Taxpayers May Foot Bill for $25,000 Party at Orange County Airport

The director of the John Wayne Airport in Orange County wanted to throw a $50,000 party to celebrate the opening of a new terminal and parking structure. The county Board of Supervisors didn't agree to the entire cost, but did decide August 30 that the airport can spend up to $25,000 in tax dollars on the party, but first should solicit sponsorships to pay for as much of the event as possible.

Some supervisors said "pomp and circumstance" is warranted, and that the party could help bring in more potential customers. Supervisor Shawn Nelson does not agree. "I can't imagine ever having met someone who selected the airport they would travel to based on how excited (they were) about the parking structure, or for that matter the architecture," Mr. Nelson said. "It's really the price of your flight and the availability of the schedule."

Mr. Nelson continued: "We've all been to these types of openings. One of them is going to be the opening of a parking structure. We don't need a tent, chairs and speakers for a parking lot. We've all seen a parking lot before." (Source: Orange County Register's OC Watchdog, August 30.)

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