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Dear Supervisor:

I am deeply troubled by the manner in which the board terminated the

Skyways lease at the Georgetown airport- in closed session, with no

representation by Skyways or by the community which they serve.

For ten years Steve and Trish Cimmarusti have struggled to make a

living at this small, out-of-the-way airport, and in the process they

have brought new life and vitality to it. Steve's expert maintenance

and flight training have attracted dozens of airplanes and pilots to

this once-deserted field; Trish's coffee shop has been a welcome haven

for visitors and a warm meeting place for the local community; and

together they have revived the adjacent camp and picnic ground and

have organized special events which draw people not only from the local

community but also from airports throughout California and Nevada. In

a very real sense they have put the Georgetown airport "on the map".

Penny Humphreys has assured us that "the County will keep the

airport open and replace their services with a County employee

who will operate the fuel pump and provide security". These are hollow

words indeed. Who will replace Trish's warm and welcoming smile? Who

will replace Steve's willingness to give a night check-flight or fix

a visitor's damaged airplane - who will fly a tire to someone at a

distant airport with tools to jack up the airplane, fix the tire, and

see the pilot safely home again? Who will organize and carry out the

fly-ins and events which have made our airport known throughout the

region? Who will bring it back to life?

In a larger sense, this decision goes way beyond a mere tenant/landlord

dispute. It is about Trish and Steve Cimmarusti, who have created a new

and vibrant community around the Georgetown Airport. It is about the

people who are in themselves a rare and precious community resource.

Replace them with a 9 to 5 County employee? I don't think so.

Doug and Mary Bell
Garden Valley

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