Falling for the propaganda



A disappointing and rather lamebrain editorial at the Burbank Viewpoints website:

The most important thing to remember about the proposed replacement terminal is that it is going to happen whether you want it or not. Period. Burbankers who have railed against the airport for years must resign themselves to this new normal. And there will be an increase of the number of flights after the FAA implements NextGen over the next few decades whether a new terminal is built of not.

Voters will be asked to approve the Airport Authority’s preferred plan for the new terminal as early as the November 8th national election. The authority wants as many voters as possible to weigh in on this and see the expected high turnout as a plus. So you’re not going to vote on whether there will be a replacement terminal but WHICH replacement terminal. So let’s take a look at the 4 different proposals and why they exist..

Not so.

Measure B requires an up or down yes/no vote. There’s no room in the ordinance for phony failsafe alternatives such as, “So which one do you guys happen to want…?” They can pick their whatever versions of this “replacement” terminal after the first citizen vote if they happen to win, but such a perverse obfuscation of the actual language of Measure B would be immediately violative.

The City of Burbank can’t try to obviously water down a “no” vote either by setting up three other “pro” choices in order to do so. It’s yes/no for Measure B, and yes/no only. So case closed on that flaky idea — there’s no place in Measure B for the airport boosters to get three extra bites of the apple just to get the thing through in any way possible.

In the end, the boosters all have to make up their joint minds on just WHICH terminal plan they want to put on the ballot. There’s no compound referendum available under Measure B. And if they don’t even know which terminal plan they want, then why should WE? Offering alternate “options” to the voters is a phony pro-terminal tactic designed to weight the scales in favor of passage, and it’s not allowed under Measure B.

We’re not convinced either that the people of Burbank are actually stupid enough to vote “yes” for this completely unnecessary airport terminal anyway, wherever it is (oh, sorry, airfield). If they do then they deserve everything they’re going to get.

Of course, they’re probably going to vote for Donald Trump as well during the same election if they’re of that sick of mind, so fuck ’em if they do. Let their nightmare begin right down the street.

4. The Do Nothing Option – Not sure if the authority even accepts this as a possible outcome. I would assume this would mean more lawyers and a renewed drain on the cities’ resources as the legal battles between the Authority and the City would get a reset.

We’re not aware of anything in the Measure B ordinance that requires the Authority to “accept” the outcome of the Burbank vote. That’s a new one. Oh, you mean they might cause trouble if they don’t get what they want? Say it ain’t so!

They’ve always been so friendly. The perfect neighbors.

Don’t fall either for this phony argument from the airfield boosters:

3The SWQ Same-Size  Alternative Terminal – This one’s important to pay attention to. If voters do not approve Measure B in November this is the terminal that could very well go through. Once the Measure B vote occurs, all bets seem to be off and the Authority can go ahead and build this version of the terminal, expand the number of gates, buy land, end the voluntary curfew etc.  It’s roughly the same size as the existing terminal but as above, would be located a bit west of Pierce Brothers Valhalla Memorial Park and entrances would remain on Empire Ave and Thornton Ave as they are now.

If this was such a great idea the Authority would have done it already. It’s the last thing they want to do. Financially they’d be much better off remodeling the current terminal– there’d be diminishing returns for any new project on the same basic property.

Think about it. A new terminal would have been long built and over with by now. The Authority isn’t playing nice by offering up another new “option” for 2016. So don’t be stupid and credulous.

Remember: small is beautiful, no new airport. Nobody wants one except the boosters and the outside businessmen.






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38 responses to “Falling for the propaganda

  1. Here are the reasons I wrote the post: 1st the authority has stated openly at least once to the city council they would probably go ahead with the SWQ same size terminal if B is voted down, it’s on their website and the DEIR as well. Now semi may think it’s a bluff but I’m not sure I’d bet against the ruling class of this city after they’ve waited 16 years for this moment. There’s just too much apathy and ignorance out there now to take that chance in my opinion. And no, there weren’t many objectors at the community “workshop” for the LA Times to interview either. I know of two vocal opponents that were in attendance. I do see how the wording in my post makes it seem like it’s a multiple choice vote – I’ll edit that after I submit this reply. My bad.

    2nd the “whether you want it or not” idea is paraphrased from a city official very close to the process. This person believes the replacement terminal is moving forward and outlined a few reasons in a private conversation. Maybe I fell hook, line and sinker for something but judging by the money expended and effort I see by the authority on this campaign I tend to think something has to happen.

    Let’s take them at their word for second, if Measure B is defeated here’s what they are threatening in their FAQ:

    “…in that case, the Airport Authority will be forced to look at building a replacement terminal project on the southwest quadrant of the Airport that does not require any discretionary actions by the City of Burbank and therefore will not be subject to a Measure B vote.

