I have followed four Fairhope city councils and one thing I can tell you is with each new council several things became abundantly clear. The new members of the council are usually influenced by longer serving members. However, the newer members are usually kept in the dark as to the backstory involving long-term issues concerning the city. Another observation was the utter lack of transparency and accountability. I give our previous Mayor full credit for using the aforementioned tactics.
Fairhope’s last mayor doubled down and refused to cooperate in any transition with the new Mayor. Consider for a moment what a daunting task it must be to become Mayor with no cooperation from the previous administration and virtually no information about city operations, until you are sworn in. Then consider that a couple of council members who survived the last election wear the same hat as the defeated Mayor.
Fairhope has elected a Mayor who ran a campaign on a platform of transparency, accountability and the elimination of conflict of interests in hiring and city contracts. She will be faced with the effects of decisions made in her absence. These are deals and contracts that have more red flags than the Soviet Union.
The Shux restaurant on the Municipal Pier, a contract of 30 years, is a glaring example. Another is the triangle lawsuit settlement, among others.
Several weeks ago I was given information, by concerned citizens and city employees, regarding a lease involving the Fairhope Airport Authority.
This will be the first of multiple related articles; and, as we glean more information, we will keep you informed. I will submit my findings and allegations to Mayor Wilson and to the City Council and request that they make a complete investigation and report in a timely manner to the citizens of the community.
The Airport Authority has a Board of Directors who are supposed to handle Airport contracts leases and general business. Airport business sometimes involves millions of dollars and the members are entrusted with confidential information.
Please see related article:
Fairhope Airport Authority to accept $2.9 Million in grant funding
FAIRHOPE — The Fairhope City Council accepted a resolution at last week’s council meeting for the Fairhope Airport Authority to accept $2.9 million in grant funding for the construction of an …
A request for proposal ( RFP ) is a type of bidding solicitation in which a company or organization announces that funding is available for a particular project or program, and companies can place bids for the project’s completion. These proposals can take weeks or months to properly construct.
The Airport Authority sent out an RFP on September 21, 2015 and had a submittal date of October 13, 2015. This was only 22 days? The next step was an RFP opening of the bids October 20, 2015. This was for a ground lease for a commercial hanger on plat 2, a second commercial hanger. October minutes of the Airport Authority reflect
”Vince Boothe and Jack Burrell were appointed to a committee to review the bids and make a recommendation for awarding the bid at the Authority’s meeting in November.”
Three bids were submitted.
The November 17th minutes address the recommendation/approval of ground lease for commercial hanger on plat 2:
“Before there was any discussion of the committee recommendation Ray Hix recuse himself and left the room.”
Mr. Hix is on the Airport Authority Board and a member of the Airport Operations Committee.
“Jack Burrell went over the material that he and Vince Boothe used to select the winning bidder for the hanger on plat 2. There was an open question and answer discussion for all attending. Afterward Jack Burrell made a motion to award the bid to Hix/Snedecker Companies DBA Mid-Bay Air,llc subject to approval of the State Ethics Commission. There was a second by Vince Booth and unanimously carried.”
Mr Snedecker is the Fairhope Municipal judge. On Dec. 17, 2015 the memorandum of lease was recorded.
Please let this marinate in you mind: Jack Burrell, the President of the Fairhope City Council, is also on the Airport Authority, and on the committee reviewing and making the motion to accept the Mid Bay bid.
This motion was seconded by the same board member who assisted Mr Burrell in the review process— Vince Boothe. Mr Hix, an Airport Authority Board member, who is privileged to confidential information of the board and associate member of Jack Burrell, was awarded the bid along with his partner Mr Snedecker, the Fairhope Municipal Judge.
Please tell me who in this picture was not connected with the city or Airport Authority?
The answer is the other two bidders.
Think about that.
If it was a legitimate ethical bid, Mr. Hix would have resigned from the Airport Board to pursue his business interest and Judge Snedecker would have been cleared by the ethics commission well prior to any bid opening. To simply recuse yourself from the board is not acceptable. The board itself should have seen the obvious conflict and all recuse themselves from voting on an associate of the board and most likely a friend. Mr. Burrell’s actions suggest a cozy inside deal protected by the then acting Mayor. He should resign his positions until a full investigation is conducted.
The litmus test for the new council is, would you do this?
Because if you would, YOU DON’T KNOW JACK.
This sweetheart deal is exactly why we elected a new Mayor and three new council members.
Another interesting fact is that the Lease is recorded as a memorandum of lease, which is a simple memorandum— not a lease and operating agreement which spells out the specifics of the lease. This has been required of all leases at the Airport, and the Mid Bay lease is 30 years long.
Who attended the awarding of the bid and where are the Ethics Letters?
Who are the other bidders and their history in the aviation field and what was their estimate of construction completion?
Midbay has yet to start construction.
Many questions come to mind that cannot be answered until obtaining further information which the Ripp Report will do through a FOIA, freedom of information, request from Fairhope.
One question that will not be answered by a FOIA request is, does Mr Burrell have any business interests with either Mr. Hix or Mr. Snedecker or does his personal occupation have any conflicts with his political position?
To the new members of the city council I say this is not what we expect of you, watch your back because;
YOU DON’T KNOW JACK
One thing remains the same … You’re still an idiot!
Shoot the messenger
Why would you call someone who is trying to expose light on the people taking advantage of our community an idiot?
You obviously don’t know him, you’re part of the problem or both!
Paul, you must have stirred the pot in this one. You got the “Baldwin Insider” all in a tizzy not to mention all the comments that follow this post. The new mayor is really stirring up a hornet’s nest with her airport moves
By the way, if the city employees donot show her the loyalty she has earned by her election then I would fire them too.
