If the council insists on pre-approving an airport development agreement ahead of the public vote, a “yes” result might actually be a good thing for the opponents



If you think that Rogers and the council were looking a little grim the other night, consider this possibility.

They’ve obviously been discussing in closed session any and all potential pitfalls of the Measure B election, and the winning (or losing) prospects for a new “replacement” terminal. But what if it turns out that we’re right about the illegal nature of their wanting to quickly approve this DA ahead of the public vote in November?

No doubt they’ve been talking about that possibility as well (although of course they’d never admit it to anyone). According to Measure B, any such formal act of approval before the election will be automatically invalid under the law. And there are really no if’s, and’s, or but’s about the express language of Measure B in this regard.

Which means that a simple court injunction could easily halt the implementation of any post-approval “yes” vote from the electorate. If it’s invalid under the law then that’s what must happen if the law has any meaning. They don’t get a post-vote “redo.”

You wouldn’t even need to venture into a complicated election law case in order to obtain this result, because the judge wouldn’t be asked to actually vacate an election result– which btw is almost impossible to obtain after an election. A “yes” result would still stand, but its effect would be moot, because that’s what Measure B requires.

The ultimate effect of such a negative judicial decision of course would be that the airport boosters would have to hold another Measure B referendum if they really wanted to slip in their new terminal. But do it correctly.

So if the City of Burbank wants to go ahead and arrogantly vote to approve of this thing ahead of time, so be it. That might turn out to be the best possible result for the terminal’s opponents. It won’t count.




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26 responses to “If the council insists on pre-approving an airport development agreement ahead of the public vote, a “yes” result might actually be a good thing for the opponents

  1. Anonymous

    The ass-backwards desperation of these ridiculous pre-election PR ploys is a joy to behold.

    • semichorus

      What’s ridiculous about this is that all the city council has to do is just approve it for the ballot. Nothing else. They can recommend it to the heavens all they want, but that’s it.

      But for them to actually act on a formal approval/agreement ordinance on this DA before the vote is nuts. Which apparently is what they’re planning on doing. It’s completely unnecessary to get the job done. So I can only come to one of two conclusions about this:

      1) Albano misread Measure B and screwed up, and doesn’t want to admit it.


      2) It’s a trick. A previously approved ordinance voted on by the council to agree to the Airport DA would require a citizens override to reverse it if the November vote turns out to be “No.” Which Measure B cannot perform.

      Again, that’s why Measure B says the citizens’ vote has to be first, before the city approves any plans related to a replacement or expanded airport terminal. For the citizens’ vote to mean anything as a real choice, it can’t work any other way.

      • Ted

        The council is listening to the airport and the ill conceived ideas of the city attorney. Most of this council has no idea and no ability to think so they follow orders no questions asked. Yes I am talking about you Mayor telamontes and you vice mayor rogers and you councilman Fritos.

  2. Anonymous 3

    And Gordon is in on it?

  3. 91505

    I remember I was watching the council when Golonski said this and there was one and only one person who agreed with Golonski on this and that was GORDON. Gordon said he agreed with Golonski on this and the rest of the Brady bunch at council sat in silence.

  4. Mark

    Golonski makes some good points in this, it’s not semantics it’s a legal document and in a legal document words do matter. I saw the council do this on a replay one night. They protested way to much claiming they did not approve anything. Frutos was mayor and he was the worst at saying over and over again that they did not approve anything but they voted to approve this right in front of everybody and on television. It just goes to prove Golonski’s point and that is they voted and they approved this with language that was ambiguous at best and Golonski was right on this.

  5. Ronnie

    Sounds to me like he is saying measure B has become a fraud due to the fact the council is not even following it and wtf do they care when they think they are above the law.

    • semichorus

      Golonski obviously remembers how heavily debated this was, and how suspicious the ROAR people were about how it was going to be implemented. That’s why they wanted Measure A.

      These stunts only play into the longtime appearance of impropriety. Rogers knows this, and I suspect it’s one reason why he’s been so quiet lately. Even though he hated the ROAR people, he often noted that the general hamfistedness of the airport boosters played into the appearance of bad faith and raw dealings that ROAR would then always glom onto and feed on ( I think ROAR was right back then, actually).

      And, there’s no reason in the first place for the council to “approve” the DA ahead of the vote! That’s the worst thing about the move.

      • Eileen

        Correct me if I am wrong Anonymous 3 but I believe Gordon voted against this bad deal. Maybe because he is a doctor and really does care about people ?

        • Anonymous 3

          Doctor? Pfffft.

          He has voted yes in several closed sessions.

          Talemantes called him out for it and he did not deny it.

  6. Anonymous 3

    I don’t know why, I can’t quite put my finger on it, but I think your analysis is wrong.

    • semichorus

      The key trick legally for an opponent is figuring out the exact point to go to court about this — either before the council vote; directly afterwards; or after the election.

      Albano and the boosters are banking on the opponents not doing it correctly.

      One thing I’ll say is that Barlow and Co. wouldn’t be pulling this stunt. They’d never have a pre-vote council ordinance to approve the DA.

      I think he’d play it straight. Golonski kind of gave this away in that video.

      • Anonymous 3

        If I was going to bet, I’d bet that your theory falls to bits in court, if it even found an attorney ready to take it there. Which I doubt. You need an attorney ready to do this for zero money, because that is what is going to come out of your scenario. Good luck on finding that person.

        • semichorus

          Theory? You must mean the specific terms of the ordinance.

          Sounds pretty easy to me. Your scenario says that:

          a) The specific terms of Measure B mean nothing in a court of law

          b) There are no consequences to willfully violating a city ordinance.

          It’ll be fun to see what happens when there’s a “No” vote, too. A “no” Measure B vote will not reverse a previous council-voted ordinance that already approved the DA.

          Ask your friends in the city why they want to do it this way. Why not just hold off on a formal DA approval until AFTER the public vote, like the law says?

          What do they have against just voting to place it on the ballot for a public vote before they act to formally “approve” anything?

          I think that’s also what a judge would ask. Especially when a 2001 city ordinance says that that’s how an airport “replacement terminal” agreement is supposed to work within the City of Burbank.

          • Anonymous 3

            I doubt that any attorney is going to be found to argue your case, such as it is.

            • semichorus

              Then Measure B has no meaning. Which is what the ROAR people always said.

              It’s going to be fun to see what happens when there’s a “no” vote after the council has already approved the DA with the Authority, and in a formal ordinance.

              • Anonymous 3

                If there is a no vote than the terminal on the NE corner does not get built, and the one on the SW corner does.

                • semichorus

                  If there’s a “no” vote the Authority sues to keep the DA in force because the Burbank City Council already approved it in an ordinance and it wasn’t rescinded by the voters in a separate referendum.

                  That’s the big problem with a pre-election city approval. It’s on the books, Measure B notwithstanding, and all because Measure B wasn’t properly followed.

                  So then someone else on the other side of the issue has to sue to enforce Measure B and vacate the council’s earlier approval action.

                  And that’s only the beginning of the fun.

  7. Anonymous 3

    I wonder if the thinking is that there needs to be a CHOICE before the voters for the measure B vote to make sense.

    More than yes/no, new terminal. Some specifics about that terminal. Like it only having 14 gates.

    • semichorus

      That’s why they approve the DA to go on the ballot. Nothing wrong with that.

      But to actually formally act to APPROVE this same DA themselves ahead of the voters is completely unnecessary– and a violation of Measure B.

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