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Government takes a lot of justifiable heat for being unresponsive to its constituents. So, when local politicians disprove that thesis, it’s worth appreciating.

Applause, therefore, to the Border Coast Regional Airport Authority commissioners for their unanimous vote against Contour Airlines’ bid to change its Crescent City flight destination from Oakland International to Sacramento.

Contour had applied for the change to take advantage of a new partnership with American Airlines that will allow their passengers to “book through” on American to other U.S. destinations. One problem: American flies through Sacramento, not Oakland.

The change would have made it slightly more convenient for travelers to reach LA, Phoenix or Chicago, but it would have severed or seriously damaged our precious air link to the Bay Area – flying there via Sacramento would have tripled the time required, and at least doubled the airfare.

So, at the BCRAA’s virtual board meeting Feb. 18, the community made itself heard – local business investor Adam Goldstein popped in with a detailed presentation on the fare, business and convenience implications of the change, and about 15 area residents provided letters/emails/comments. The sentiment was overwhelmingly in favor of Oakland.

And the commissioners responded. Even those who had originally supported the Sacramento proposal changed their minds in light of what they were hearing.

So, cheers to Gerry Hemmingsen, Gary Milliman, John Herzog, Chris Howard, Dale Miller, Alex Campbell and Jeri Thompson for listening to your constituents and preserving the Bay Area air connection we were so happy to have Contour restore in 2018. When I take my regular seat next month for the exceptionally comfortable flight from CEC to OAK, I’ll be celebrating your commitment to public service.

Mike Gaynes

Brookings

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