Ah, the perks of being the incoming Council President. Before he is even sworn in to office, Richard Clark (along with his wife, Deatra) will be whisked off to Paris, France for the Paris Air Show courtesy of the Jacksonville Aviation Authority (JAA). It also appears that other officials, including the Mayor, JAA interim Executive Director Ernestine Moody Robinson, JAA employees Richard Rossi and Rosa Beckett, and JAA Board members Cyrus Jolivette and Ron Weaver, will also be traveling to Paris.
According to a recent news article, it’s costing the State of Washington, home to the largest concentration of aerospace workers in the world, $7,100 to send one person to Paris for the air show. (And that’s the only person the state is sending.) I guess John Clark’s exit hasn’t impacted JAA’s propensity for taking expensive, international trips. I also guess that it’s just not as sexy to attend the US Air, Trade, and Technology Expo (USATT), the American equivalent of the Paris Air Show, that will be held in Dayton, Ohio in July. Sure, the USATT doesn’t have the history that the Paris Air Show has; but, it also doesn’t have the high costs and would still provide good opportunities to network with the aviation industry.
Now that Councilman Clark has joined the computer age by making his E-mails public, perhaps we can persuade him to also twitter the air show for us. I just hope they don’t decide to take $10,000 worth of limo rides while they’re attending the Paris Air Show like some other Jacksonville folks did awhile back.