Once an idiot always an idiot. Just so everyone knows that don’t, this is idiot doesn’t even live in the city. His whole life all he has ever done is thrive on stirring stuff up. Nothing to gain but self gratification and making extra work for records clerks at the cities cost.
He actually spends most of his time helping people – none of that is posted. He only posts things like this to call out the bad guys. The people who have a problem with Paul don’t know him or they’re one of the bad guys. Orherwise, why else would you take the time to read the article or post a comment?
Because he is comical
Glad you are getting a laugh, soon it will be uncontrollable
Is this you Jack Burrell?Hahahaha. Now that would be comical!
Sir The Ripp Report is a non-profit dedicated to routing out political and judicial corruption in the most corrupt state and county in the US. I suggest you hold onto your ass because there is a lot more information coming. I live just outside the city limits and whatever the city does, impacts us living outside the city limits. We “outsiders” have no vote,but we do have the Ripp Report. One more thing Sir this is the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA and as a citizen and combat veteran I have every right to expose self serving entitled selfish greedy politicians who steal from the general public.
Anybody can make stuff up and post it on the Internet like you do!
Which part is made up? The November 17th minutes? The bids? Be specific. Bonus points, try to answer without an insult.
90% of the shit that Ripp posts is made up. Either post facts, back them up and stop posting opinion or shut up. If you want to write an op-Ed, then call it that. Such a bunch of sheep!
Sounds like someone is worried
Insider deals like this do not allow markets to work, the hurt each and every person in Fairhope. While Karin seems to have a very different personality than President Elect Trump, she won for the same reason. To drain the swamp.
Típ of the iceberg.
Speaking of idiots!!
Paul Ripp is a Vietnam veteran and a personal hero of mine. His father was one of the most
courageous consumer advocates in Alabama history who returned millions of dollars to the
people through his efforts, so Paul comes by his honesty and integrity by learning from the best.
Please notice that the cowardly boobs who insult Paul do not identify themselves nor will they.
I believe this story has deep and dark secrets that will show up as it progresses. Keep up the great
Dean Mosher Fairhope
Ripp, Warner and Mosher – The 3 Stooges
YOU DON’T KNOW JACK
I know these 3 are 3 of the biggest idiots breathing Baldwin County air!
WOW We really got your goat
What a douchebag!
So so true, they would be the death of our City.
If what Paul Ripp posts is false, why not respond with facts to counter them? Name calling does not advance your argument or inform an audience.
“Why is it that the children of evil and darkness are far more vociferous than the children of goodness and light?”
Thanks Chris. You’re so enlightening!
Someone sounds very threatened by these 3 stooges.
I know one stooge that knows a hell of a lot more than what has been published.
Eventually, what is done in the darkness, will come into to light..
Keep up the good work Paul!
Some questions and comments.
I would appreciate if you would expand on the criteria for selection. The article stated that the criteria were presented and there was an open question and answer period.
Next, if there was some objection to the final decision, did the other two bidders file an appeal of some type.
Finally, please, can you provide evidence that the “Best Choice” wasn’t made? I think it would be hard to prove tampering if the best choice for the city was made.
Thanks in advance for clarification.
Good questions I hope to be able to answer them upon relieving more info through foia request. The Judge and Board member did not need to be involved with this bid overseas by Jack, all around unethical
Sorry overseen by Jack.
Don’t insult Marines with the Ripp name.
Bet you never servsd
Paul, Stay with the mission. No need to get into the military serve weeds.
I’ve tried to look objectively at the Ripp Report and take what I can from it. But it seems to be borne of a recipe of open ended questions, innuendo, and suggestions at wrong doing, not proof or wrong doing, which is what this article communicates to me. In the meantime it slanders people by questioning their motives, which concerns me. Not everyone doing business in Fairhope is crooked, but it’s a small town and you’re surely going to brush up against people who definitively are crooked. I want legitimate business people to feel secure enough to take risks and make investments in our town without having to fear ending up on a tabloid, which this oftentimes feels like. Please, more facts. Less wink wink nudge nudge.
I would like to see a follow up to this article where you invite the people you have identified to respond to your allegations, and print that. Seems irresponsible not to.
Why is everyone so afraid of transparency? Unless there is some truly confidential information, everything should be above board, with no reason to have to file under the FOIA
Are the 3 bids available under the Freedom Of Information Act? And who opened the sealed bids?
How can our airport make money if everyone is allowed to put their own fuel tanks on their hangar space? They should have to buy the gas from continental.
Why wouldn’t the airport authority build a hangar and lease the space out themselves! You don’t need an aviation background to know how to make a good business deal.
Who’s going to monitor that cedar creek ( Boan) and Fairhope judge ( Sneddeker)& treasurer of airport authority ( Hix) hangars are truly for personal use? That could be problematic alone since one has deals in oil, energy and sewer pipelines . The other has businesses all over the United States.
Doesn’t take a NASA engineer to do this research!
Why would we have an airport authority board member treasurer not even attend meetings?( Burrell said). Last but not least … Should the citizens be concerned that bids were tabulated at Bucks Diner…
Why were there even bids if it’s for personal use?
If these people are using it for private use why wouldn’t you let all three “bids” build a hangar space.
City council & airport authority board- we the citizens of Fairhope are not DUMB!!
If there’s nothing to hide why get so worked up?
Drain the swamp!! It smells like SEWER to me!
When Ripp comments on his own article ☝????️????
Good ole boys are skerred.
Go Karin Go!
Cleanup Fairhope. Jack Burrell is a fink.