Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Washington D.C.

After changing my clock, I got on the 6:30 flight to Washington DC on Sunday morning.  I was attending a meeting of the National League of Cities (NLC).  Sunday was taken up with seminars on various subjects that you could attend, so I filled up the rest of my day with subjects like law enforcement, cyber crime and transportation.  It was OK, but that really wasn't the reason that I was in Washington. 

Sequestration is suppose to be a 5% cut across the board.  Really!!!  The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has decided that any control tower at any airport with less than 150,000 annual operational events will be closed.  Mark Twain stated, "there are lies, damn lies and statistics."  Well this statistic is creating a lie that is leading to a safety problem.  The FAA is painting with a very broad brush.  So I went to the Hill on Monday to explain to our elected officials what a fallacy this was and to get their support to reinstate our funding to the control tower.  You see the tower is a federal building with federal employees that are licenced and supervised by the FAA, so federal dollars are the only appropriate solution to this problem.  We stopped into the offices of Congressmen, Roger Williams, Marc Veasey, and Joe Barton.  We also met with a Senator Ted Cruz staffer and Senator John Cornyn.  I was impressed by Congressman Barton and Senator Cornyn, they are very astute representatives of our area.  Most of the people that we talked to pledged to support some kind of reinstatement.  Senator Jerry Moran of Kansas is going to float a bill that reinstates funding to certain control towers that can prove that positive controlled airspace is a requirement for their area.  Senator Cornyn pledged his support for that effort.

Our little troop was comprised of Kathryn Wilemon who covered transportation and the rail coming from Houston, Robert Rivera who covered opposition to the new Obama tax on Municipal Bonds, and Michael Glaspie who covered the CDBG reduction and how it affects our non profits in Arlington.  All in all a good trip with purpose.  Sequestration is a result of our government not doing its job.  It is important that our representatives understand that their collective lack of accomplishment affects real people and their everyday lives.  Fix it!!

I wanted to express my appreciation to our city staff personnel that coordinated our trip.  Jennifer Wichmann and Nora Coronado did an excellent job of setting up this entire trip.  They held our hands and took us to every appointment that was set up.  I got home about 10:00 PM last night, so I did miss the dedication of the Cody Rocamontes skate board park at Randol Mill Park.  It looked like the kids were having a great time without my sorryness in attendance.

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