Measure B does not grant the Burbank voters “final approval” on any replacement terminal deal. It grants them SOLE approval

 

There’s a big difference between these two concepts, and always keep it in mind. There is no place in either Measure B or its extensive legislative history to justify the Burbank City Council taking any role in the airport approval process save that of implementing the prior wishes of the voters.

Individually they can do or say anything they want, but collectively they cannot get involved in making any joint decisions or signing or ratifying any agreements with the Authority prior to the vote. All they can do is throw it on the ballot for the voters to decide.

We mention this here only because there’s been a lot of talk the last few months about how Measure B somehow gives the Burbank voters final approval on a replacement terminal — as if staff and the council can cook up a deal by approving it first and then submitting it to these same voters for final ratification.

It doesn’t, and that’s not how it works. But that looks to be how the city council is now trying to handle things, and even Dave Golonski came down to the council chambers last November to protest this error of interpretation. He clearly went on record as saying that the council’s not supposed to get involved with a prior approval or vote of their own.

Interestingly, Measure B also requires voter approval for any replacement or expanded terminal. This by necessity includes the Southwest Quadrant, which everyone is now saying is immune to Burbank interference or control.

In a general sense this is true, so far as it goes. But if the Authority needs any kind of discretionary concessions there from Burbank, such as a CUP or AUP, or even a building code decision that has to go their way, the Burbank voters are required to have prior approval in the decision.

The council can’t waive this away either for any fallback “Southwest Quadrant” project, which they look to be trying to do this week with all this talk about granting the Authority “vested” rights there.

That’s not our opinion. It’s the law:

2-3-112: AIRPORT AGREEMENTS:

No approval by the City of Burbank of any agreement between the City and the Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport Authority for a relocated or expanded airport terminal project, or any other discretionary act by the City relating to the approval of a relocated or expanded airport terminal project shall be valid and effective unless previously approved by the voters voting at a City election. [Added by Ord. No. 3541 (Measure B approved by the voters on 11/7/00), eff. 5/24/00.]

Notice the phrase “or expanded.” That means ANYTHING bigger than what they already have. And the term “any other discretionary act by the City” also has meaning.

Now the airport boosters aren’t going to be telling you any of this, and they’re probably also not going to care too much about following the express terms of Measure B. It looks like they haven’t so far post-Barlow, who btw actually wrote a very good ballot statement on this back in the year 2000. He knew that logically and legally the conditioning factor had to be prior voter approval and not afterwards. 

We’ll repeat in full what the Burbank voters at the time were told about the Measure B referendum:

Shall proposed Section 11-112 be added to the Burbank Municipal Code? This Section would require prior voter approval of any discretionary act of the City or agreement between the City and the Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport Authority for a relocated or expanded airport terminal project in order for such act or agreement to be valid and effective.

Impartial Analysis from the City Attorney

The City of Burbank and the Burbank– Glendale– Pasadena Airport (the “Airport”) have been involved in a lengthy dispute regarding the Airport’s proposed construction of a new passenger terminal. The Burbank City Council supports the idea of replacing the existing terminal, but only if the Airport agrees to certain conditions limiting the growth and impacts of the Airport.

This ballot measure would add Section 11– 112 to the Burbank Municipal Code. If passed, this ballot measure would require the City to obtain the approval of the majority of voters voting in an election prior to the City granting the Airport any discretionary approvals or entering into an agreement related to a relocated or expanded Airport terminal project. In other words, no discretionary act or agreement by the City to approve a relocated or expanded Airport terminal would be valid and effective unless previously approved by a majority of voters.

Thus, this ballot measure would require the City to hold a special municipal election, submitting the issue on the ballot for the approval of the voters, prior to granting the Airport any discretionary approvals or entering into an agreement related to a relocated or expanded Airport terminal. Although the exact costs are unknown, it is estimated that, at the present time, the City’s costs for holding such special municipal election could range from approximately $10,000 to $70,000 per election depending on whether the ballot proposal is submitted to the voters by itself at the special municipal election or whether the special election is conducted in conjunction with an already scheduled municipal or county election.

If this ballot measure is not passed, decisions regarding a relocated or expanded Airport terminal project, including agreements, may be made by the City without the need for prior voter approval, unless such voter approval is required by another law.

/s/ Dennis A. Barlow, City Attorney

We’ve italicized the parts that we believe are now being violated or are in the process of being violated by the Burbank City Council and city attorney. We’ll wait and see how they actually finalize this, but it doesn’t look good for either the law or Burbank.

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32 Comments

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32 responses to “Measure B does not grant the Burbank voters “final approval” on any replacement terminal deal. It grants them SOLE approval

  1. Battery Charger

    Now that I no longer own a business my wife and have time to watch the Council meetings on Tuesdays. We watch to become informed of the Airport-possible expansion and possible removal of our historical Terminal.

    Definition: “Council” mutual exchange of ideas, etc., disscussion, advice a plan, resolution, etc., A lawyer or lawyers or group of lawyers to recommend an action, give and take.

