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Reed Defends Delta CEO On Conflict of Interest Claim Regarding Paulding Airport Expansion

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed
Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed is defending Delta CEO Richard Anderson from critics who say Anderson should resign from a key civic post for speaking out against Paulding County efforts to expand its airport.

The Delta CEO is the new chairman of the Metro Atlanta Chamber, which aims to promote business across the region. 

Paulding commission chair David Austin is one critic who says Anderson should resign from that position if he continues to publicly express opposition to the county’s plan to commercialize its airport. Austin says Anderson’s comments are biased and damaging to Paulding’s future growth.

Reed, however, dismisses any call for Anderson’s resignation. 

“I don’t think that because you run the chamber you stop running your business,” said Reed. “And if that’s the case, chamber presidents won’t be involved in anything. He has a right to his opinion.”

Important to note, Reed agrees with Anderson and argues another commercial airport would hurt Hartsfield Airport, which he calls the region’s most powerful economic engine.

“Obviously I don’t support that airport,” said Reed. “The overwhelming amount of data says that having two airports is unhealthy.”

In related news, a judge will decide later this week whether Paulding officials failed to properly notify residents of plans to use public funds to expand the airport. A lawsuit was brought by two Paulding residents who oppose the expansion.