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State lawmaker asks Delta to ‘leave us alone’ on Paulding airport plan
by Monica Burge
October 23, 2013 11:11 AM | 4315 views | 1 1 comments | 25 25 recommendations | email to a friend | print
District 30 State Sen. Mike Dugan and District 17 State Rep. Howard Maxwell weighed in on the proposed changes looming at the Paulding County Airport last week during a town hall meeting in Dallas.

“I’m all for it,” Maxwell said.

Plans are to expand the airport to allow for commercial flights but, according to published reports, Delta Air Lines CEO Richard Anderson does not approve of a second commercial airport within metro Atlanta.

Maxwell, R-Dallas, who spoke at the meeting organized by Dugan at the Paulding County Chamber of Commerce Oct. 17, had strong words for the company.

“Delta needs to go away and leave us alone,” Maxwell said. “They need to realize what we’ve done for them. They need to go away and shut up.”

The airport, which is in Maxwell’s district, could potentially bring in businesses and jobs that will change the landscape of Paulding County from a “bedroom community” to one that has revenue-producing industries Maxwell said.

“We can’t keep building houses,” Maxwell said.

Dugan said the airport is limited in terms of space, there will be a certain number of flights ­— more likely between one to two a day — and that “the pros outweigh the cons” on the increased air traffic.

He said he supports the proposed expansion and would like to see other alternative forms of transportation expand into Paulding County, particularly rail service.

“It would be nice to see [MARTA] extend out a little bit,” Dugan said.

On another topic, Dugan said when the general assembly convenes in January, there won’t be a need to anticipate anything out of the ordinary.

Dugan, R-Carrollton, who represents parts of Paulding County, said the session would be “fairly quick” given that 2014 is an election year.

Dugan said the majority of the session will be devoted to the state’s budget.

“As soon as that budget is done, we’re out of there,” Dugan said. “I don’t anticipate this being a long session.”

Dugan said of all the bills that will pass through the Gold Dome, only a proposed bill to allow guns in churches, restaurants and on college campuses will be controversial.

Dugan also said that there will be study committees formed to research tax reform and he is interested in getting support for a bill that will require term limits for senators.

He said he has introduced a handful of bills that he hopes make it to Gov. Nathan Deal’s desk by the end of the session.

Topping the list is the “911 Bill,” which will require that 911 audio tapes involving a person who loses his life not be made available to the public.

Dugan referred specifically to an audio tape of a Douglas County resident who died during heavy flooding in 2009.

Dugan also hopes to see his “Merry Christmas Bill” passed so that people can “say Merry Christmas without being sued.”

Joining Dugan and Maxwell at the meeting was Paulding County Sheriff Gary Gulledge.

Dugan said he has hosted some 15 town hall meetings across his district since January to provide a forum for constituents to discuss their issues and concerns.

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