Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Reputation Of Travis Solid In D.C.

Reputation Of Travis Solid In D.C.
By Danny Bernardini/Staff Writer
Article Launched: 03/05/2008

Fairfield government officials spent Tuesday rubbing elbows with Air Force generals in Washington, D.C., discussing Travis Air Force Base. And, today, they will discuss other issues with congressional members.

Mayor Harry Price, Councilman Chuck Timm and City Manager Sean Quinn all made the trip to discuss future funding for Travis and city projects. The group talked with The Reporter via conference call Tuesday after a long day of meetings.

The consensus among two- and three-star generals was that Travis has built a great reputation and has come through for the Air Force. Timm said Travis was commended on its strategic airlift activities and the fact that encroachment has not been a problem in regard to the base.

"Folks in the Pentagon are very pleased with the way the Travis community has responded to their needs," Price said.

Timm, who is only in his fifth month of serving on the council, said although it is easy to get blown away by the fact the group is talking to high-ranking officials in national landmarks, the job at hand is to bring home some funding.

"This is out of my realm, it's heavy stuff. It's actually exhausting," Timm said. "We have something they want, that's cooperation. We have a list of things we want. We try and stress the importance and hope they see that.

"We're here two days going from sun-up to sun-down," Timm added.

Quinn said one advantage Fairfield has is that officials have been heading to Washington, D.C., for lobbying. He said the familiarity helps while discussing issues.

"One comment we heard is that they appreciate it that we come back every year," he said. "They recognize that and commented on that. We have a history there."

He said the group has several specific issues on their list, rather than just discussing broad topics.

"This isn't a shotgun approach, it's a rifle approach," Quinn said. "We targeted several things we wanted to discuss and met with the right people."

Some of those items outside Travis' gates include the following:

• $3 million for Fairfield/Solano Radio Interoperability;

• $2 million for the design and construction for a new parking garage for the Fairfield Transportation Center;

• And, $350,000 to improve after-school programs for middle school students.

Danny Bernardini can be reached at county@thereporter.com.

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