No surprise on that one, really.
There’s so much utter nonsense in today’s Leader article about the council airport vote that we hardly know where to begin. But we will.
Nearly two-dozen residents spoke Monday night during a Burbank City Council meeting, where elected officials voted to endorse a set of proposed terms that would apply to the development of a gate-for-gate replacement terminal at Bob Hope Airport. The current terminal has 14 gates.
“Fourteen gates means 14 gates,” said Frank Quintero, president of the Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport Authority board, promising the council and the public that airfield officials would not seek to expand the airport any further.
The airport authority had endorsed the terms earlier this month, along with a measure to initiate an environmental study considering multiple alternatives for the new terminal building — including not to construct it at all.
How swell of them. And when they’re going to build it anyway if it passes.
The only purpose behind a non-build survey option of course is so that they can then say right before the election: “See! Traffic and environment will be just as bad if we do nothing! So a new terminal won’t make much difference, Burbank!”
Just watch. That’s how it will be filtered and pimped by the local media.
The mutual endorsement of the terms, which are nonbinding and lay out the foundation for legal documents and other staff work in the coming months, is a sign of progress for the two governmental bodies, which have been at odds over the proposed terminal project for years and had reached a stalemate in negotiations earlier this year.
They are binding. That’s the whole point. They are supposed to be binding, and will enter into the final “Agreement.” We’re being told differently now?
Despite the fact that there have been multiple public meetings on the matter during the past two years — including three prior meetings in the past month where the outlined terms were made public and at least two where public comment on the items was received — the Burbank residents who showed up Monday complained that the council had sought no public input.
Meetings which meant nothing, and in at least one case was officially noticed over a damned weekend– and still did nothing to solicit “input.” Council minds were already made up by then … because of all the secret meetings they’d been having previously! These were only informational get-togethers at best.
Several of the speakers expressed confusion over items on the term sheet, an eight-page outline of conditions for any terminal-project development agreement, which would not only need the agreement of the city and airport, but would require a public vote under Measure B, which was passed by Burbank voters in 2000.
For example, the term sheet states that the terminal will not have more than 14 gates, and the authority will continue to enforce noise rules as it does now, while also supporting a mandatory nighttime curfew.
Another section states that a “super-majority” of the airport authority board could change any of those positions.
“This is how you get to that,” said Councilman Will Rogers, explaining that the authority board can change those positions now with a simple majority of any five of nine commissioners, but the super-majority requirement would mean that if two Burbank commissioners voted against such changes, they could block them.
Like we could never get a pro-airport council in the future that’s bent on expansion, could we? So these “protections” are as ultimately meaningless as the “14-gates only” promise. Yeah, 14 gates with twice the customers 10 years from now!
Naturally, the best protection in the world is “No new terminal.” Remember that.
Some speakers complained that one proposed condition would allow the cities of Glendale or Pasadena to conduct building inspections of the new terminal in place of Burbank inspectors, which city officials said is not an uncommon practice. The inspections would be conducted according to Burbank’s building code, City Manager Mark Scott said.
The airport authority sought the condition for fear that Burbank could hold up the construction process by “nickel and diming” the authority with petty concerns, Rogers said.
Whose side is Rogers on? Scott’s also being disingenuous again too, because the Building Code’s the least of it. No, Burbank wants to give away ALL of its discretionary say as well, including design standards and architectural decisions. Planning board and council review would be minimal at best.
Notice how the Leader leaves that part out? It doesn’t seem to bother Will, either.
Members of the public also complained of anticipated impacts, such as increased traffic, aircraft noise and the loss of the existing terminal, which is expected to be razed when the replacement terminal is built.
An environmental study, which was started in 2013 but stalled when the council and airport officials reached an impasse in the summer of 2014, will evaluate those impacts. It will include a review of two alternatives that would leave the existing terminal as-is.
A public informational meeting will kick off work on the study tonight. It is slated for 6 to 8 p.m. in the Burbank Community Services Building, 150 N. Third St.
