A letter from Marc Haston dated 02-08-2004

Dear Greensburg Daily News & Citizens of Greensburg & Decatur County,

I read, with much confusion, your 'GDN Opinion Board' comments in Saturday's paper. You seem to be as confused as we were when we first heard about the airport expansion plans. As a 'short sighted' land owner my first reaction to the expansion was anger. After seeing the ridiculous magnitude of the project I was shocked. When I found they had trespassed, done impact studies and even surveyed on our properties with out permission I had little doubt that this was an ongoing project I was dealing with.

I started doing some checking & talking to my neighbors to see if they had been informed of what was going on. I started going to County Council meetings, City Council meetings and County Commissioners meetings asking questions & trying to figure out what was happening. They seemed to be as in the dark about the scope of the project as the landowners. I am amazed why anyone had tried to sneak this past all the local politicians, the Daily News and even the people who's land they wanted to put it on.

Many people don't know this but the Greensburg-Decatur County Airport Board is appointed by the City Council, the Mayor and County Commissioners. They work for the people who work for you. Every stage of the planning should have been reported to the city & county officials and to the people of the community through the local news media. They keep talking about the funding for this project, 13 million now down to 4 million, it is still our tax dollars they are spending whether it is federal, state, city or county funds. I feel this now 4 million dollar project will soon grow back into the 13 million dollar plan if allowed to continue.

I was proud of the Greensburg City Council for standing up & agreeing to step back and find out what is going on. I think the county officials need to do the same. Even though the Airport Board already signed the contract to go ahead with the environmental study before asking permission. The Airport Board keeps saying that this expansion is for the good of the community but it is only for the good of the handful of people who actually use the airport.

Is it good for the landowners who will lose their land?

Is it good for the farmers who make their living off of this land while feeding us all?

Is it good for my 50+ neighbors within one quarter mile who will be stuck with a noisy airport while they see their property values drop?

Is it good for the people who enjoy the City Park, Sports Complex and the County Fairgrounds while loud planes take off and land?

Last year the current airport cost the community $20,000 for maintenance. If they build this monstrosity it will cost 10 times that just to keep it up. When are we going to stop subsidizing their hobby at the expense of the taxpayers of this community. They claim that if we build this it will bring in more jobs. There is no proof of this or any examples to back it up. Just look at Anderson Indiana. They have 5 airports in and around that community and there are enough empty factory buildings in that town to hold all of Greensburg. Let's face the facts. Factories go where the good cheap labor or natural resources are. Not just where they stick a mammoth airport.

As a landowner I would give in willingly to this project if anyone could prove to me;

1. That this airport would be for the good of the community.

2. That the citizens of this community needed, wanted and were ready and willing to pay for this project through the tax increases that it will be inevitable.

3. That local business & Industry wanted, needed and were willing to help contribute to build & maintain this airport.

Please continue to show your support to stop the airport expansion. If you have asked yourself...What can I do? Politicians are persuaded by the volume of mail they receive, and by the quality of the arguments, so do write to them and to the press. Every single letter counts. If you can go to the airport board meetings the next one is Feb. 16th at 7:30 PM and is open to the public so you can speak out. If you can spare some time to sign our petition or even better take a petition around and get signatures. If you have specialist skills or knowledge, please make yourself known. If you have any questions please call or write to me. One of our challenges is to maintain the level of awareness of others in our own community, so please continue to show your support to Stop the Airport Expansion.

Thank you from what I call the farm I love... and what they call the south end of the proposed runway.

Sincerely ... Marc Haston, 1600 S Co. Rd. 280 W

Commentary from Jean Johannigman

     In this country men have fought and died for the right to own private property. The use of Eminent Domain has been abused in other areas and is not to be taken lightly. I only ask that all property owner rights and considerations be exercised. These are not your enemies these are your neighbors and possibly even your partners in this. Their voices must be heard and their rights not be abused. Family farms are not just our past...They are our future.

"It is not the function of our Government to keep the citizen from falling into error; it is the function of the citizen to keep the Government from falling into error."
Justice Robert Houghwout

Marc Haston - mfhaston@etczone.com - 812.593.1492 - © www.greensburgairport.com - All rights reserved.