Today, the Charlotte Observer completely erased Patsy Kinsey's work to keep the airport under Charlotte's control. In the article published this morning about the fate of the airport they jump from Anthony Foxx directly to Patrick Cannon as if Kinsey's time in office never happened.
Anthony Foxx was mayor when the airport fight began but stepped down in July to become U.S. transportation secretary. Cannon became mayor pro tem in December 2011 and was later elected mayor in November 2013.
Kinsey was widely credited for helping the city maintain control of the airport that Charlotte citizens paid to build. The writers could have easily covered this in one or two sentences. The following are links to and quotes from articles referencing Kinsey's work on the airport issue, as well as some of her public comments. Do you think her accomplishments are worthy of being ignored?
Kinsey's public comments are below, but please click on the link for commentary and to read the rest of the story.
Although we’re limited in what we can say about the situation with the airport now that we’re in the midst of legal proceedings, I did want to make a brief statement for the record. First and foremost, I want our citizens and the traveling public to know that the council and I are committed to doing all we can to ensure these proceedings have no impact on the functions of Charlotte Douglas.
Together with Interim Aviation Director Brent Cagle, we will work to maintain airport operations so that there is no disruption of service—not just for passengers, but also for the airlines, vendors, and contractors that serve the airport.
I also want the city employees at the airport to know that we are working to ensure these legal proceedings do not impact them," Kinsey says. "Regardless of what happens in court, we do not want these proceedings to jeopardize the livelihoods of our airport employees, and I want them to know that the council and I stand behind them.
The city manager and I have already spoken with the airline’s leadership several times and will remain in regular contact with them as this process unfolds. While the council and I regret that we were forced to pursue legal action, as elected officials we have a responsibility to protect our community’s most vital economic asset and were given no other alternative to do so.
Both the state and the city want Charlotte Douglas to continue to provide the highest quality services at the lowest cost, and I’m hopeful that we can reach a resolution that guarantees the airport’s future success.
Patsy Kinsey may have surprised some in Charlotte, and perhaps even in her own district, with the strong and steady presence she has provided the city in replacing Mayor Anthony Foxx, who left this summer to lead the U.S. Department of Transportation.
In her short stint as the city’s second female mayor, Kinsey has been one of the city’s lead voices in its efforts to keep control of Charlotte Douglas International Airport. The Republican-controlled General Assembly created a commission to run the airport, and Kinsey has pushed back vigorously against that effort.
Kinsey’s time at the helm will be brief, ending in December, when a new mayor is sworn in after the fall elections. But it hasn’t been easy. These past few months have been complicated. The most pressing challenges are being dealt down from Raleigh. In addition to experience, the problems call for a cool head, she says, a virtue she’s known for. Kinsey’s demeanor is a definitive departure from the bellicosity Foxx sometimes displayed in the few months before his resignation as he faced off with his own predecessor, Gov. Pat McCrory.
As soft as she may appear, Kinsey won’t stand down on the airport. She calmly killed a last-minute attempt at a compromise that was proposed by some senators, treading instead quite confidently toward a clash in the courts, while still proving again that for her, dwelling in dichotomy is normal.
In terms of policy, Kinsey has spent most of her time focused on the airport.
Republican City Council member Warren Cooksey said Kinsey helped keep council members in the loop on where they stood with the airport.
“I had more meetings in Mayor Kinsey’s office than I did with Mayor Foxx,” Cooksey said.
Said Carlee: “She played a very strong role. She did a lot of communicating with council members, a lot of phone calls, a lot of small meetings in her office.”
The city’s strategy has so far been successful. The Federal Aviation Administration and a Superior Court Judge have refused to issue a ruling that would place the airport under control of a 13-member commission created by the General Assembly.
“We’re still running the airport,” Kinsey said.
“Patsy has championed issues that are not always ones that make everyone smile and feel happy,” Kaplan said. “ She’s been a friend of historic preservation and the arts. She walked into a mess with the airport issue and handled it very well with insightful leadership.
Disclaimer: Patsy Kinsey is my mother. I have rarely discussed her or promoted her here, but felt the Observer's article was incomplete.