Airing It Out

The city commission of Valparaiso, Fla., met on Monday for its first public meeting since its controversial Feb. 18 vote to sue the Air Force over the service’s decision to base an initial portion of F-35s at nearby Eglin Air Force Base as part of a training schoolhouse. The Northwest Florida Daily News reported March 9 that a large crowd of local residents turned out for the three-hour meeting, with those both supporting and opposing the lawsuit expressing their views. But, in the end, the commission did not take any new action, according to the newspaper. Pro-F-35 residents presented a petition against the lawsuit and called for the commission to work with the Air Force—not against it—to resolve the concerns over the noise levels of the F-35s and their impact on Valparaiso citizens. These concerns ostensibly drove the commission to seek the litigation. But one local resident warned that Valparaiso citizens should not be lulled into a sense of complacency since, according to this person, the concessions to which the Air Force has already agreed thus far to mitigate the noise levels are not binding and could be discarded at some future point.