Dear Mayor Stram,
Thank you for your e-mail explaining you are going to look into the policy of deeding hangars to the city and also the history of the Dave Wright/City situation.
I hope you don't mind me sharing some thoughts regarding both situations. About building hangars and "donating" them to the city, Barb and I are familiar with this as we built one row of hangars and were partners in a second row. We knew upfront, after building hangars that we would be donating them to the city. There are other airports that do the same. Personally, I don't have a problem with this. It's a good thing for the city as they are exempt from property tax. The city then charges what's called "In lieu" of taxes to those having hangars. This is more income for the city and of course, should increase the airport budget. At other airports like
to mention just a couple, they pay property tax to the county. Cottage Grove
As you will find, those who built and donated hangars to the city, will receive a twenty year lease with two ten year options. While they may say they own a hangar or are selling a hangar, they are in reality selling their lease. People will still say, this is my hangar, just a figure of speech.
About the Wright hangar situation. First, let me say, I have been raised to have a special respect and faith in teachers, priest, ministers, police and a few others. During my life time, it's these people who have given meaning to my life. I feel the same to this day at age 77. With that said, I have to admit, as a minister, I expect the same from you.
Sadly, I have to believe you will find what Mark Shrives and the airport manager did, will most likely be considered legal by our city attorney and court system. I would like to believe, however, because who you are and what you've been for some thirty years, you will find it was morally wrong. The bottom line is this, $160,000 value was taken because of a little over $1,300 was owed to the city. This, after the city put them out of business. To make matters worse, Dave Wright has since passed away.
I have to believe, with your leadership and faith, with the help of our city attorney's suggestions and the support of our city administrator and council, this moral shame that was perpetrated by a past administration can be corrected.
As it's turned out, Colin Powell said best why I no longer attend council meetings, or attempt to be involved in local politics.
"Leadership is solving problems. The day people stop bringing you their problems is the day you have stopped leading them. They have either lost confidence that you can help or concluded you do not care. Either case is a failure of leadership."