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Fri Apr 26, 2013, 10:30 PM

Austin: Mayor’s proposal to lease airport should have been made public much sooner

Have airport,will lease for cash.

That slogan could crop up around town if a proposal by Mayor Lee Leffingwell regarding Austin-Bergstrom International Airport advances. Specifically, the proposal Leffingwell and a select group of Austin leaders are exploring would lease the city’s airport to a private entity, which would run it for a profit, in a deal that would deliver millions of dollars back to the city to finance urban rail.

It’s too early to say whether benefits of leasing the airport outweigh disadvantages of doing so. Leffingwell insisted that putting the airport up for lease was merely an idea at the moment. No private entity has been identified as a party to run the airport. There still are many unanswered questions about the feasibility of leasing, whether it could be done before a new, expanded city council is elected in 2014 and if it fits with city goals regarding urban rail and labor issues. The Austin City Council also has not discussed or acted on the proposal.

Leffingwell said he wants to get the issue on the May 9 city council agenda. That step to take the proposal public is late — very late, coming after six months of private discussions with a select group of people, including representatives of the Downtown Austin Alliance, the Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce, state Sen. Kirk Watson’s office, and a tiny group of city officials. The latter group included Jim Smith, executive director of the airport, whom Leffingwell says approached him with the idea to lease the airport. In a telephone interview on Friday, Smith declined to say whether he initiated the idea, saying we should “ask the mayor.”

More at http://www.statesman.com/news/news/opinion/mayors-proposal-to-lease-airport-should-have-been-/nXYxS/ .

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Reply Austin: Mayor’s proposal to lease airport should have been made public much sooner (Original post)
TexasTowelie Apr 2013 OP
Downwinder Apr 2013 #1
hobbit709 Apr 2013 #2

Response to TexasTowelie (Original post)

Fri Apr 26, 2013, 11:07 PM

1. If it is leased, the City would not be able

to sell a Corporate name for it.

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Response to TexasTowelie (Original post)

Sat Apr 27, 2013, 08:47 AM

2. Privatize, privatize, privatize-the new mantra of even our local government.

Just like they screwed up Brackenridge Hospital.

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