MidAmerica's horror show

October 27, 2013 

So should the villagers gather torches and pitchforks and go after the monster, or should they go after his creator, Dr. Frankenstein? We're feeling a little sorry for the monster, who was an experiment sewn together from spare parts and likes flowers.

We understand some St. Clair County Board members want to get rid of MidAmerica Airport Director Tim Cantwell. If you can't produce, maybe someone fresh can.

But would all the political energy spent on ousting Cantwell be worth it or change anything? He surely is not operating on his own, so those who give him direction are to blame.

That means getting rid of Cantwell will do little unless County Board Chairman Mark Kern decides a new direction is needed. There appears to be little evidence that he sees anything amiss with our airport experiment, and we see no villagers preparing to storm the castle.

We thought it interesting that Public Building Commissioner James Nations saw the airport's problems and fix as political. Kern framed his commissioners as a way to keep politics out of the airport and then called out County Board member Nick Miller's effort to oust Cantwell as political grandstanding. It seems to be a matter of perspective, but ours is that there is little in this county that is not political.

Regardless, something should change. The airport lost $28.7 million in five years.

As we've said, a start would be to give elected leaders who serve at their constituents' discretion the say-so over airport spending. Their spending decisions would dictate whether we continue chasing Chinese trade, fresh fish and flowers and berries, passenger service or defense manufacturing.

Whether a new director would better sell our white Franken-Dumbo, we're not sure. A new direction seems wise.

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