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Camden taxpayers aren’t fooled BY SPACEPORT STUNTS

Three weeks ago we offered a gold-bordered Certificate of Excellence on parchment-grade paper with a rocket and little green man for the best idea submitted for the next Spaceport Camden Publicity Stunt. We’ve had to order eight more certificates since so many winning suggestions poured in.

A drum-roll please for the nine Publicity Stunts tied for 1st place:

  • Because all the rocket companies are way behind schedule, Camden announces we’ll build our own orbital rocket in the Howard/Starline Memorial Rocket Factory.

  • A petroglyph has been found in an archeological dig at the Midland, Texas spaceport proving that Andrew Nelson is a “spaceport subject matter expert.”

  • Steve Howard’s phone keeps ringing off the hook with calls from space companies wanting to launch from Spaceport Camden. (Yes, we’ve heard that one before, but it never gets old.)

  • The County announces that the Tribune & Georgian did not write a story about the governor signing Steven Sainz’ Camden County Spaceport Authority bill because it wasn’t important, anyways.

  • Emails have been discovered at the Bryan-Lang Historical Archives proving the Russians once considered the Union Carbide site for their Sputnik base.

  • The Union Carbide contamination has been determined to be benign, so taxpayers don't have to worry about it. We should pay no attention to the $10 million environmental liability policy we’ll buy benefiting Union Carbide.

  • Jimmy Starline announced today that firemen, deputies, and EMS technicians will be paid 1/6th of what Steve Howard makes. That’s a pay raise. Unlike Howard's County SUV, they’ll pay for their own vehicles.

  • Camden announces it will begin discussions with the Navy to schedule ballistic submarine movements around the rocket launch schedule, delays, and postponements.

  • Camden County announces that all maps are wrong. Cumberland and Little Cumberland Islands are actually west of the spaceport, so they’re not in the way of legal rocket launches. The FAA will be notified.

The Award Certificates will be mailed soon. Click the image below to see an Award Certificate:

This contest was tough to judge. A few suggestions were too rambunctious to publish but here are the next 21 runners-up Spaceport Stunt suggestions. Most are quite plausible stunts for Camden PR so the Commissioners will actually determine the final ranking:

  1. Camden’s PR firm announces that Coastal Pines/Camden Technical College will offer rocket scientist degrees with $80,000 salaries at the spaceport upon graduation.

  2. Steve Howard will take a truth test to prove he's never told us a lie about the spaceport.

  3. A rocket company operating in ‘stealth-mode’ recently visited Camden but didn't want anyone to know they’d been here.

  4. Steve Howard announced he has turned down several high paying job offers from big counties because he wants to see the Spaceport project through to the end.

  5. Camden announces that ABL Space will set up a few desks in the gym they rented at St. Marys closed airport so that they can claim an actual presence in Camden County.

  6. Jimmy Starline says that Camden will pay for fireproof roofs for all homes on Little Cumberland Island.

  7. Andrew Nelson will be a guest “space subject matter” lecturer at the new Camden Georgia Pines Technical College.

  8. To compete with other spaceports, Camden will propose new trajectories over Jekyll Island State Park after discovering that the FAA approved Texas’ agreement to close Boca Chica State Park which is in the way of SpaceX launches.

  9. Camden has announced that the Bayer property does not need environmental review because they are sure it is cleaner than the Union Carbide property.

  10. Camden County has announced it is in negotiations to condemn Cumberland Island National Seashore so they can launch rockets over it.

  11. Elon Musk wants to launch from Spaceport Camden so badly he will offer to give all Little Cumberland Island owners a Tesla for their permission. He sweetened the pot by offering to install a bank of Tesla Superchargers on the island.

  12. Rocket companies really do want to come here but all the negativity from opponents is scaring them away from the “best launch site on earth.”

  13. Camden Commissioners are looking at a plan where the new Technical College will offer rocket and satellite engineering courses so everyone in Camden County can be a rocket scientist.

  14. Camden will announce that a rare earth needed for rocket engine nozzles has been discovered in the Union Carbide hazardous landfill rendering the landfill an asset worth millions.

  15. The US Coast Guard has advised Camden that they will identify funds from other sectors to buy all the boats they’ll need to patrol the Spaceport Camden safety zone on both sides of Cumberland Island.

  16. The FAA will release Camden's hazard analysis real, real soon.

  17. The FAA says they miscounted and received only 31 comments to the Draft EIS instead of the 15,600 they originally reported.

  18. Camden will announce a study showing that Chinese peasants like rockets flying over their homes and that there is a demand to build even more homes under rocket trajectories. Camden PR notes that only a few Chinese homes have had falling rocket parts crash on them.

  19. Camden will announce scientific studies proving that breathing rocket exhaust cures diseases to be named later.

  20. Camden announces research from a Georgia University showing that sea turtles and shore birds are MORE reproductive if they build their nests under rocket launches.

  21. Camden’s paid consultants will begin discussions to allow amateur and college rocket launches to continue on Bayer property at no cost to county taxpayers except for police, fire and EMS services. The PSA will no longer install bleachers or pay for portable toilet rental for the launches.

Let’s get serious. Spaceport promoters have been so full of hype, meaningless comparisons, and unfulfilled promises it’s hard to believe they can come up with yet another stunt. Yet, we know they have to be creative to keep the spaceport money flowing.

Last week’s Tribune and Georgian’s story on our underpaid and understaffed Fire and Sheriff Departments is exactly why I’ve been merciless on our Commissioners’ waste of scarce tax dollars. They spend on the spaceport like drunken Russian sailors hitting port. $3.2 million lost at the PSA before they worried is proof. We cannot afford the spaceport if they can’t provide necessary services. They’ve never told us how they expect us to pay for the spaceport property.

Almost $7 million already for the spaceport but money ran out for overdue 1%-4% public safety raises.

Jimmy Starline. Chuck Clark. Gary Blount. Lannie Brant. Ben Casey. Steven Sainz. Taxpayers are not speculators. We won’t forget.

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