Cross Plan Re: F-35
The following was written by guest blogger: George C. Cross of Winooski…
SIMPLE SOLUTION – THE CROSS PLAN
Here are three easy steps the Air Force, the Vermont Air National Guard, the Vermont Congressional delegation, the Governor of Vermont and the Mayor of Burlington can collectively take in relation to the F-35. These steps will assure the good people who live in the flight path of the Burlington International Airport that bringing the F-35 to Vermont is the right thing to do.
First, they can all collaborate to release in full the rating scale and scoring for the Air Force’s environmental impact study related to the “bedding down” of the F-35 in Burlington and ensures the authors will be available to respond to local citizens’ questions.
Second, they can agree that the Air Force must bring the plane to Burlington for at least a two week period and fly it daily, prior to any final decision, so that all can judge for themselves whether it is a good fit with Vermont.
Third, in the case the decision is made to deploy the planes in Vermont, they can agree that the Air Force or some agency of the federal government will be required:
a. To hold property owners in and near the flight paths harmless in terms of any depreciation in the value of their properties caused by the intrusion of the F-35 in these “green mountains.”
b. To hold Vermont communities and the State of Vermont Education Fund harmless in terms of any loss of tax revenue caused by depreciated property values created by the F-35.
If there are no significant issues related to assigning the F-35s to the Vermont Air National Guard, as some of the above have stated, then meeting these three conditions should be a piece-of-cake. In the absence of a collaborative agreement on the above, all the parties have failed to take reasonable action to ensure Vermonters that deploying the F-35 in Vermont is a wise decision. It is not up to the local citizens to prove that this plane should not be here. It is required that the military/industrial complex and the politicians prove that it is compatible with our state; or, at least agree that Vermonters and Vermont will be held harmless in case that turns out not to be true.
George C. Cross