Midland Council Moving Forward On CAF Air Show Funding, Strings Attached 9/24/13
CBS 7 News
September 24, 2013
MIDLAND-The Commemorative Air Force made its case today at the Midland City Council, for its $50,000 air show funding.
But sparks were flying as both Midland City Council and CAF members had some passionate questions.
The City of Midland is moving forward on attaching strict guidelines to the funds, but it wasn't before some tough back and forth about the move of headquarters.
"You can't create a museum and Headquarters here? Why do you need to move the headquarters?” asked Council Member John Love.
"The key is we can make a bigger national impact by adding a location and allow the new base concept to grow,” said CAF President and CEO Stephan C. Brown.
Today’s agenda focused on the $50,000 air show funding.
"If the HQ leaves, how will we maintain the quality of the air show, of the museum?" asked Council Member Scott Dufford.
"We looked at all our agreements and if we wanted to, we could just leave,” Brown said. “But that’s not what we want to do.”
In light of the move --the council will tie in obligations to the air show's funding. Dufford originally asked the HQ to remain here as part of the deal. Instead, the council is opting for specific details that ensure the museum and show will remain a prominent feature in midland.
“We are making sure that the assets at the museum are maintained and the museum continues to improve over the years,” Dufford said. The obligations are still being decided, but also include a requirement to ensure the local High Sky wing remains at the CAF complex.
CAF members took the chance to voice their staunch opposition.
"The transparency in this organization is like mud,” said long-term CAF Member Dianne Fenner. “We do not know what's going on.”
And those who brought the CAF here in the first place.
"Our resolution that approved our grant of $1 million was to make Midland the epicenter of the CAF by moving its headquarters here,” said Abell Hanger Foundation Representative David Smith.
The council voted to give the mayor and three members the authority to negotiate the final obligations of the air show funding by October 1.
The vote to decide the fate of the CAF HQ move will be Friday, October 11.