A large crowd showed up at last night’s County Commission meeting in opposition to the idea of commercial flights at Briscoe Field in Lawrenceville.
Nearly 500 people packed into the Gwinnett Justice and Administration Center, filling in seats as people completed the rezoning business that brought them to the building. While the county has preliminary approval from the Federal Aviation Administration to study privatization options, there was no formal discussion on the plan on Tuesday’s agenda.
Instead, Rick Schneider of Citizens for Better Gwinnett said the community did not want to wait on public hearings planned for the future to bring to light their disapproval of the expansion idea.
At times the crowd was belligerent, with commissioners once threatening to throw a political candidate out of the hearing.
But Chairman Charles Bannister said board members would take note of the opinions, as the process moves forward. Officials have recently accepted qualifications from three companies, but no proposals have been submitted. Options at this point include continuing the airport operation as it is, privatizing the airport as general aviation or privatizing it and allowing commercial operations.
“We intend to be deliberate, and we do not intend to rush to any conclusion,” he said.
Concerns from the crowd included property values, traffic, crime, water and quality of life. On top of that, though, many of the speakers Tuesday expressed distrust in the elected officials, especially after a controversial trash plan was approved despite public dismay.