Letter to the editor:
After the SCRAA meeting on Tuesday night, March 26 concerning the proposed regional airport, a question was asked on one of the local websites, who are “these people” who are opposed to the airport? I would like to take some time to try and answer that question.
We’re husbands, wives, parents, grandparents, sons and daughters just like you. We volunteer for local charities, belong to local churches and donate to local hospitals and food banks, just like you. We’re little league coaches and soccer moms, just like you. We’re landowners; we pay thousands of dollars in property taxes every year to help educate your children and ours. Some of us are working the same land our great-grandfathers worked. Our grandfathers told us to take good care of the farm. So we put in tile, built terraces and picked up rocks. We sowed and tilled and put in fence and took it out and we hoped if they were still here, they would approve. We’re the landowner you ask to hunt deer and coyotes. We let you fish in our ponds for bass or maybe take the grandkids fishing for bluegills. We would come with you, but we have a farm payment due soon, so we need to keep planting, spraying, harvesting ... well you get the picture.
We’re “the people” in line behind you at the checkout line in the local grocery store. We buy our cars and pickups at the local dealer and insure them with a local agent. We buy machinery at the local dealer and every year we spend thousands of dollars on seed, chemicals and fertilizers at the local agribusinesses to put our crops in. When we need to borrow money we use the local banks. When we build buildings or fix our homes we buy materials in the area and use local contractors.
We want the businesses in this area to prosper because we work there too. And sometimes when we’re out working, we wonder if a hole at the local golf course is more important than a Century Farm? Wasn’t the airport there first? If we seem passionate try to forgive us, it’s not only our land, it’s our livelihood. We are Americans, but we wonder can a nation that is 16,000,000,000,000 dollars in debt long stand? Is it wasteful spending building a regional airport within minutes of two others? Should it take less time to get to an airport in rural Iowa than it does for someone living in Des Moines, to get to a Starbucks? We want industry in this area to prosper, but over taxation and over regulation are much bigger threats than infrastructure. We would like the proponents of the airport to show us that the benefits would far outweigh the costs. Who are “these people”? Are we a group of half crazy political activists? No. We are the people who just want to live, work and raise our families. We’re just like you.
Larry Van Maanen