Schizophrenia at City Hall

Santa_Monica_City_Hall.JPGThe City government here in Santa Monica has become adept at talking out of both sides of its mouth with regard to our Municipal Airport. For many years an anti-airport public stance has been de rigueur for anyone running for office in this town. Many reasons are cited as justification, but all of them are without merit when we look at the facts, which show that our airport is clean, quiet, safe and profitable.

So why is the city trying to close it? Or are they?

While it is apparent that the City Council and their developer friends would like to get their hands on the airport real estate unencumbered by parkland status, the Council and staff are quietly positioning to spends millions on airport improvements using the monies they are getting from the newly acquired rentals on the north side of the field and the wrongly imposed landing fees for aircraft using the facility.

Part of the reason for this is that funds raised by the airport must remain at the airport under Federal law and cannot be absorbed into the City’s general fund. Another part of the reason may be that the City realizes that the odds of prevailing in the current litigation at the 9th Circuit to wrest ultimate control over the land from the FAA and close the airport are meager indeed.

It could also be that the current lawsuit calling for an end to council elections "at large" has these brigands in a state of abject panic. When council elections are done by district , as they ought to be, there will be no particular advantage to most candidates to bash the airport

We look forward to seeing long–neglected facilities at the airport refurbished and improved. It is high time that this was done. The condition of the Airport infrastructure is a shameful disgrace.

We will remain vigilant to prevent any monies being spent in such a fashion as to unfairly encroach on the on our ability to use or enjoy the airport within reasonable limits such as onerous and over-the-top security measures applicable to large Part 121 airports like LAX or attempting to unduly “harden” the public viewing areas making access difficult or unrewarding.

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