Reno Airport Schemes with Mayor
To: Reno Airport Board
Subject: Reno Airport's Letter to Citizens Filled with More Alibis for the Mayor... and for Themselves
The Reno Airport's Response to Citizen's Questions is flawed, misses the point, obfuscates... and is unacceptable. This is gross misconduct and insult to citizenry; justifying removal of the interim Airport Director.
The outstanding and continuing problem (notwithstanding attempted alibis for the mayor by his Airport subordinates) is that the current mayor's Contract with the Reno Airport is in violation of numerous NRS statutes (including, but not limited to, NRS 281.411, 281.421, 281.481, and 281.230).
These are down-to-earth statutes enacted by governments specifically to thwart violations against the practice of good government... violations like the referenced scheme between Reno's mayor and the Airport.
The Airport, with help from fired airport bureaucrats Kitchel and White, board members Mack and Camp, and others, concocted a Memo Document (Contract) that, according to Nevada Laws and the "spirit" of those Laws, is illegal. No attempt at cover-up by the Airport will overcome those facts.
As citizens have come to anticipate, the Airport is once again shrouding the truth... a now common practice learned during the Rewana Farms landgrab mess, the legalized embezzlement of millions of tax dollars under the guise of "noise" mitigation, the illicit appointment of airport board members, the illegal doling out of golden parachutes, etc, etc, and ad infinitum.
Challenges to the Airport's alibis:
Even in spite of the devious background of the public Memo Document, nowhere in the piece of paper that the board approved on 7 Aug, 1997 (at the Public Meeting) was there any reference to, the mayor's company becoming an "exclusive operator"... nor was there any approval of a "boundary expansion" as the Airport now suggests is the case. That Memo Document was a Contract for NFTS (mayor's company) to "... apply for Foreign Trade Zone (FTZ) status at the Reno Airport...", period... Nothing more.
Wrongful wording was secretly added after the fact; in apparent hopes that citizens would never find out. With this illicit extension to the Memo (a clandestine extension that would give the mayor exclusive right to FTZ operations at the Airport) the Airport has again attempted to bypass the laws of Nevada... the ethics commission's devious and ignorant observations notwithstanding...
On the day that this Memo Document was stuck in with the other Memos, anybody with a sense of smell could tell that the Smell Test was being tested.
"Who owns this NFTS?" Pause... "A man called Griffin". Rotten eggs!
NFTS is also operating in an unethical manner under that semi-secret government agency EDAWN... in that NFTS's owner (the mayor) has been personally voting to divert citizens' tax dollars to his "boss" (EDAWN)... without disclosing the nature of their relationship... or abstaining from this conflictive corporate-welfarism plot.
Conflict of Interest Laws were enacted to prevent unethical schemes exactly like this.
There is no reasonable law that DEMANDS that the operator of one FTZ has to be the operator of other FTZs or sub-FTZs. In this case, the laws and the conflictive nature of the mayor's dealings with his patsies at the Airport, demands that he should have been precluded from ever having been allowed to stick his fingers into this cookie jar... in the first place!
The "sub-zone"... or "expansion"... or whatever term the Airport wants to hide behind... must not be given to this mayor. An honorable mayor never would have tried to clandestinely secure such unwarranted kickbacks from his lackeys in the first place. Once again... bad government getting more "badder".
There must always be a bid process for government Contracts. To try to slip this by the citizenry, further denigrates the law. How do you know that it is "not the case"... that the mayor's existing FTZ is operating properly? Have you investigated it?
If NFTS has no compunction about violation of all the NRS laws listed above, isn't there (by any system of logic) a powerful possibility that it would not have any compunction about deviating around other laws... and operating "improperly"?
I am a concerned citizen, I read the newspaper, and I have not seen the Authority's "boundary expansion application" (a plot to illegally extend the mayor's already illegal kickback Contract with his cronies at the airport) that is supposedly going through the mandatory 90 day publication period pending public comment. As a citizen, I requested a timely copy of that "boundary expansion application"... and was refused by the Airport interim Director Bennett.
Bennett, a public employee, has premeditatedly and arrogantly refusal to provide a copy of this public document to citizens in a timely manner. Stonewalling like this is grounds for his dismissal. If that doesn't do it, his misleading statements in his official response to citizen's questions should put the last nail into his departure box.
The wrongful NFTS Agreement bizarrely drawn up by the "employee"... on the mayor's own company letterhead... and then signed by one of his cohorts at the Airport is in gross contradiction to good honest business practice... period! That violation alone logically negates the Contract.
Anybody who has listened to Airport meetings knows that the entire board almost never "reviews" documents. And citizens can only pray that not every one of those trustees has such bad judgment as to approve something so sleazy as this Contract.
It must also be noted that when we attempted to get the signed NFTS Agreement (concocted by NFTS), Kitchel was the only person we could find at the Airport who admitted knowing anything about it.
To repeat again for emphasis; the contents of the unethical NFTS Agreement signed by Kitchel far exceed what the board voted for at the official Public meeting of 7 Aug, 1997. Nothing has ever been done at a Public Meeting (as required by Law) to extend the terms of that already questionable Contract. If and when the Airport wants to try to find an operator for the FTZ, it must be done according to NRS Laws... not behind some closed doors.
It is not the FTZ concept that needs reviewing. The Airport and the mayor need to review laws governing ethics and honor in democracy. At the United States Air Force Academy any person trying to defend the mayor's illegal and unethical schemes would be guilty of honor violations; including "tolerating" and "quibbling"... and removed from status.
The basic rule for these particular Laws and Charters is that it is illegal, unethical, and immoral for Public Officials to feather their nests at the expense of innocent citizens. Racketeering is illegal throughout America.
The Airport's complicity in this outrage against good government quite possibly makes it an accomplice... and likewise subject to all rules and sanctions of Nevada law.
One more nail for this coffin of bad government: The mayor is also in direct and indirect violation of the very city charter he is supposed to serve under. Section 2.02.02, to wit; Council (mayor) members shall have no direct or indirect contracts, leases, or agreements with the city of Reno. Instead,
The mayor appointed controlling membership of the Airport board (4 of 8 people)... thus giving him direct control over the Airport... and thus making the RENO Airport a distinct part of the city of RENO.
Those Airport board members serve at his pleasure (he can remove them)... thus giving him control over the Airport... and thus making the RENO Airport a distinct part of the city of RENO.
The mayor's appointed subordinate board members (and the rest of the trustees) acquiesced to an unethical scheme for the mayor to feather his nest by concoction of an illegal Contract.
What part of this abomination of good government wouldn't a person of average intelligence (and honor) understand?
Former Airport bureaucrats White and Kitchel were removed for obfuscations such as described above. Interim Director Bennett is following in their guilty footsteps and must also be removed immediately. But no Golden Parachutes this time!
The strict and clear language of NRS 281.230 does not permit Reno's mayor to "directly or indirectly, in any manner, receive personal profit or other compensation from any contract or other transaction in which his public employer", the City of Reno, "is in any way interested or affected". The mayor's contract or other transaction with the Reno Airport should be declared null and void. All legal penalties pertaining to abuse of NRS 281.230 should apply to the Reno mayor.
And furthermore, there is reason to believe the Reno mayor, and/or cronies under his direction, took part in the development of the involved "contract or other transaction".
Sam Dehné, a Reno citizen
cc Nevada Attorney General
Washoe County District Attorney
The Reno Citizen internet magazine
Richard Bennett, Reno Airport director (interim)
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