Thursday, September 19, 2013

Lauer: Sue the Bastards!

Phil Lauer: Sue the Bastards! 
As you no doubt have heard, the rocket scientists in command at our Airport Authority want to sell Braden Airpark. They need the dough to pay off a $16 million judgment created as a result of their own mismanagement. Braden is losing money anyway, they say. But a group of pilots, along with every person running for anything in Northampton County, are outraged. They've even created a Save Braden Airpark Facebook page. The hell with the damn whales, we need more airports, damn it!

Northampton County Council instructed their lawyer, Phil Lauer, to research the County's options if the Airport Authority dares sell.

He prepared a legal memorandum for Council, outlining issues, background, applicable law and available remedies, telling them exactly what they want to hear.

Sue the bastards!

Now litigation by a County really should be brought by the Executive branch, not Council. So Executive John Stoffa's Solicitor, Danny Spengler, sitting by himself in a forlorn corner as he battled a cold, was asked what he thinks.

This is basically what he had to say:

Sue the bastards!  

Now if it were up to me, I'd keep Braden and get rid of the Airport Authority. Maybe put a hockey rink there. Everyone seems to think if we just put in some gazillion dollar customs station or sell more latte, all the airlines will stop here. Not gonna' happen. Ever. We're simply too close to major airports with much larger population centers to be profitable to airlines.

But I'm all for suing bastards.

Tonight, Council will vote to sue the bastards.


Anonymous said...

Well.. how does the Authority pay the court ordered penalties for inversely condemning private property almost 20 years ago? I don't want my taxes to be raised and do not want to see the Authority go into debt. Time to sell off assets.

Bernie O'Hare said...

I'd start by closing the airport and selling its land. It is nothing more than a monument to ego.

Anonymous said...

Bastards ? Make your argument, BO, but skip the tag. Its shabby.

Anonymous said...

Mismanagement and power egos got the airport in trouble financially. Now they want to further mismanage their already mismanaged assets by panic selling off properties at yard sale prices.
We are the hub of about 180 million people and a very desired location for big business. Just ask the useless Lehigh Valley Economic Development Commission director Don Cunningham.
Everyone at the Airport should resign. The people running the airport are more of the problem than they are the solution. George Doughty was the reason for the downfall of this once profitable business. This valley needs a local airport. You need better people running the airport. Stop appointing idiots to sit on the board of directors. Council is right. SUE THE BASTARDS.

Anonymous said...

Braden is a critical piece of the Lehigh Valley's transportation infrastructure.

Oh wait. No, it's not.

Its closing will affect about six people, who apparently won't have to hire a lawyer because the county is doing it for them.

The Airport Authority is a mess. Only NorCo council is more wasteful and stupid.

Anonymous said...

The Airport Authority is inept. It is paying the price for bad decisions made by the Authority in the past. It continues to pursue bad aviation policy because of bad Board appointments, such as Ed Pawlowski and Tony Ianelli.

Both Pawlowski and Ianelli clearly have agendas beyond (and counter to) what is best for aviation in the valley. They continue to focus on ways to cannibalize authority assets for their own purposes and motives. They need to go.

Scott said...

ABE has its merits as a regional airport. It's incredibly convenient versus the hour and change drive to EWR & PHL. Cheaper parking too.

Unfortunately the ticket costs are higher and there's a lack of direct flights except to hubs in Atlanta, Chicago, Philly, Charlotte & Detroit.

Not sure what use Braden serves beyond being a place for hobby and amateur fliers to use. Doesn't Queen City already serve that purpose or did they sell that too?

Bernie O'Hare said...

Queen City does fine in Allentown and Braden is fine in Forks. It's great for pilots and more businesses and charter companies will move to one of those sites if we get rid of the monument of ego next to Airport Road. It is not needed, and will never be very profitable. Look at an airport map some time, and you'll see why the airlines are reluctant to stop there. That land might be the most valuable land in the LV. We don't need an airport there. Nobody is willing to make this argument, but I'd dump the place if i could.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"Bastards ? Make your argument, BO, but skip the tag. Its shabby."

It's called humor. Stop taking yourself so seriously or stop reading this blog.

Bill Coker said...

From what I've heard. ABE has almost the highest fees (takeoff, landing, fuel, etc) in the country. Consequently airlines must make tickets higher cost and eventually stopping them from coming altogether.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"Braden is a critical piece of the Lehigh Valley's transportation infrastructure."

I frankly think Braden and Queen City, small airfields that serve a specific niche, are part of what makes this area unique. The yellow elephant off of Airport Road is no critical piece of infrastructure. We'd be better served with a bus station, which incidentally is what the airport is for many flights.

Bernie O'Hare said...

". This valley needs a local airport. You need better people running the airport. Stop appointing idiots to sit on the board of directors. Council is right. SUE THE BASTARDS."

I'd agree with everything you say except the claim that we need a local airport. I don't think we do.

Anonymous said...

I kind of agree the LVIA is uncompetitive today. There is some hope for 10+ years out. New York and Phil will need relief.

I don't agree we need both Braden and QC. They are each serving small groups of private pilots, many of whom are not LC and NC residents. Pick one and consolidate.

Also agree the board is too--too political. Need to get more business control on the board. And, get rid of the clown running the airport.

Doc Rock said...

Closing LVIA is not a realistic option. Refocusing its marketing efforts is a better idea. LVIA caters to the supercheap budget traveler while ignoring the business traveler. They can start by appointing some members to the board who actually know something about aviation and commercial air travel.

Until then, we're stuck with a bunch of disengaged political hacks, many of whom probably wouldn't show up for board meetings if they didn't get a free lunch.

Go to a board meeting sometime and observe how many board members appear to be paying more attention to their sandwich and chips than they are to the agenda.

Peter J.Cochran said...

Phil, I/m with you . I would like to help this airport and the nice people that fly in and out of Forks--I offer FREE PROCESS SERVICE in support of Mr Braden's wishes that it remain like his father had intended. Yours Truly, Pete

Anonymous said...

Idiots on the board of directors... I think you said it. Who are they? I think there may be some well known local names there. I know the names. They are well known. Who are the workhorses, show horses and idiots? I'd like to hear your take as I only recognize names on the board but admittedly lack any thorough analysis. - nlv