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Reprinted with permission of The Georgetown Gazette Oct 24, 2002

Airport being abandoned by county

Note: the above title of this letter to the editor was created by the newspaper editor, not the author

Dear Editor,

The article you printed regarding the Georgetown Airport was very disturbing. To those who have been fighting for years to force the county to maintain the airport, it appears to be very misleading. I am deeply concerned and truly alarmed about the policies of Supervisor Penny Humphreys. She has repeatedly ignored the needs and concerns of the people that she is supposed to serve and represent.

When Penny abolished the Airport Commission she ended any official input by the people most affected, knowledgeable , and concerned with the needs of the airport, which is the Divide's crucial lifeline in times of fire, bad weather, and when a serious emergency requires someone to be flown to the hospital.

She will not even listen to the general public and, instead, holds secret meetings saying that she cannot allow the public to attend because she does not have enough police back-up to provide security. It is like we are living in a dictatorship or a police state! I deeply regret having voted for this person and helping to give her the opportunity to divest us of our rights and freedoms.

I do not know what Humphreys' agenda is, but it has nothing to do with representing the people who elected her.

I am also concerned about Divide security in times of emergency or terrorist attack. If we have an airport that is poor condition, or none at all, there will be no connection to the outside world for those who need emergency evacuation, and our fire support will be more limited than what it is now.

I am appalled that she is seeking to remove the people most responsible for maintaining our local airport. Steve Cimmarusti and his wife, Trish, have given selflessly of their personal time and energy over the years to keep the county from making the Georgetown Airport untenable. They have held countless fly-ins that bring in people from all over the country to enjoy the Georgetown area. The have fought tooth and nail to maintain and improve the airport facilities in spite of the county's efforts to neglect and cannibalize it.

The county obviously deeply resents having to maintain this facility and would prefer to use monies (from our taxes) elsewhere and perhaps to even sell off the property to benefit outside interests. (Remember what they did with the money from the timber they took from the airport several years ago?).It certainly appears that the many years that Steve and Trish have dedicated to the welfare of our community have made them some political enemies within our county government. I do hope that our community will repay some of their efforts by supporting reinstatement of their contract to care for the airport. We know that they care and will work hard for our airport.

I have serious doubts about anyone that the county would replace them with, if they bother to replace them at all. The county's record for doing what they promise is appalling without the long and hard efforts of Steve and the people who rally around him to fight for our rightful share of the tax money and representation. The Divide may not be as large and important to the county government as its other areas, but we ought not be victimized and ignored either. We must stick together on this issue or we will certainly lose.

S. Martin
Garden Valley

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