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Gwinnett BOC To Name Citizens Panel for Airport Privatization Process

'Transparent' process sought for discussions on Briscoe Field. Commissioners to meet Tuesday.

The Gwinnett Board of Commissioners is planning to name a Citizens Review Panel to oversee the airport privatization process at Tuesday's work session in Lawrenceville.

Moving forward on potentially selling or leasing county-owned Briscoe Field, the board wants to create an 11-member panel to make the process "as open and as transparent as possible."

Each of the five commissioners will have two appointments to the board, and the Gwinnett Airport Authority will have one. Six members will constitute a quorum, for meeting purposes.

The board began consideration of possible privatization last month by holding a public session with consultants from IMG to hear their thoughts. At that session, the consultants suggested that the commissioners first consider the selling or leasing aspect before dealing with the possibility of commercial passenger service.

The next step in the process will be for the county to issue Request for Proposals (RFP) from potential private operators. There is no timetable for that step, Commission Chairman Charlotte Nash said last month.

In May, the commissioners voted 3-2 in favor of moving forward with potential privatization. Mike Beaudreau, Lynette Howard and Shirley Lasseter favored, with Nash and John Heard against.

Also, the county’s plan to privatize Briscoe Field may soon be slightly less controversial if county leaders follow consultant and staff recommendations and reject all responses received in answer to the county’s request for qualifications (RFQ) from companies interested in privatizing the airport.

The move follows a report from (IMG) that included a recommendation to separate the commercial service and privatization debate. 

Tuesday's meeting is set for 10 a.m. at the Gwinnett Justice and Administration Center.

(Material from Dacula Patch was used in this article.)

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