Those that have been following the Aurora Airport saga for ten years have seen a lot of questionable behavior, some of which we now know from court rulings, was in fact improper if not illegal!
A brief review of the Oregon Aviation Board’s (OAB) actions:
• Chair Martha Meeker’s inability to explain to the Legislature’s Emergency Board why the cost of Aurora Airport expansion had gone from $10 million to $37 million
• A decade of claiming that the 2012 Aurora Airport Master Plan was properly approved and adopted, only to have the Court of Appeals rule that it was not.
• The conscious decision by OAB to seek to overturn the Court of Appeals ruling by requesting Oregon Supreme Court review – which was denied!
• The conscious decision by OAB and Dept. of Aviation to ignore the Court of Appeals ruling that the 2012 Master Plan was invalid and continue to post it on the ODA website as if it were valid
• The conscious decision to actively seek alternatives to circumvent the series of court looses regarding expansion of the Aurora Airport onto EFU land by claiming the proposed expansion is “rural” rather than “urban.”
And now, just when one wondered if things could get any more outrageous, the Aviation Board last week on December 1, unanimously approved sending a demand letter to the Department of Land Conservation and Development (DLCD) stating that it should “fulfill it’s role and initiate rule making to clarify land use policies put in question by the Court of Appeal’s ruling.”
Which is the polite way of saying that OAB expects DLCD to do the necessary rule making to allow it to avoid the Court of Appeals ruling!
It should go without saying that administrative rule making is intended to interpret the law, not to circumvent it!
This action immediately prompted a joint letter of protest from the Cities of Wilsonville and Aurora. Since the arrival of the joint response letter, DLCD has confirmed that they will not undertake rule making because of an overloaded workload and the subject being too controversial!
So, what do we learn from this? Simply that the Board that is supposed to provide guidance and oversight to the Dept. of Aviation as well as represent the interests of BOTH “aviation and community interests from the public and private sectors statewide,” is in fact completely controlled by aviation interests and does not represent community interests at all!
Download the OAB and Joint Mayor’s Response Letter (PDF)