Islander's Blog

Goodman’s Gam

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After I read the letters to the I&M last week, it was obvious to anyone following the fiascoes at Nantucket Memorial Airport that some of the commissioners just don’t get it. The airport operates as an enterprise account, but that doesn’t mean that we, the town, and we, as taxpayers, aren’t owed full disclosure as to what goes on out there. Every penny that is earned, or paid out from those accounts, is ours.

The airport manager and airport commissioners are supposed to work for us, not do whatever they feel is expedient. If you have a private business, that’s a fine way to do things. Lose money and it’s your problem. Working in the public sector doesn’t give one that freedom. There are laws governing what is allowed and what isn’t. Also, some actions could be illegal.

I would like to thank Foley Vaughan for submitting his resignation from the Airport Commission last week. Unlike the commissioner who wrote to the I&M, Mr. Vaughan faced reality and took responsibility for whatever shortcomings took place while he sat on the commission. Think about it. This is the first time in years I’ve heard a public official admit they might be incorrect about anything. The airport manager has yet to take any blame.

Then, we have another commissioner who is objecting to the possible cost of a forensic audit of the airport’s books. He’s worried that promising to pay for the audit would be like “writing a blank check.” What does this commissioner think has been taking place over the last few years out at the airport? This “blank check” should reveal many more blank checks that were never questioned by the commissioners.
Blank checks were issued for numerous jobs that should have been put out to bid and weren’t. What I see are two arrogant commissioners, an arrogant manager and a former commissioner who saw the light. At least we have a couple of new commissioners who “get it,” and with a vacancy, a new appointment by the Board of Selectmen should help straighten the Airport Commission out. Now, what to do about the manager . . . I foresee a lawsuit in the town’s future.

Walking through town, at the lumber yard or the grocery store, I’m seeing people who disappeared a few months back and have now materialized once again. Many of them could say the same about me. September is like that. Then there are folks I hadn’t seen and finally did. The next day we met again. One friend saw me on Federal Street on Thursday, then Friday (in the same spot) and on Saturday in the Stop & Shop. For the next eight months we’ll see one another around town.
We haven’t caught up on everything that we experienced over this summer season, but it was a good start. There are still a ton of friends and acquaintances that I have yet to reconnect with, though this is early fall and there will be plenty of time to catch up with everyone who fell off the map since Memorial Day.

We had a short cold spell last week. Given the weather reports on television, it sounded as if winter was upon us. Turns out, we stayed relatively temperate and the cold temperatures were to the west and north of us. Once again, warm seawater kept us in fine shape, for now. We won’t be so lucky come spring. I’ll take a warm fall, anytime.
David Goodman’s “Goodman’s Gam” appears weekly in this space and regularly in The Inquirer and Mirror.

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