The final list is in and, guess what? Davis-Monthan Air Force Base isn't going to be closed. The deal is real simple--if it's not on the list, President Bill Clinton has to veto the whole list for there to be any add-ons. Rest in peace, DM supporters.
Only the consultant for that DM-50 group, a guy named Terry Bracy, says the community must still buy up a bunch of land to ensure there isn't any encroachment on the runways. He says we have to keep our commitment. Bracy was the city of Tucson lobbyist during the Joel Valdez era.
Pardon us, Terry, but whose commitment are you talking about? A bunch of self-appointed fatcats who call themselves the DM-50 (and who look suspiciously like the Tucson Airport Authority)? And who, besides you, says we must spend all this money buying up land?
Did the Air Force tell us we must do this? Did the Clinton Administration? How about our elected representatives? Congressman Kolbe? Senators Kyl or McCain? Did Congress or the Base Closure Commission ever include in any legislation a factor for local government bribes?
Please show us the formal agreement that obligates this community to anything.
The Air Force has repeatedly rejected attempts by local governments and groups to load the process by making promises to improve facilities, and for a pretty good reason--they don't want to start a bidding war.
Sorry, DM-50 people, but the whole process is beginning to look like a bailout for folks who own land near DM they can't dump anywhere else. That's called pork.
Bracy and his employers are shameless. We won the DM issue without a land deal. So please, have a big dinner, give each other an award, and maybe put a picture or two on some billboards. But then go home and shut up--the issue is resolved. Tell the state to apply that $10 million they gave us for runway extensions to equalize the gas tax revenues we traded off last session for this cockamamie idea.
We could use more road improvements, not more runway patronage.
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