This is in response to Mayor Gaetz’s comments in the “special report” on page 3 of the Chilliwack Progress, dated April 19.
My advice to the mayor is that research is necessary on all subject matter before commenting so that the facts come out correctly.
The City of Chilliwack obviously has had no long term plan for the Chilliwack Airport. In 1997, the city leased the airport out for an unprecedented 50-year period. It was only six years later in 2003 that the city decided to have 15 acres excluded from the Agricultural Land Reserve exclusively for aviation. The Porters did not request to have this land removed from the ALR.
If the city would have had a study done prior to submitting this application to the Agricultural Land Commission, it may have discovered that accessing an airport in Canada from private property usually doesn’t happen and the problem is multiplied many times here because of the airport being leased to a management firm. The Porters have never suggested returning this property to the ALR as the mayor suggested. This comment has been uttered and written to the Porters on many occasions by the city department heads and in particular by the mayor in the last few months.
The City of Chilliwack would have been smarter spending tax dollars researching airport related matters back in 1997 and 2003 instead of trying to correct bad decisions by hiring lawyers to navigate “uncharted” territory in 2011.
Herbert H. Porter