Investigating the Investigators

“The appropriation from city coffers to the airport is more than we spend on all 5 of our public schools and is 21% of our debt and accommodates less than 1% of the population.”

The Ripp Report is being investigated by attorneys hired by the Fairhope Airport Authority because we filed a complaint against them. Please take into consideration that this is the same attorney who was hired by board member Ray Hix to request an advisory opinion from the Ethics Commission. This letter submitted by Mr. Bailey, Mr. Hix’s attorney and the Authority’s, has been requested four times to no avail. The Fairhope Airport Authority, faa, has explained that the attorneys will be paid from profits of the airport and not the appropriation that they receive from the city of Fairhope. The point they are making is the taxpayers are not paying for legal services. It is being paid with profits of the airport. The profits from the airport belong exclusively to the authority, and taxpayers have nothing to say about it. There lies the rub, think about that.

In a recent, well written article,

The bond, the bid and the blogger: What all the fuss is about in Fairhope - Lagniappe Mobile

It’s a one-runway municipal airport named after a beloved former congressman. It has an aviation training academy and a lot of potential to attract suppliers to the massive Airbus assembly operation in Mobile. Yet the H.L. “Sonny” Callahan Airport has become a political football in Fairhope. • Mayor Karin Wilson is fighting with the City …


the faa and Mr. Hix were quoted numerous times about specific issues.

First off the comment,

“Hix won the lease for his company without having inside information about the bidding process.”

Mr Hix had been a board member for 6 months prior to the bid process, as a board member his responsibility is to review leases and faa business. That information had to be useful in bidding on a faa lease in the future regardless of the fact that Mr. Hix did recuse himself during the bid process.

Mr. Hix says the hanger being built,

“will hold three airplanes, one belonging to the company, a second to another owner and a third that once was owned by the company and in which half interest is being bought back.”

Of the 5 questions asked on the bid form number 4 states,

”How many airplane[s] are you planning to house in the hanger? What is the model of the airplane[s] to be housed? What person or business entity owns each aircraft [if more than one owner, please specify percentage of ownership]?"

Mr. Hix claimed 100% ownership of three aircraft. His Lagniappe answer was one airplane, which was all the Ripp Report could confirm. The question is specific on the awarded bid. Mr Hix’s answer does not match up to his submitted bid.

Question 3 on the bid sheet asked,

”What is your estimate of how many gallons of Jet A Fuel and/or Avgas [aviation gasoline] you will

purchase annually in Fairhope? Include in your response the method or basis by which your fuel flow figures are calculated [Including whether your figures are actual or estimated."

Hix answer was,

”Based on actual fuel use age from 2014-15 our usage would be 85-95,000 gallons of jet A and 5000 gallons of Avgas, We expect a 20% increase in Jet A usage in 2015-16 due to increasing business travel. Expecting 10-20% increase per year going forward.”

That’s 100,000 to 110,000 gallons based on his answer.

Mr Burrell who was on the bid committee reduced Mid-Bay’s fuel number by 15,000 gallons.

What gives Mr. Burrell the authority to amend someone’s bid?

That would bring the fuel figure to 85,000 to 95,000 gallons.

Remember the question? “purchase annually in Fairhope.”

Mr. Hix’s said,

“he is confident of the fuel estimate because one of his planes”

He only owns one,

“used 70,000 gallons by itself in 2016.”

The fuel figure would be easy to verify by going to the fixed based operator at the Fairhope airport that supplies the fuel. Mr Hix nor Joe McEnerney, Airport Authority Chairman have disclosed the accurate figure.

Question 2 on the bid form asks,

“from date the lease is signed, approximately how long will it take you to complete construction of the hanger?”


“six months Preliminary Design has been completed by our Architect and engineering firm. No financing contingencies.”

The executed date of the lease was Dec. 17, 2015. That’s 27 months ago. The hanger is less than 50% complete.

It appears that 3 of 5 questions on the bid sheet do not appear to be accurate. Made me wonder if Mr. Hix had made these mistakes before so since they were investigating the Ripp Report why shouldn’t we investigate Mr. Hix,

Daphne lawyers settle $10.2 million judgment from failed Gulf Shores project

Haymes Snedeker and Ray Hix Jr., partners in a Daphne law firm, have agreed to settle a multimillion-dollar civil judgment arising from a failed Gulf Shores land deal.


The original complaint centered on Mr. Jack Burrell the elected official. After reviewing Mr. Hix’s and the Authorities comments in Lagniappe and considering his personal attorney is investigating the Ripp Report, we feel compelled to file an ethics complaint against Mr. Ray Hix.

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