This afternoon's temperatures around the Piedmont pushed past 70, which makes it pretty hard to think about de-icing aircraft at one of the busiest airports in the nation.
But the warm weather won't keep uncle Jerry from spending your hard earned money, in fact now Charlotte Douglas International Airport Aviation Director Jerry Orr is asking that 3 new aircraft de-icing pads be installed along runway 5-23. How much you ask? How about 2.3 million? Bids must be in by March 10, 2011.
The Uncle Jerry's "Give a Felon a Job" Taxicab program is off the table at tonight's Charlotte City Council meeting and it seems like everyone wants to take credit for forcing the removal.
But outside the government center dozens of cab drivers and their families stood with protest signs objecting to the program and suggesting Jerry Orr hit the door. More on the protesters from WSOC TV which is here.
While the item is off the agenda, Council will discuss the plan during tonight's closed door dinner session. With so much posturing going on its hard to tell who lit the fire, Foxx, Dulin, or City Clown, Curt Walton. Even so, Cedar Posts is sure Council would have voted in favor of Jerry Orr's plan had it not been for last minute reporting by WCNC News Channel 36.
But leave it to Charlotte City Council's own court jester Andy Dulin to try to spin the scam to his advantage:
Dulin's series of tweets from this afternoon follows:
@adulin @UTKevDawg Hello Kev, Do you have my phone #. I'm going to secret shop the taxi's at the airport during linch. Want to join? Call me. #cltcc
@adulin: @UTKevDawg This just in, The City manager just called and is going to pull the taxi issue from tonights #cltcc agenda. I'm still shopping!
@adulin: @CBJgreennews I'm at the airport doing an out and back to "secret shop" the taxi companies. I'll have my research ready tonight. #cltcc
adulin: Headed back to gov center now from airport. Taxi biz is big biz to our city and guests. #cltcc
@adulin: I know the city manager pulled the taxi issue, he checked with his board before he did it. I had time scheduled so I preceeded. #cltcc
@adulin: My round trip taxi "secret shop" ride 2 airport complete, my next #cltcc meet is about minority contractors and helping them get work.
@adulin: Very interesting #cltcc day. Taxi secret shop, met w/ inventors that need help & a CRVA update. We'll discuss housing policy during dinner.
Andy Dulin spent his day riding around Charlotte in a taxicab as a "secret shopper". Well folks it doesn't take a secret shopper to tell you Charlotte's cabs are pretty damn nasty. Try getting a Charlotte cab driver to roll up the windows and turn on the a/c in the summer. As far as Cedar is concerned thank goodness for Rose Limousine.
So during the Charlotte City Council dinner meeting Andy Dulin went on an epic rant about taxicabs in Charlotte, and bottom line is that he was not pleased with what he saw. Well welcome to Charlotte Mr. Dulin.
A couple of points Dulin raised: Confirming what many feared - some drivers take the long route to to and from the airport to bump up the fare.
Dulin rode 3 cabs with each of the cab companies recommended for exclusive contracts at the airport and found the experience less than desirable.
I have to admit I'm glad Dulin took a cab ride and discovered what most of Charlotte has known for years, that cabs in Charlotte suck! So why in the world would the airport want to give an exclusive contract to any one cab company? And lets assume for a moment that the 3 companies chosen were really the best of the best. Then how bad are the bottom 3, the bottom 6?
The Airport Parking Decks
Beginning in July the City will start tearing down the current parking decks to build new taller parking decks. If it seems like the current parking decks were just completed well your are correct. But Charlotte is a ten year city and the parking deck you see above is old, or at least so says Jerry Orr. The costs? Oh you don't really want to know.