Our View: Mudslinging needs to stop in Airport campaign | SierraSun.com

Our View: Mudslinging needs to stop in Airport campaign

Who would have thought running an airport would become so controversial?

There’s been a lot of heat in these pages lately regarding the race for the Truckee Tahoe Airport Board.

Candidates on both sides of the issue have been submitting floods of letters to us; and some of them are well-reasoned and thoughtful – but a lot of them aren’t.

The tone of the campaign is turning downright ugly. This endless mudslinging is likely turning off more voters than it’s winning over.

Accusations are being made by both the incumbents and non-pilot candidates for the board that use subjective opinion as “facts” and blur the lines between truth and rhetoric. We cannot verify every accusation and become the arbiter of “truth,” a subjective term in this campaign. It’s like asking us to “prove” Al Gore is too liberal or George W. Bush is too conservative – it’s all about your point of view.

The sad thing is, all this rhetoric is obscuring the fact that the future of Truckee Tahoe Airport is at stake.

Truckee is growing like wildfire these days, and the airport is a focal point for concerns about growth. Airport supporters rightfully point out the economic benefits the airport brings into the Truckee-Tahoe community, while the candidates are voicing widely-spread concerns about the noise, traffic and safety issues this growth will bring.

Voters deserve more than strident accusations.

We would like to see both sides take a step back and start answering the hard questions, without mudslinging.

What is the airport doing to limit plane noise? Do the non-pilot candidates really want to shut the airport down, or scale back its services dramatically? What impact would a ban on night flights, one of the options proposed by the non-pilots, really have on the community? Are current airport fees too little or too much or just right?

The average voter doesn’t care whether a pilot or a non-pilot is on the governing board of the airport – but they do care if the person elected has the patience, intellect and wisdom to do the job.

At this juncture, neither side in this campaign has impressed us.

We are observers in the political process, and our opinion pages are an open forum for the candidates and voters to discuss the issues – they are not meant to be a wrestling ring where truth, fiction, slander and wild accusations battle it out.

Is the airport growing too much, too fast? Or, is it bringing valuable dollars into the community?

That is not a question for us to answer – it’s all up to you, the voter, and you deserve a better campaign than the one that has been waged in these pages so far.

All of the candidates for the airport board should straighten up and fly right.

Our View is the editorial viewpoint of Sierra Sun staff.

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