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Two Paulding boards deny in court filings they OK’d bonds illegally
by Tom Spigolon
tspigolon@neighbornewspapers.com
November 06, 2013 05:10 PM | 2158 views | 4 4 comments | 19 19 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Attorneys with two Paulding County governmental entities Friday said in documents a court should allow a bond issue for widening an airport taxiway despite residents’ claims the entities violated state law in the pre-approval process.

Paulding residents Susan Wilkins and Anthony Avery last week moved to intervene in the legal approval process required for a $3.6 million bond issue — alleging the county government and the board that oversees operations of Silver Comet Field airport conducted an illegal hearing on bonds that obligate county taxpayers to a project that only benefits a private company.

County attorneys denied the charges and maintained they do not apply to the strict confines of the bond validation procedure.

“The role of the trial court in a bond validation hearing is to determine whether a bond proposal is sound, feasible and reasonable,” attorney Tom Cable Jr. wrote in documents filed in Paulding Superior Court.

“These matters have been addressed in the pleadings to this case. All other matters are not properly before the court.”

Cable, attorney for the Paulding Airport Authority, stated the court should consider such issues as proper security for the bonds or whether proper public notice of the validation hearings was given.

Wilkins and Avery are outspoken opponents of Silver Comet Terminal Partners LLC’s plan to offer commercial passenger service at the five-year-old facility, formerly named Paulding Northwest Atlanta Airport.

In their motion, the Paulding residents said the court should deny validation of the bond since the bond contract is not a legal intergovernmental agreement between the authority and county because it allows the airport authority to “sell, lease or give away all or a portion of the project at any time and without consent of Paulding County.”

It also violates the state constitution because it is an impermissible “lending of credit of Paulding County to a private entity” and “gratuity flowing to the benefit of a third party,” the document stated.

Bond validation also should be denied because the airport authority violated state law after it illegally closed parts of meetings to the public, according to the document filed by the pair’s attorney, Charles McKnight Jr. of Atlanta.

Silver Comet Terminal Partners announced in early October it had leased part of the airport six miles west of Dallas with plans to recruit an airline to offer up to two passenger flights a day.

Some area residents moved to block the plan – saying the November 2012 lease was done out of public view and would adversely affect the county’s quality of life.

Paulding resident Candi Goldman, who operates a blog and Internet radio show titled “The Ponytail Patriot,” said she agreed with Wilkins and others objecting to the secretive nature of the proposal.

“I’m not opposed to the airport expansion,” she said. “I’m opposed to why it was done in a closed session.”

She noted officials with Silver Comet Partners had tried unsuccessfully to bring passenger service to an airport in Gwinnett County in 2012. However, public opposition prompted county commissioners there to deny the plan.

“They didn’t want to deal with [Paulding County] voters asking questions,” Goldman said.
Comments
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November 12, 2013
All this talk about quality of life deteriorating is just hog wash. This is not going to be “Hartsfield North” like some folks want us to believe. A couple of flights a week of mid-sized planes does not make a busy airport. We have this great airport, just sitting there taking up space. Whether you wanted or not is not the issue…it’s there. Now we have a chance to utilize it and get new jobs and business in this community. Perhaps folks won’t have to drive out of the county every day for work anymore. How is that a bad thing?
T Cochran
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November 12, 2013
I am so glad that we are finally getting something like this in our county. We need jobs here! I am so sick of driving to Atlanta everyday.
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November 12, 2013
What secret meetings are they referring to? Every meeting is open to the public. The fact that they didn’t attend the meetings and now want to claim their voices weren’t heard is ridiculous!
Carole Huber
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December 01, 2013
I live in line with that strip and 1-mile from the elementary school that will be in direct line with the flight path.

This is a residential area which was never intended to be a part of an airfield. They have ruined some beautiful woods for this mess. I moved out this far to avoid the urban mess and have a quite life.

Paulding County is being run by a gang of know-it-alls. We do not want an AIRPORT IN OUR BACKYARDS.

Hope there is a good turnout at the Court Hearing.

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