Speech made to City Council October 14, 2003 by Chris Rodriguez
Mayor Pirnack & Members of Council,
Now that October is here and fall is upon us, I hear that the weekend monitoring of airplanes out near the Zweck Farm will end. Not that airplanes actually flying over that area will end, as mandated by the procedure you the council approved, but just the monitoring of them for the satisfaction of Mr. Zweck. Hopefully before next summer we can nip this problem in the bud and stop that nonsense from being repeated. The questions are:
Who does the Airport Manager work for?
Who does his boss, and his bosses boss, the Community Development Director, work for?
Who do you, the council work for?
It shouldn’t need to be stated, but it is the citizens of the City of Longmont – the voters and the taxpayers. Granted, no one is in apparent danger of losing their council seat or their staff position, but that doesn’t mean standards and ethics should decline. Or that a non-vote or even a victorious campaign is necessarily a vote of confidence in the job you’re doing.
Specifically I’m talking about the City of Longmont getting in the regulation of the air above it, something it has absolutely NO jurisdiction over. Yet, as we’ve recently seen, your staff is overstepping the jurisdiction of the US Department of Transportation to further its pursuit of favors by a non-Longmont city resident. The City has no say in who is violating any Federal Aviation regulations. Yet it keeps thinking it does. It sends paid city employees out to monitor this futile effort. That money, or at least some of it, is coming from not only taxpayers but the very people using the airport. Money they spend going right back into the enterprise fund. Which in return is being used to keep a ‘big brother’ type eye on them with the intent of showing them to be at fault when they do as COUNCIL tells them to.
For what purpose? To help a different part of Community Development get some open space or right of way for a greenway? The tax paying, and massively regulated, airport users and pilots using this airport are being played as pawns by your city staff and a non city resident to further their own special interests. Whether it be to inflate land value, get concessions from the City in return for some much wanted land, or whatever else neither I nor the rest of the taxpaying public know. Do you know?
City staff seems to be playing favorites between different parts of their own departments, isn’t that a form of conflict of interest? And for who? To who’s benefit? Sure, the city may get the greenway it desperately wants, the land owner may get the façade of a quieter existence and probably a wad of cash for his overvalued land, so what’s the big deal? The big deal is the amount of money the taxpayers are paying for this land and the harassment the airport users have and will continue to receive.
Is this the way your departments were meant to operate? Steal from one part to benefit the other, and done mostly covertly. Let’s get it out on the table what the motivations are here. Much of what I’ve mentioned or heard is hearsay, might be a glut of oil sitting under that pickle patch that would benefit us all. Might be some personal gain for an employee. Might be neither, probably is neither. But something’s going on worth looking into. You’ll probably get re-elected, you don’t have to do anything. Doesn’t mean you shouldn’t.