Charlotte Leaders Have Nonsensical Argument Over Airport Parking Rate Increases


Charlotte Leaders Have Nonsensical Argument Over Airport Parking Rate Increases

At Charlotte Douglas International Airport, a 50 percent increase in parking rates is causing anger – and not from the public. The Charlotte Observer reports that Charlotte City Manager Ron Carlee and former Aviation Director Jerry Orr can’t quite agree on who planned and authorized the rate increase and have exchanged words on the subject publicly.

Carlee passive aggressively reported to the city council that Orr did not create a detailed plan to raise rates to pay for infrastructure improvements at the airport. Orr took offense and produced a pile of documents describing the steps he did indeed take to guarantee the improvements would be properly funded. Orr wrote to the Observer:

“Any idea that I would propose a capital program that would jeopardize the airport’s financial well-being is a complete mis-characterization of my management record as aviation director of Charlotte Douglas since 1989.”

Carlee says he didn’t mean Orr didn’t make any plans for rate increases, but that he didn’t make detailed plans for rate increases. Orr hasn’t made any further comment, yet.

It seems these two do not usually see eye-to-eye, so this episode is just more of the same. According to the Observer:

Orr lost his city job last year in the midst of the still-ongoing fight over whether City Council or a new, independent commission should run Charlotte’s airport. Orr, who supported separating the airport from city control, said he was forced out; Carlee said Orr resigned.

Who ever heard of anybody fighting for credit for raising parking rates? Maybe Orr should have taken the opportunity to lay the blame for a 50 percent parking rate increase on Carlee’s regime. His statement could have gone like this:

“I think the people of our great city need to keep more of their money. I would never authorize a rate increase this dramatic. You all have Mr. Carlee to thank for the hundreds of extra dollars airport parking is going to cost you from now on. And, by the way, I was forced out of my job as aviation director – don’t believe what he says. I want everybody to know what they did to me.”

Maybe these two need to have a sit down with Jerry Springer and sort out their differences, but we can thank them for yet another example of what happens when people start talking out of the wrong orifice.

For the rest of the article, which isn’t really a fun read, click here.


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John Van Horn

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