A different airport mess


A caller to KFAQ Tuesday morning mentioned another mess involving the Tulsa Airport Improvement Trust (TAIT), which is documented on the "Home, My Home" website. The "Home Not Quiet Home" section covers the Tulsa Airport's noise abatement program.

The caller to KFAQ alleged that the TAIT received federal funds to pay for noise abatement work south of the airport all the way to 31st Street, but no work has been done south of Admiral, leaving the caller wondering what happened to the rest of the Federal grant money.

The proprietor of "Home My Home" lives in one of the homes that is supposed to be soundproofed as part of the program. He documents the sloppy work that has been done, and says that there is no effective oversight, and no recourse for homeowners if work is not acceptable. The company running the program is the same company hiring the subcontractors.

The program, called Home Quiet Home, is administered by Cinnabar, a company that specializes in handling eminent domain acquisitions for local government. The co-owner and president is Bob Parmele, who is well-connected to Tulsa County government. He is a member of the Tulsa County Public Facilities Authority (the Fair Board) and is a former member of the Tulsa Metropolitan Area Planning Commission. His executive VP is Terry Young, former Mayor, and former managing director of the Oklahoma Turnpike Authority.

"Home My Home" has a link to a Tulsa Whirled article from 2002 about Tulsa County's plan to expand O'Brien Park. Parmele's Cinnabar was hired to handle land acquisition, and Chad Stites was the appraiser. Stites, who briefly served as a state legislator, was charged Friday with illegally purchasing property he had appraised for the Sheriff's office. The Whirled's story reports another interesting connection between Stites and Parmele:

During two days of the 2002 legislative session, Stites was paid for conducting up to 18 appraisals on the same day records showed him at the state Capitol voting on legislation. Bob Parmele, another appraiser who worked with Stites on those days, said the three started the appraisals before dawn. When asked how drive-by appraisals could be conducted in the dark, Parmele said enough light existed to see the properties.

Go explore "Home My Home" and learn more about another airport mess involving suspiciously cozy relationships between government officials and government contractors.

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on May 12, 2004 1:16 AM.

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