    As we watch Dr. Gordon, time after time explaining to the public watching
    from home what is going on with the Airport, we are made aware of issues we will be faced with as time unfolds. Many of us live in close proximity to the Bob Hope Airport, this information is Vital as we all will have to vote on this matter and we all will be affected for the rest of our lives.

    The once respectful behavior of the council members between each other has diminished below contempt in our opinion. What has happened? to allow this unacceptable disregard to continue ?

    We are the public, the Council is about us. They are informed, and yet do not want us to be. The three to the left of center have become very ridiculing and accusative when Dr. Gordon educates the viewers on what they
    know and we do not. Why don’t the others try to explain the truth and be on the side of the public who elected them? ENOUGH.

    Battery Charger

    • Anonymous 3

      You live near the airport, eh?

      Was it there when you bought your home? Were you aware that it was there?

      • semichorus

        No one’s complaining about the airport being there. They don’t want it any bigger or busier.

        • Cynthia

          No one could anticipate the advent of civilian jets at Lockheed.
          The fight to get stage 3 aircraft was apparently before anon 3 was hatched.
          Last Tuesday night Southwest took off at 12:55 .
          Somewhat past 11pm.

          • Anonymous 3

            I favor a hard curfew with real penalties and actual teeth, whoever’s sock you are.

            • semichorus

              There will be NO binding curfew. Is that what they’re promising with a “yes” vote now?

              There’s no way the FAA is going to ban late flights. So that’s Lie No. 556 from the boosters.

  2. chad

    Moreover, the mayor tried to get the city attorney to say that Gordon was out of order through his detailed questioning.

  3. CornFused

    How anyone in their right mind would want a larger airport is difficult to understand. When dropped off at the gate, I’m usually inside, through security and waiting in line for boarding within 15 minutes. With the recent news coverage from across the country of several hour long waits for security checks at “newer improved airports”, how can people think is a good thing.

    Keep it as it is. Change the name (don’t think they should) if they have to pound their chest about something, but don’t ruin a great thing for no other reason than greed.

    I appreciate the information from this site on the reality of what these City Council asses are really up to.

    Where can I get a semichorus T-shirt for the upcoming meetings?

    • Dina

      Jess the Mayor’s brother used to sell T-shirts.

    • Anonymous 3

      Nobody has suggested a larger airport.

      A larger terminal, yes.

      And why would it take longer to get thru security at a new terminal designed specifically to speed security?

      • semichorus

        Same thing.

      • Cornfused

        Are you saying they’re realy going through all this effort to keep the same amount of flights as they have now? You don’t think the’rey going to monopolize the number of gates with more flights? I think the answer is pretty obvious. You comment about “specifically to speed security” sure sounds like they’re planning on adding more traffic through the same amount of gates…till they’re able to add more gates down the road of course.

        More traffic through the same amount of gates will obviously slow things down…then they’ll be after more gates to speard things around to try and speed things up…and it’ll go on an on and on…

        • semichorus

          Of course. It’ll be a much bigger and busier airport when finished if they get their way. Er, “airfield.”

          I mean “new terminal.” And whatever the name of the place is.

      • Tom A

        Wait a minute anonymous 3 you are outright twlling lies. The airport want to add land and build a bigger terminal on added land. Don’t know what you are trying to sell but more land and a bigger terminal equals a bigger airport. Stop your inane nonsense and your lies and deception.

  4. chad

    Why does the terminal need to be bigger? There’s not prevailing argument that I can see that convincingly lays out the reasons.

    • semichorus

      More gift shops maybe, according to Rogers.

      I know. There’s no good reason aside from expansion. And institutional ego and arrogance.

      There’s so much sneakiness and bad karma going into this thing that I dread the result just for that reason alone.

  5. Casandra

    You are onto it Gary.
    Travelers are complaining about the location over in the Hideous Building.
    The escalator has been broken for months.
    The walk reminds them of LAX
    The old area was RIGHT next to the Terminal–same LEVEL.
    The rates went up for the USE of the Hideous Building.
    Some are sharing a ride to North Hollywood to save Money.
    A shuttle from the NEW Terminal is a TURN-Off.

  6. BV

    The valley by itself is 1.8 million people! That’s more than the city of San Diego, or Seattle for comparison. It’s a travesty that we have only a hobbled, growth stunted airport in Burbank and have to slog it to LAX to fly anywhere.

    Like it or not the population of the valley, and the la region is only going to continue to increase. We either adapt and grow to insure some quality of life, or we burry our heads on the sand till our infrastructure crashes, the economics implode, and we are stuck in our own filth.

    While I don’t advocate the removal of historic buildings at BUR, it’s time to expand. Sure it will piss off a few that live near. But right now valley residents are stuck having to commute the god awful 405 to awful LAX to catch flights and pick up neighbors because NIMBYS won’t allow BUR to grow or a subway to reach LAX. Heck if everyone in the valley weren’t forced to drive to LAX the 405 might actually be tolerable.

    • Anonymous

      That “hobbled, growth stunted airport” is hardly used by any one now, because it is so damn much more expensive than LAX. After the Authority goes into a billion in debt to build anew, do ya think ticket prices will fall? “Burry” your own thick head in the sand, troll…

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