 

Do Moore County taxpayers want to see $50 million wasted on airport expansion?

 

Do the people of Moore County want or need a commercial airport that puts at risk the idyllic character of our community? When we already have airports as close as Raleigh, Sanford and Fayetteville?

 

Our airport pays no taxes, is taking private property off the tax rolls and contributes far less to County growth and prosperity than they'd like you to think.

 

Why? Because the airport can't operate without endless government subsidies and bailouts.

They call that a business plan? We call that welfare.

 

They'll tell you the airport generates more than $85 million in County revenue a year. Let's do the math. That's roughly $1.2 million a week!!!

 

Think about it. Is that from airport salaries and the meals, hotel rooms and greens fees paid for by the few golfers who fly into our airport?

 

We don't think so.

 

When do we get the truth from the unelected and unaccountable Airport Authority and our elected County Commissioners?

                                               

The Pilot's Kate Smith (left), T-SAW founder Fred Korb and Nancy O'Connell, our executive secretary, getting out the word on wasteful government spending at the Occupy Moore rally in December.