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Proof of Right by Joan Scott

Proof of Right by Joan Scott

Ratings: (0)|Views: 379|Likes:
Published by Henry Citizen
Billy Abbate’s Big 5 Lie and how BJ
Mathis’ bought Tara Field for him
Billy Abbate’s Big 5 Lie and how BJ
Mathis’ bought Tara Field for him

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Published by: Henry Citizen on Jul 13, 2011
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11/26/2012

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Proof of Right 
~ Conservative ramblings of Joanie Scott
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://
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9 Wednesday, July 13, 2011
Billy Abbate’s Big 5 Lie and how BJMathis’ bought Tara Field for him
Henry County Board of Commissioners (HCBoC) just announced the purchase of TaraField airport from Clayton County. The price of $10 million had been floated around butthat number was directly disputed by Clayton County Chairman Eldrin Bell who said itwould be “
MUCH MORE THAN THAT
”.
 He was right.According to an
ANNOUNCEMENT
today by the Henry County Board of Commissioners, thepurchase price is $17.7 million. They claim the taxpayers portion will only be $2.7million over the next 3 years.I call Bullshit.Given the two breach of contract lawsuits Bell successfully defended himself againstfrom Willam “Billy” Abbate of Big 5 Enterprises who owns property adjacent to TaraField, I can imagine Bell would have liked to stick it to the taxpayers of Henry County inregards to the final purchase price as payback to Abbate and his interference-runner,Henry County BoC
C
HAIRMAN
B.J.
 
M
ATHIS
.
Our economic Doo-doo
This might be a good time to mention that just last month Henry County BoC
LAID OFF
57
 EMPLOYEES
, did not fill 30 open job positions, and handed out 72 early retirement packagesto county employees. This was in addition to
BIG CUTS MADE TO THE
L
IBRARY
system due tobudget constraints. Just last year the County and the School Boards both
RAISED MILLAGERATES
on Henry homeowners.And if that isn’t enough to convince you that Henry County is deep economic doo-doo,take a look at this current
2011
 
T
AX
D
IGEST AND
5-
YEAR 
H
ISTORY OF OF
L
EVY
provided to meyesterday by
 
H
ENRY
C
OUNTY
C
OMMISSIONER 
,
David Curry. We’ve been bleeding tax revenue
 
and according to a statement made just last night by Curry at a meeting of the RepublicanWomen of Henry County, we have not hit bottom.Given all that, most reasonable people might question why, in a time of such economichardship for Henry County, would the HCBoC even put their tax payers on the hook forsuch an enormous long term financial burden. The answer is as simple as greed andpolitical cronyism run amok between B.J. Mathis and Billy Abbate.
Abbate’s First Big Plan: Don’t take no for an answer
In 2006 Billy Abbate as the owner of Lovejoy Realty, LLC purchased 97 acres adjacentto Tara Field. He intended to develop a 20,000 square foot fixed base operation (FBO)(an airport service center that sells fuel).Not long after, he went to the Clayton County Board of Commissioners (CCBoC) with a
PROPOSAL
to lease land on the airport, build the FBO, and then sub-lease it back to thecounty for them to operate. This would go on for a number of years until Abbate’sconstruction debt was retired then after that the county would own the FBO structureoutright.Also in Abbate’s proposal was his desire to build a 480 unit condominium project as wellas airplane hangars on his newly purchased land. This would require Clayton County toagree to sign a “Through the Fence” (TTF) agreement which would give easement accessto the airport grounds from his new development. In exchange, he would agree to giveClayton County access to the Henry County Sewer system via his property.On
S
EPTEMBER 
5,
 
2006
by a vote of 4-0 Clayton County BoC (CCBoC) approved
ESOLUTION
2006-127
 
which authorized a Through the Fence agreement in principle,subject to negotiations and agreement of Chairman Eldrin Bell on the final terms. Theresolution did not direct the Chairman to execute the proposed agreement. Althoughdiscussions continued regarding terms for a proposed easement access agreement, nofinal agreement was ever reached. According to
COURT DOCUMENTS
(p.5), Bell had concernsabout the size, location, and ultimate control of the FBO, and also whether the FAAwould approve the plan.On October 27, 2006 a
CONTRACT
was signed between Clayton County and ExecutiveAircraft Storage, LLC, William Abbate, Administrator, to construct the FBO andimprovements on the airport. However, this agreement did NOT grant Abbate easementaccess to the airport from his adjacent property.A special meeting of the Commissioners was arranged for December 11, 2006 in whichonly three of the Commissioners
ATTENDED
, two of which only had 19 days left in office.This was the day before a regularly scheduled meeting on December 12, 2006, andcuriously, at a time when neither Commissioner Wole Ralph , whose district is adjacentto Tara Field, nor Chairman Bell could attend. In fact, Bell keeps a public calender
 
which indicated he would be out of town complying with a subpoena in Baldwin County,GA.Additionally, according to court affidavits,
C
HAIRMAN
B
ELL
and
C
OMMISSIONER 
ALPH
, bothclaim they were not given the proper three day notification of the meeting as mandatedby law.During the special meeting,
 
ESOLUTION
2006-181
was approved by a vote of 3-0 whichauthorized
“…Clayton County to enter into a revised Through the Fence agreement granting access easement associated with proposal from William L. Abbate.”
 Immediately following the meeting, the
 
TTF
CONTRACT
was executed and signed by Vice-Chairman J. Charley Griswell and Billy Abbate.On December 12th, less than 24 hours later, at a properly called regular meeting of theCCBoC in which all five members were
PRESENT
,
the Commission voted 3-2 to
RESCIND
approval of Abbate’s TTF contract.The next day a
RESCISSION LETTER 
was sent from Staff Attorney for CCBoC Michael L.Smith to Crandle Bray, Attorney for William Abbate, advising that the CCBoC approveda resolution rescinding the Through the Fence Agreement executed on the previous day.
“[B]ased on the actions taken by the Board of Commissioners, this letter shall serve asnotice that the County does not consider the agreement to be a valid agreement and doesnot intend to honor any terms of the agreement.”
 As it turns out, Chairman Bell’s concerns about FAA approval of the TTF were rightly justified because within a week the County received a
LETTER FROM
FAA
 
D
ISTRICT
A
IRPORTS
M
ANAGER 
,
Scott Serrit, assuring Bell the FAA did not, as a general rule, approve easementaccess agreements between private property and public airports. In this case though, theobjection was magnified by the residential component of Abbate’s development projectwhich would cause a number of problems for the FAA including noise complaints andunfair competition with on-airport business operators. If the County agreed to the TTF,he explained, they would most assuredly be in violation of laws which would jeopardizetheir federal grants for Tara Field.Bell immediately
RESPONDED TO THE
FAA
and assured them the TTF agreement had beenrescinded and Clayton County had no intention of violating any of the federal GrantAssurances.This prompted Abbate’s attorney to contact the FAA directly in an effort to appeal theirdecision to which the FAA
RESPONDED IN A LETTER 
to Clayton County that any appealshould be made by Clayton County and not the property owner. Even so, after reviewingAbbate’s information both the FAA Southern Regional Office and FAA WashingtonD.C. headquarters staff found nothing new that would change their determination tooppose the TTF agreement.

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