Sunday, April 30, 2006

Carts, Horses, and Airports

To hear some folks tell it, the Wright Brothers are the only reason the US is a First-World economy:

Boomtown Atlanta, home to such international players as Coca-Cola and Home Depot, has Hartsfield, the nation's busiest airport. Chicago, with its international finance markets, has teeming O'Hare. Houston, home to the nation's third-busiest airfield, is headquarters to no fewer than 23 Fortune 500 companies.

Of course, Coca-Cola, Big Oil, and the meatpackers were around a long time before airports existed--but never mind the historical facts...

...a public brawl has erupted over control of Wisconsin's busiest airfield: Milwaukee's Mitchell International Airport. The acrimony between Milwaukee County, which runs the airport, and a consortium of business leaders, who support creation of a regional airport authority, has thrown a spotlight on the burgeoning importance of airports as they become ever more critical to businesses with global aspirations.

The critical phrase is in red for your convenience...

There's reason to think about the possibility:

...the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce, a leading business lobby group, has for two decades championed proposals for a depoliticized airport authority.

There's only one problem, and that's the maxim that 'if it ain't broke, don't fix it.' YX and MMAC complain that airport expansion will be (maybe, kinda, well,) hampered by the politics of tearing down houses for runways. They also complain that Milwaukee County employees who staff the airport cost a lotta money.

NWA complains, too--but their workforce ain't exactly cheap, and the MSP airport, their home, is a mess compared to Mitchell.

"Regional Authority" smells a LOT like "MMSD." The boys and girls at MMAC better have a plan that does not include their favorite financing vehicle, which is taxation without representation.

Otherwise, their boy Stone (R. Greenfield) may find himself in the same position as that eminently forgettable jerk from Racine who used to occupy the Legislature until he flipped on the Bud Selig Gift.


Anonymous said...

I blogged on this awhile back...if they do go ahead with the regional authority, didn't any of these (not) Mensa candidates ever think that it might be a good idea to put a PILOT OR TWO on the board?

Nah, that would show common sense.

Dad29 said...

I don't care if they staff the ENTIRE board with pilots.

As long as they are elected IF they have taxing authority.

As to whether they have any common sense--are you kidding?