From: Brian Meyette
Tuesday, January 09, 2007 12:56 PM
Cc: firstname.lastname@example.org; Michel.Hovan@faa.gov; email@example.com
I have received a copy of the City of Claremont's response to your inquiry to them dated Dec 5, 2006. I trust you will find their response as empty as I did.
They ignored the allegations regarding discrimination, collusion, and conflicts of interest over the awarding of the hangar leases. They ignored the allegation that they disregarded the waiting lists and used a "race for the leases" method to get the leases to their preferred insiders. They ignored the fact that one of their insiders, Mr. Osgood from the Airport Advisory Board, misused his position, both to help ensure that discriminatory language was included in the leases, and to obtain advance inside information regarding the content of those leases. This was obviously a quite significant advantage in a system where knowledge of the lease terms was a key factor in the speed with which a “contestant” was able to participate in the irrational “race for the leases”.
They ignored the fact that this municipal hangar was built primarily with FAA funds and then the hangar was used as a tool to reward friends and punish enemies. They admit that the leases for this hangar prohibit maintenance. The dubious claim that other, non-discriminatory facilities are available does not change the fact that they discriminated in the leasing of this FAA-funded hangar.
Their argument that there is available hangar space for maintenance is based on further dubious claims.
First, their claim that “shared space in a City-owned hangar” is available is false. There has not been space available in that hangar for many years. I have been on the waiting list for that hangar for about 5 years, and #1 on that list for at least a couple years.
Second, their claim that lease of a pad area is available is also at least partially false. While the pad may technically be available, in practice, the City officials do all they can to block and delay development there, as proven by my experiences with them prior to trying to lease one of the FAA-funded hangars. They delayed my plans for about a year before finally issuing a building permit. Then, I had to abandon the project because their Building Inspector made up outlandish electrical requirements and insisted that I use products that do not exist (a heater explicitly certified for hangar use). At any rate, claiming that I could build my own hangar does not change the fact of discrimination regarding the FAA-funded hangars.
The City is attempting to use a shell game here to confuse the issue and distract the FAA from the real issue; that they used the leasing of this FAA-funded hangar to reward their friends and punish their enemies. The questionable fact of whether or not alternate accommodations exist does not change the fact that the City did discriminate in providing access to the FAA-funded hangars. The City’s use of different leases and different waiting lists for each hangar is irrational and is simply an attempt to cover up their real interests; to ensure that waiting lists were ignored and that their preferred insiders, such as Mr. Osgood, got the leases for the hangars.
The City tries to make it sound like the FAA-funded hangars are a small part of a wide array of options. The truth is that this FAA-hangar is the only available option at CNH without the major investment of building a private hangar.
The City’s argument that maintenance facilities were available in the City-owned “shared space” is also specious because any pilot knows that a shared space hangar is the least desirable of any hangar type, primarily due to the likelihood of “hangar rash”. It also is the least rational choice for a “maintenance allowed” hangar type. Maintenance requires tools, parts, supplies, etc, and people are not going to want to have all their tools and supplies available to all in an open shared hangar. Other pilots in a shared hangar are probably not going to be happy about people doing maintenance around their planes. It might be rational to ban maintenance in a shared hangar and allow it in individual hangar bays, but not the other way around, as Claremont has done it.
Please ensure that the City of Claremont adheres to the requirements of non-discrimination.
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