Letter to the editor

Airport authority needed as runway set to grow

A public authority is a quasi-governmental agency created by the legislature and given corporate status to achieve a special purpose (such as operating a local Airport) with powers and exemptions not enjoyed by regular government agencies, such as the Board of Commissioners.

Authorities are created by law and given corporate powers to pursue a public purpose. Legally, however, they are considered instruments of government—but not official agencies.

Authorities came into use in Georgia as a means of circumventing a constitutional provision in effect from 1877 to 1972 that essentially prohibited local governments from borrowing money.

Because of this ban and a constitutional prohibition of multiyear contracts to finance projects, it was difficult, if not impossible, in Georgia to fund major capital improvements, such as Airport improvements in a single fiscal year. Authorities, unlike County and City governments are allowed to borrow money by issuing revenue bonds in its own name.

Each authority’s powers are prescribed in the statute creating it, which also provided for a governing board of ex officio or appointive members.

The most prevalent form of public authority in Georgia is that created to serve local needs. Most often, local authorities are created to fund and operate city or county projects, such as airports, water and wastewater projects, and other special enterprises.

Local development authorities are also commonly created to attract business and industry to a community or to promote downtown development and revitalization.

The primary arguments for public authorities are that their special powers and exemptions allow them more flexibility to operate like a business, and that they can concentrate their attention on a single function.

Local authorities also allow public services (mass transit, or hospitals) to be provided across city or county boundaries. The major criticisms of both state and local authorities center on the growing proliferation of these special-purpose governments and the fact that they are governed by appointive or ex officio board members not directly accountable to the voters. As a result, authorities tend to operate with more independence than ordinary government agencies.

An airport authority is an independent entity charged with the operation and oversight of an airport or group of airports. These authorities are often governed by a group of airport commissioners, who are appointed to lead the authority by a government official. When the authority of an entity encompasses more than just the airports in an area, harbor and rail facilities for example, the entity may be referred to as a port authority.

Airports Council International (ACI) is the only global trade representative of the world’s airport authorities. Established in 1991, ACI represents airports’ interests with governments and international organizations, develops standards, policies and recommended practices for airports, and it provides information and training opportunities to raise the standards around the world. It aims to provide the public a safe, secure, efficient and an environmentally responsible air transport system.

With the county pledged to receive $4.5 million for airport runway expansions, this issue becomes a pressing problem.

In my opinion, the Polk County BOC needs to address this ASAP, with the help of our legislators. Without an Airport Authority, the BOC is limited, by law, in what and how they can fund projects at the Airport.

I know of what I am saying...As a Gwinnett County Commissioner I was the lead in getting a new runway built, along with an Instrument Landing System (ILS), and a Control Tower, a $35 million + dollar project. Involving the US Senate, the US House of Representatives (In 2 districts), the FAA and GADOT.

If, in fact, the County is serious about updating and expanding the airport, this is an absolute need. The BOC cannot fund, again, as the law reads, as can an Authority.

Respectfully,

Ken Suffridge, Aragon

Thanks to sheriff for tracking down stolen mower

Trammell Lawn Care, LLC would like to thank Polk County Sheriff Johnny Moats for his help through social media in the recovery of 1 of the 4 mowers stolen on Feb. 17, 2018 from our shop, and the person that found the mower on social media.

I would also like to thank some other individuals for going to one of the toughest neighborhoods in Atlanta to pick up and recover the mower on Friday March 9, 2018.

I know our county has a big focus on drugs, but stopping theft which fuels the people who but and sale drugs has to become important also. If thieves have no one to sell to there will be no reason to steal.

Again, thanks to Sheriff Moats for helping by using social media and being there for help when asked.

Signed,

The owners and staff at Trammell Lawn Care

Concerning Welshfest 2018

Dear sir,

Had you realized the significance of Welshfest, you would not have buried the article about it on the bottom of the last page of last week’s paper.

Welshfest is the only festival celebrating the Welsh people and their contribution to our country’s history in the entire United States!

Thanks to the internet people come from all over our country and all over the world to attend. Last year we had people from Canada, England, Wales, Poland, Spain and Japan as well as several northern and western states.

The eastern part of our county would not be the vibrant area it is today had the Welsh not come over to mine the slate quarry and settle here, bringing their history, their culture and their faith as well as their strong, healthy temperament.

We honor them, we appreciate them and we hope you will learn too, also.

Sincerely,

Beverly Albea, Rockmart