No more “input,” eh? So what happened to all that input solicitation the paper’s been mocking those critics about?
Paul Dyson, a member of the city’s transportation committee, said the discussion should focus on the building, not the number of flights or passengers or the amount of noise, which could all increase even at the existing terminal, where there is capacity for more planes and a greater number of passengers than the airport handles currently.
The building only? How absurd. Only an airport booster could love an idea like this. We’ll talk about a traffic/environmental study, sure, but we shouldn’t focus on the # of people who’ll be using it down there.
This is the same guy btw who wanted to get rid of the Kids Bus a few years ago because he was mad about all the Burbank students who were using it to get home from school. For real.
Many of the residents who came to the council meeting had been apparently motivated by a flier distributed throughout some Burbank neighborhoods, and which Vice Mayor Jess Talamantes said contained “not even half-truths.”
The postcard-like flier, bearing the logo of the community group Save Burbank Neighborhoods, was a scare tactic, some council members said.
It proclaimed a “Flight Path To Deception,” threatened more planes, traffic and noise, and stated, “City Council plans to eliminate legal protections by giving them away to unelected airport bureaucrats.” It called on residents to urge council members not to support the proposed terms for the terminal project.
That’s totally true. In exchange for temporary limits on growth, and a possible hope and prayed for “nighttime curfew” which will never, ever happen.
The flier also claimed that the document “was drafted without any public input,” despite the fact that members of the group had been at meetings where earlier drafts of the terms were made public and discussed, such as a special Sunday council meeting on Feb. 8.
Bullshit! Not only had the council already made up its mind by then during their many closed sessions, but they were responding to the airport’s ultimatum proposal involving B-6.
Folks, at NO TIME did the council or authority seek the public’s opinion on the specifics. At best they just threw out their earlier decisions for people to see.
Hell, Burbank decided on its own years ago that we were going to be seeking a new terminal in the first place. Where was the fucking input on that one?
The city released the latest version to the public nearly a month ago, soliciting input.
Bullshit again. It was the final agreement, and would have already been voted on THREE WEEKS AGO but for Frutos’ illness. “Here it is Burbank!” was the meaning of that document. They weren’t going to change a thing after that point, and they didn’t. Input, hell.
Rogers, who lives under the airport’s flight path, said he had sought for a year to meet with the group to discuss the airport issue. He said he was “frustrated and a little bit angry to be so impugned by people who are my neighbors and I have literally gone to your doors — literally gone to your doors — to talk to you about this.”
He went to their doors to campaign. And what was Will going to do if they’d ever talked to him during a special visit — completely change his mind about this long sought for “replacement” terminal? Of course not.
Rogers is completely full of shit. His “neighbors” don’t want a new terminal, and he doesn’t want the old one. There was nothing to tweek in this final, council-imposed “term sheet,” and which was long in the making in secret.
Burbank resident Mike Moynihan, who said he was at the council meeting in February and who is active with Save Burbank Neighborhoods, said “obviously we don’t understand [the terms] completely,” but he defended the flier, calling its contents merely “opinions.”
He said he planned to congratulate his friends, the flier designers, for getting so many residents to the meeting.
Good for them.
Moynihan said he had heard from some public commenters that they felt intimidated after council members had chided them over their misinformed critiques. Talamantes, however, said he had lost some respect for the organization as a result of its misrepresentations.
What misrepresentations? Every decision was made in secret until delivered to the public as a done-deal that the council admitted they were all going to vote for!
This is all so incredible. Total lies about the process, and then an underlying premise that public “input” only means an agreeable tweeking of the planning details. Anything else doesn’t exist.
So hey, you want input? Real input?
NO NEW TERMINAL!
Tomorrow we’re going to be asking a personal question about Will Rogers and his post-Leader job history. It could factor into his avowedly pro-terminal point of view. Some people will know the answer, too.