That’s the sound of me reading another story about our great airport, my fist jammed in my mouth to stop the flow of %!@#%$!@##@ on this particular subject, which started when Ken Dawson proceeded to lead the charge to axe a driving force behind the transformation of a few Atco trailers into one of the finest little airports in North America.
I didn’t know Chuck Fast personally, but I saw him on more than one occasion with a toolbelt on during the transition and building phase, or out networking up and down the island to build awareness, support, and passenger numbers. I knew a bunch of the people that along with him built up YQQ into a smooth-running machine, locally designed, locally staffed, and winning awards left and right.
I’m sure Chuck got a good payout — you don’t fire a person on his holidays without some decent severance. An executive search (out-of-town consultants, of course — what, $30-40k dropped on that one?) came up with Ms. de Silva.
She came highly recommended from her work at the Kingston Airport, according to the reports in the paper. I was there last November.
Its waiting room was slightly larger than my living room, and the one airline there flew to Toronto — with one plane that went back and forth! I know this because the plane malfunctioned on the runway, and they cancelled the flights for the rest of the day.
I found it really funny that this airport didn’t have service to Ottawa or Montreal, or anywhere else really. I hope our new CEO has better luck here bringing in new airlines.
But the past is past, and in fairness, Ms. de Silva didn’t fire Chuck.
I was curious how she would build on the past success as a newly minted CEO running a multi-million-dollar operation funded by the community in a depressed economy.
She and her new marketing director didn’t disappoint. They went out and hired one of the biggest advertising agencies in Canada to help rebrand.
So for $180,000 they got a few squares with some Helvetica or derivative type inside. No matter how much gobbledegook marketspeak you throw at it, does anyone in their right mind really believe that a logo and an inane catchphrase is really going to determine whether a passenger uses our airport or not?
Want to know why our taxes go up and up?
One reason is because many bureaucrats and high-priced managers flush our money down the drain on consultants and idiotic initiatives like this. They fix what isn’t broken and avoid doing the hard work that tackles real problems.
What grates on me the most is that invariably they take our locally sourced tax money and spend it on out-of-town experts who produce mostly paper, PowerPoint presentations, and fluff. Cossette must have laughed all the way to the bank. YQQ, you (and the Comox Valley) got hosed.