Sunday, February 5, 2017

Fairhope Airport Debt Debate Continues

Fairhope, Alabama

Chairman McEnerney at left


The Airport Authority met last week expecting to make a selection of a bank for refinancing its $7.4 million debt at a lower interest rate; but after hearing from chairman Joe McEnerney decided to wait to iron out last-minute problems that developed.

McEnerney said that some of the six responses to the RFP (request for proposals) did not meet all of the the specifications requested -- and that Mayor Wilson was still reluctant to sign the agreement obligating the city to give the Authority $320K/yr for the next seven years, as authorized by a city council resolution last December 22nd.

The Authority's bond attorney recommend they not proceed at this time because of the mayor's objections, McEnerney said.

According to data presented to the city council during its December meeting, the city is currently giving the Authority $428K/yr;  but, since interest rates are on the way up,  the refinancing agreement must be consummated by February 23rd to obtain the significantly lower rates (to save about $100K/yr).

The city's seven-year commitment is necessary to secure the new bond at lower rates.


Mayor Wilson did not attend this meeting but told the Times later she is uncomfortable with committing city taxpayers for seven years because circumstances may change where that much is not needed: the Authority could sell land or lease it at a high rent for instance.

She wanted appropriate escape clauses added to the agreement before she would sign it.

Council President Burrell, who is the council's liaison for this committee as well, speculated that if the mayor would not sign someone else may be authorized by the council to sign the contract, perhaps himself.

One such precedent was cited when Council President Gentle signed the construction contract for the new library back in 2006 -- after then-Mayor Kant declined to sign it (cost too much).

The Authority's bond council worried though, that all this could not be done in a timely-enough manner to meet the February 23rd deadline.


A motion was made and a resolution passed unanimously to ask all six bank respondents to make corrections to fully-comply with the bid specifications; and McEnerney, Burrell and Authority attorney Myrick were to consult with the Mayor, city attorney,  bond attorneys, and banks involved to try to resolve the matter in time for another meeting scheduled for later this week(Thursday, 4:30 PM).


Anonymous said...

Jack Burrell, you need to focus more on your full time job as a "rocket scientist" than your part time job as a city councilman. It's obvious you have higher aspirations. Just remember, even though in your mind you think you're the heir apparent and future holder of the keys to Fairhope, you're not. You're just a "rocket scientist" that well, tends to switch jobs quite often... Telling?

Anonymous said...

It is on the job training for the mayor. some of her friends are certified psychos to.

Anonymous said...

Nah. they are just liberal Democrats!!!

Anonymous said...

The elected appointed and assigned in the city of Fairhope just need to do their jobs and stop all of the bickering.It might be a better deal if the Airport was sold to a private party.That way it's not a burden and will infuse aded finance to the city.

Anonymous said...

The Mayor is part-time too! This Mayor has so much to learn, she went from a mom-pop business to being a part-time mayor of a real organization. You can't simply say "I changed my mine" or "I want to add something" like she does in her current business, she and her husband own that business, this business is not hers!

Anonymous said...

I have to say, Fairhope is becoming a sad little town. Now granted, the Mayor is new and maybe a little green, but I honestly feel she has the best interest of the citizens in mind when she makes a decision. Her style may be a little unorthodox, but that in itself doesn't make a her an ineffective leader. First and foremost, we (Fairhopians), to include myself need to get off our high horses and slowly float back down to earth. Second, we the citizens really need to be selective when we choose council members and a mayor to ensure we have professional, effective leaders representing us. Karin wasn't expected to win the election, but when she did it kind of threw a monkey wrench in the old establishment. In my opinion Jack Burrell was being groomed to one day receive the keys to the Kingdom by Kant. Obviously this didn't occur and we the citizens are witnessing the temper tantrum that Burrell is still having. Now, I think Jack has some good qualities but they may be better served outside of government. Karin in my opinion needs to transition from small business owner to full time Mayor. She will though because I sincerely believe she has no agenda. Now, you other newly elected council members need to be more vocal and challenge Burrell and Boone. If you don't you probably won't get reelected. Anyway, Fairhope is well known for political squabbles between the council and mayor. So, I'm not sure what the solution is other than marriage counseling. One last thing before I sign off. (redacted by Publisher)

Publisher said...

Please do not mention city employees by name.

Anonymous said...

What you do not hear (or reported) is: THE TERMS OF THE LENDING PROPOSALS. This is where the real buddy system works. Follow the money!

Anonymous said...

The next Fairhope election will almost certainly finalize the complete removal of the remaining good old boys from the city council. Ultimately Mayor Wilson and the majority of Fairhope citizens that support her will prevail. Shady deals done in the past in the city and at the airport will eventually come to light.

Anonymous said...

The terms of the lending proposal are standard, and an airport authority can not obtain a conventual loan of this type. The mayor and the chairman of the authority should have know better. The mayor is being paid, the authority is an all volunteers board they receive no monies, you get what you pay for.

If the letter to the authority attorney was read correctly, the contents of this letter would scare most lending institutions away. Should this letter, in any way, cause the airport authority to pay more in interest, due to delays, it could cost someone to pay damages to an individual or the authority or the city.

They mayor would be wise to distance herself from any individual and others that may be closely associated with any individual that is threating a suit where the city could lose money. She has a fiduciary obligation to protect the city or its assets among other issues.

During any discovery process in any lawsuit, both sides get to obtain any and all communications, among other information, donations, etcetera, etc.

People are playing with fire, the justice system is not about justice, nor is a civil court very civil, things can get real bad real fast. This is not going to be a simple suit that is a, he said, she said, judge rule and that is it, it will get very complex very fast and will become a major distraction to everyone.

I am ashamed of all of them, the mayor, the authority board, the individuals that are making threats, threats, and more threats.

The next election, they all may get elected out of office. I have never been real political, but today, and the current situation is one reason why. Also, if you need a volunteer for a committee, well, everyone needs to think twice, maybe three times first. Fairhope is losing its charm and becoming just like most of the others cities in Alabama.

Now you know why firms are turning down business in Fairhope, and why some are declining to work for the city. Besides, the newly formed positions were already filled by the mayor before they were announced.

Anonymous said...

What many on this blog need to understand is, Burell received almost twice the votes within the city of Fairhope as did the mayor. So, was the mayor elected because she was going to be 'this savior' of the city or was the election a vote against the previous mayor.

Why did Burell receive almost twice the votes as the mayor? He had to be doing something right, and if you will do some research, the other council members that won, received about 20-25% more than the mayor except one council member, and he won in a runoff and will be a one-time council member in my opinion.

If everyone on here has all the answers then log off the computer, get up off of your butt and run for office, see where that gets you. It's easy to criticize, hard to get results.

Anonymous said...

Aw shucks! just leave it the way it is now.

No need for all this nonsense!

Anonymous said...

Aw shucks!

All we've done is replace one mayor that gets sued by outsiders to a mayor that gets sued by insiders...either way, it's going to cost the city money!

You're right, no need for all this nonsense!