On December 13, 2013, Geoff Wilson, port authority 2nd in command, in a cover letter1 to the long-hidden Island Airport Master Plan, wrote the City with a straight face about the port authority’s involvement in and support of the City’s airport review process. Not surprisingly, he seems to have forgotten his November 7 letter2 that painted a far different picture when it came to the port authority’s involvement and support.
In releasing the Master Plan a week after the December 5 Executive Committee meeting that gave the port authority two months to play ball, Mr. Wilson also forgot to mention how the port authority, as of November 11, 2013, was still dragging its feet3 on a freedom of information request for a copy of the Master Plan. It appears that there is nothing like a hanging to focus attention.
Mr. Wilson’s letter referenced the port authority’s consultant Genivar, the Master Plan’s authors, and gave some excuses why Genivar’s Master Plan is only a Draft Master Plan and not a final Master Plan. It appears the port authority would have us believe that non-planned airport developments got ahead of the consultants who were preparing a document to guide the port authority through orderly airport developments.
In order to prove his point about disorderly planning, Mr. Wilson included Genivar’s letter of December 5 that contained the excuses Mr. Wilson used. Interestingly, the Genivar letter, in what appears to be an attempt to gain more work, also gave a timeline by which it could complete the work that the port authority must feel will satisfy the City.
The completion of a revised document that would satisfy the City’s outstanding concerns would eliminate the need for a further 15 month study and would certainly help the port authority’s attempt to get jets on the waterfront. Could this be why Genivar wrote, “It is anticipated that this process would take upwards of three (3) to four (4) months to be completed.”
A scheme like that, should the City accept it, would presumably save the port authority millions in consulting fees if the City took the word of the port authority’s consultant rather than that of independent advisors. More importantly, it would give Deputy Mayor Norm Kelly talking points with which to twist the arms of unenlightened Executive Committee members in time for its February 4 meeting.
Now, all the port authority and Norm have to do is figure out how to deal with the Board of Health report that cites the airport as a health hazard.