    Additionally, the Airport Authority’s governance will remain as it currently is with simple majority voting deciding all matters except for the issuance of airport debt. This means it would continue to be the case that votes by Glendale and Pasadena Commissioners could override votes by Burbank Commissioners. Without the governance change providing supermajority voting protection for Burbank, the Authority Commission could vote to do any of the following over the objection of Burbank Commissioners:

    Increase the number of airline gates
    Acquire land
    End the voluntary nighttime curfew on scheduled airline operations
    Change the existing noise rules or how they are enforced
    Expand the existing terminal or any new terminal
    Abandon the Airport Authority’s support for Congressional approval to implement a mandatory nighttime curfew on all aircraft
    Approve management contracts or leases in excess of 35 years”

    I’m new to the airport issue admittedly. If someone in the city KNOWS these are empty threats I’d hope they’d come forward with some convincing proof.

    • semichorus

      No, they’ve been implying now that this will be a multiple choice sort of ballot. It’s apparently a new thing that their lawyers are cooking up to see if they can get through to help get those extra bites of the apple — all in the name of Burbank choice. They’ve already violated the “city election” requirement specifically listed in Measure B, so nothing would surprise me.

      The legislative history on that one is so vast that this attempt to now craft a more desirable “pro” result through picking a more favorable non-city venue in November is just unbelievably blatant. Especially when they always talk about how great the city’s “mail ballot” is. This won’t be mail ballot. What hypocrisy.

      City election means city election, and the fact that another ordinance allows consolidation in general does not mean that they can consolidate Measure B when it specifically says it has to be city. That language is not just a redundancy.

      Fair enough on the rest, but I think the current site option is a bluff. There’s only so much they can do there, and the rebuttals to them about this threat came up long ago with all of the ROAR activity etc. It’s old terrain.

  2. chad

    I do think that BVP saying it’s a done deal creates more apathy.

  3. DixieFlyer

    Dear Burbankviewpoints,

    Thanks for acknowledging that you are “new to the airport issue”.

    Merely repeating what they put out won’t help resolve the issue.

    We need our City Officials to “come clean”.

    You mention a ‘City Official in a Private conversation”..

    THAT is part of the problem.

    Our Shitty Attorney and various officials have slinked around the backrooms for far too long.

    The local “rag” tells us about the parking lots and leaves out the comments from the Authority meetings.

    You may learn more on semichorus.com than anywhere else.

    Thanks for your candor.

  4. Anonymous

    2nd the “whether you want it or not” idea is paraphrased from a city official very close to the process. This person believes the replacement terminal is moving forward and outlined a few reasons in a private conversation.


    • semichorus

      If that statement was made by an elected official then yes, it’s arrogant and uncomprehending as hell. There’s such a thing as the citizens override called Measure B — no matter how the boosters want to manipulate the results.

      This idea that if the Authority (and the Burbank City Council, and staff) don’t win the Measure B vote then they’re just going to take their toys somewhere else next door to the airport is just fine with me. Let them build their “replacement” terminal on the same site.

      There’s clearly no need for a replacement anything. The current facility works well and everybody likes it the way it is– especially the outsiders who choose to use it over LAX. So this has become a simple ego/arrogance thing with these silly proponents, i.e., that no one’s going to tell us what to do.

      We saw the same thing with the “new” BHS a few years ago — which the same booster crowd then started complaining about a few years later about how the place still needed MORE work and MORE money poured into it to help repair the old. And that project is now quietly acknowledged to have been a mistake if not a boondoggle. People are starting to look at old pictures of the place and are now asking, “What happened? This new one is total crap.”

      The same will happen with any “replacement” terminal. I was right about BHS and I’m right about the airport. No one has ever given ONE GOOD REASON why Burbank needs a new airport. Just that they want one.

  5. chad

    I don’t know which Council meeting it was (maybe three four months ago) but CA Albano said “When the new terminal is built,” in response to a comment. Not “If”- “When”

    • Mark

      She also claimed that she and staff were hurrying to get the EIR done in time to set the November Election.
      When did the City Council set that date?
      I know the question was asked at a City Council Meeting.
      They just never answered.

      • semichorus

        I don’t think they have. They just set a date without formally setting a date.

        Which … they must think gives them the right to actively promote the new terminal without violating the law on electioneering with public resources.

    • semichorus

      I remember that. It was like done deal time.

  6. Anonymous

    Fritos is taking all pending development as if he has no other choice. He’s a zombie to yes staff says you’d better say OK or we’ll be sued.

  7. Anonymous 3

    The reason that the AA prefers to NE site to the SW site is that the second requires to planes to cross the runways twice, the first not at all.

    THAT is why the AA is holding out for the Measure B vote on the NE proposal, it simply is the best place to put a new terminal in relation to the runways that exist.

    Yes on the measure B vote. I think it will pass.

  8. Anonymous 3

    The AA is of the opinion that it can build a new terminal on the SW site regardless of the Measure B vote.

    I don’t think they came to that decision lightly. I bet they can do it, but I know that they prefer for good reason the NE site.

    • Cynthia

      This betting idea is getting old.
      What City is the SouthWest Site in?
      Are there any right-of-way problems?
      Anon 3 has so much “inside info” maybe she can
      quickly answer those two questions?????

