At least one city official isn’t reticent about criticizing Little Rock National Airport Director Ron Mathieu’s decision to put $40,000 into a new football turf project at his son’s school, Little Rock Christian Academy, in return for a 7-by-10 sideline ad for the airport. It’s the airport’s only football field advertising, the expenditure was 15 percent of the airport’s budget for the year and Mathieu, when questioned directly about the $40,000 outlay at a June meeting, told airport commissioners everything but what the expenditure was for.
Joan Adcock tells Fox 16 that she thinks the expenditure was a waste. (Airport defenders will say Adock is still unhappy about a recent construction contract at the airport that went to an out-of-state contractor instead of some qualified local businesses.)
Here’s another waste at the airport — its so-called media director Tiajuana Williams, who nominally approved the expenditure for Little Rock Christian after, e-mail shows, Mathieu had been solicited for a pledge to the turf campaign. She will not answer questions in person, by phone or in writing from the Arkansas Times on this subject. She forwards requests for documents to the airport’s attorney — who works on a $10,725 monthly retainer — but otherwise is non-responsive to all other questions. She won’t even say directly how much she’s paid by the public, a fact presumably at her instant command. If we want to know that, we can go to her lawyer’s office. During business hours.
The Little Rock Airport Commission will discuss this issue Tuesday. It should be interesting. Will the issue be the message or the messenger?