Last week, the Board of Aldermen held a public hearing on a bill involving airport privatization. And while everyone involved claimed to be interested in getting public input, some members of the Board of Aldermen at the meeting appeared to show little enthusiasm for the idea of giving the taxpayers a vote on any eventual deal (others seemed to be truly supportive of a public vote). Unfortunately, as the meeting progressed into the public comment portion, some members seemed to go out of their way to dismiss residents’ valid concerns — and sometimes with inaccurate information.
At issue was Board Bill 93, proposed by Alderwoman Cara Spencer, which would require any privatization plan to go before voters. One after another, city voters approached the microphone and asked that the committee send the bill to a full floor vote, only to be told by Transportation and Commerce Chair Alderwoman Marlene Davis that they should keep informed by regularly checking a website set up by Rex Sinquefield’s consultants at Grow Missouri. (For the purposes of this consulting contract, the Sinquefield-backed group is working under the name FLY314.) For anyone who believes the public deserves both a vote and accurate information about what’s going on, Davis’ suggestion was confusing at best. After all, FLY314 seems determined to push a deal through, and they have not acted in an impartial manner.