  9. chad

    Anon 3. Do you think the process getting there has been forthright and adequately transparent?

    • Anonymous 3

      NOTHING is as transparent as it could be.

      I’ve been able to follow it, so I think it has been adequate.

      But then, I favor a new terminal on the NE site.

      • Anonymous 4

        Anon3 if its not as transparent as it should be then watching it gives you no idea just what they are not revealing and there is a reason they are not transparent and that reason is they are hiding some of their plans. Without total transparency you have no idea of what is really going down with the airport

  10. Anonymous

    The southwest quadrant site as I understand it would actually prevent further expansion. It is actually a better site for people using the rail line and might reduce street traffic. The airport will never give up on getting the biggest airport they can possibly build eventually so no matter what it starts out to be, if it is built on the larger site, it can eventually be expanded to more gates. The so-called “protections” are no protections for Burbank at all. What is really needed is elected airport commissioners instead of good ole boys who just show up and vote for whatever the Airport wants. The whole thing looks like a PR scam and everyone needs to vote NO NEW TERMINAL.

    • semichorus

      I agree. Give the boosters an inch and they’ll take a mile.

      I use this analogy all the time, but it’s true: In 1999 the people of Burbank gave their school district $100 million to help fix up their buildings and expand a little the high schools.

      So what did they end up doing? They found another $300 million in state funds (which at the time they lied about and said didn’t exist — and then passed another bond “repair” issue in 2013) to do their little carte blanche fantasy projects — like building a stupid “dream” football field at BHS.

      It always becomes an ego/arrogance thing.

    • Anonymous 3

      The new agreement between the AA and Burbank, assuming that Measure B is a yes, gives Burbank a veto on any plans. All decisions by the AA going forward, including changing this new provision, would require that two of Burb’s three commissioners vote yes.

      While it is POSSIBLE that two commissioners would vote for expansion of the terminal (number of gates) that would not happen unless a majority of the city council decided to support such an expansion, and THAT is not going to happen as long as the voters of Burbank oppose such an expansion, which I would predict will always be the case.

      • semichorus

        You’ve cited one more reason not to support the agreement. I have no such faith in this, “Trust us, we won’t vote for expansion” assurance.

        At best, if questioned, they’ll just say that most people support expansion.

        • Anonymous 3

          If you think that Burbank commissioners would vote for more gates, you are even more delusional than I thought.

          • semichorus

            Ah- ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!

            You know nothing about Burbank political history now, do you? Here’s just one hint that you’re naive as hell, and I’ll spell it all out for you:

            B-R-I-A-N B-O-W-M-A-N.

            • Anonymous

              I think commissioners could pull a Georgino. Vote for the expansion of all things and then move out of Burbank. Nothing at all in this prevents that from happening

        • DixieFlyer

          As Fred Sanford said: “Dummy!!!”

          Burbank Commissioners would be voting BEFORE the City Council could
          possibly act to REMOVE them.

          The damage would be DONE.

          • semichorus

            Yes. A-3 is inadvertently reminding us all of another BIG reason why this agreement should not go into place.

            The Burbank voters would have NO control over commissioner expansion. The Authority could in theory vote to expand the terminal immediately after the November Measure A vote. Burbank could end up getting an entirely different project than the one they had (foolishly) just approved.

  11. Anonymous

    Anyone notice on the City website homepage there are multiple promotions of the airport crap in big, bold print? Never have I seen them promote something so blatantly. And a possible conflict of it interest!!

    • semichorus

      Yes, you’d think that Measure B would force some sort of sense of impartiality now, wouldn’t you? Instead, Measure B is being seen as a simple vote of validation for a new terminal. A voter check-off of sorts.

      This is exactly why the proponents of Measure A wanted Measure A.

  12. Gary

    If you only want the same number of gates and operations then why the double size terminal ? I think it will be easy to add to a double side terminal and my bet is they begin doing it within minutes after approvals. A lot like these approved homes I keep seeing come up at council meetings, where what was approved and what is under construction are totally different things.

  13. Ralph

    Absolute waste of time at meeting.
    Staff pukes with graphics.
    Pat, trite answers to their own posed questions.
    Canned responses to any question.
    One size fits all.

    • DixieFlyer

      Name, address,phone number, email address, business card?

      Since when was the above requested to attend ANY Public meeting?

      “Outside” consulting firm was manning the reception desk.

      Campaign mode for the Airport Authority, even though no date has been set.

      No wording has been set by the City Council.

      No chairs, no way for the Public to pose a question and get a straight answer in front of more than 5 or 6 peers.

      I’m wondering how the Leader will describe the “meeting”.

  14. Dan

    burbankviewpoints may not think its a bluff but burbankviewpoints with these comments is saying why bother to vote people it will happen anyway. Talk about a mission to discourage confidence in our voting system and in our form of government. What burbankviewpoints is really saying is hey people don’t bother to vote we will do what we want no matter how you vote anyway.

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