As a 36-year veteran of attending and making decisions to not attend such optional conferences or business meetings as a senior executive working for several Fortune 10 companies, it is apparent that the recent decision by the Asheville airport board to attend the meeting satisfied their personal agendas of being in Hawaii during the winter month of January. …
I note that there are 382 airports in the U.S., and only about 50 attend the conference, which signifies that this meeting was not that critical. Approximately 13 percent of airports deemed this event as important to attend. The other airports must use their superior judgment and attend the less costly meetings on the mainland, which take place on a frequent enough basis.
If the trip was really worthwhile, no one takes the time to send grainy photos back to Asheville during the trip and author a lengthy 536-word statement to justify bad judgment and ease their conscience or guilt on making a bad decision that betrays the public's trust.
Auditing their trip receipts and finding out if they apportioned personal expenses for their family members in attendance from the airport charges on receipts should be an interesting exercise for the airport accounting department when they return.
Well, at least there are some citizens of Asheville who will be sporting a nice, deep, healthy tan in the middle of winter (or maybe not, to show they were in meetings during the daylight hours, after the proverbial "blank" hit the fan). …
Where is the real accountability here? This board should be replaced as soon as they touch the ground in Asheville. I volunteer to serve on this board at no cost to the city, as I could probably make just as bad a decision as the current board did.
— Andrew Biazis