Goliad Airpark Coalition responds to allegation

July 18, 2011 at 2:18 a.m.

Regarding the letter to the editor published in the Advocate last week, with the writer expressing outrage at the Goliad Airpark Coalition's allegedly spending county tax money to fund a lawsuit against the U.S. Navy, I believe that the truth is the ultimate defense against allegations made by misinformed individuals.

In spite of the Coalition's efforts in the past two years to educate and inform the citizens in Goliad County about the Navy's unprecedented attempt to re-acquire the Goliad County Industrial Airpark property, there is obviously a number of people who have chosen not to educate themselves with the facts about the mission and efforts of the Goliad Airpark Coalition.

Here are the facts - I hope that the writer of that letter, after reading this, will feel compelled to apologize to both the Goliad Airpark Coalition and all residents of Goliad County for having misinformed statements published in your newspaper.

The Goliad Airpark Coalition is a non-profit organization established by landowners and concerned citizens to oppose the Navy's attempt to re-acquire the Goliad Airpark property.

The Goliad Airpark Coalition has never received ANY taxpayer funding.

None of the Coalition's membership is anti-military, and our efforts in no way compromise the Navy's efforts to train pilots; in fact, the Navy has identified a number of alternative sites that could be used for their training purposes.

The Goliad Airpark Coalition and the Goliad Airpark Advisory Board (created by Commissioners Court) performed the due diligence necessary to inform Commissioners Court of all aspects of the Navy's proposed re-acquisition of Goliad County Industrial Airpark; the Advisory Board voted unanimously, with one abstention, to recommend that Commissioners Court reject the Navy's offer to purchase the Airpark property.

Goliad County Commissioners Court voted unanimously to reject the Navy's offer to purchase the Airpark property.

The Navy filed a condemnation action in Victoria Federal District Court to forcibly take the Airpark property from its owner, Goliad County.

Goliad County Commissioners Court authorized legal action to oppose the Navy's condemnation in Federal District Court.

Goliad County Commissioners Court has employed the law firm of Barron & Adler, on a contingency basis, to represent Goliad County in their opposition to condemnation.

Goliad County Commissioners Court has employed an independent appraiser to determine the fair market value of the Airpark property using the principle of "highest and best use."

The Goliad Airpark Coalition stands firmly behind Commissioners Court in their opposition to condemnation, but, as a private organization, the Coalition has no legal standing to oppose the Navy's condemnation action; only the owner of the property, Goliad County, has legal standing to oppose condemnation.

Finally, as anyone who attended Goliad County Commissioners Court on June 27 would have learned, the Goliad Airpark Coalition has no part in the County's suit opposing condemnation, has neither received nor expended any public funds in its efforts opposing the Navy's actions, and has no agreement, verbal or written, to share the expenses involved in this lawsuit.

The Goliad Airpark Coalition invites anyone interested in obtaining factual information related to the Goliad Airpark issue to visit our website: remembergoliad.com.

Questions and/or comments related to the Navy's condemnation of the Airpark property can be submitted via email to airpark@remembergoliad.com.

Serena Edwards is Goliad Airpark Coalition's chairman.



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