Mayor and Council Erase Derek K. Brown as Airport Advisory Commissioner
(June 20, 2002) -- 4th district (Los Altos) homeowner Derek K. Brown learned he had not been reappointed for a second term on City Hall's Airport Advisory Commission when LBReport.com first published a list of the Mayor's proposed nominees on the morning of June 14.
Thereafter. Mr. Brown received a letter dated June 13 from Mayor Beverly O'Neill:
"Dear Derek: Thank you for your four years of service as Airport [Advisory] Commissioner. With the increased interest in the airport there has been a significant increase in applicants. Due to the large volume in interested applicants you are not being reappointed. However, I have appreciated your service to Long Beach through the Airport [Advisory] Commission." [s/ Beverly O'Neill, Mayor]
After the Mayor releases her list of proposed appointments and reappointments, Councilmembers must publicly vote on whom to approve; Council approval is not automatic. At the June 18 Council meeting, Councilman Frank Colonna moved that action on the Marine Advisory Commission be deferred to a future Council meeting; the Council agreed. Councilwoman Bonnie Lowenthal moved that action on the Board of Examiners, Appeals and Condemnation be deferred to a future Council meeting; her motion died for lack of a second.
No Councilmember -- including 4th district Councilman Dennis Carroll -- moved to defer action on the Airport Advisory Commission. This was even after a veteran of City Hall's advisory commission process, retired Public Safety Advisory Commissioner John Deats, expressed surprise that the Mayor had not renominated Mr. Brown since he had a perfect attendance record.
Following the Council vote approving the Mayor's proposed Airport Advisory Commission appointments and reappointments, Mr. Brown released the following statement:
I wish to congratulate incoming Airport Advisory Commissioners' Doug Haubert, Rindy Francia and Don Temple on their appointments. I'd like to thank the Commissioners with whom I served, as well as Long Beach Airport Staff members. It was my pleasure to represent the interests of Long Beach's residents and airport tenants while I served on the (AAC) Airport Advisory Commission.
I challenge the AAC to perform its duty to both residents and airport tenants, by actually advising the Mayor and City Council on airport-related matters, not merely being used as a sounding board.
I want to thank Mayor O'Neill for having had the courage initially to appoint me. I'm well aware that it's the City Council who ultimately approves or rejects the Mayor's appointments.
During my tenure, I attended every meeting, was an active and engaged participant, donating many hundreds of hours (as the Community Outreach Subcommittee Chair, attending the PacifiCenter Outreach and numerous other Community Meetings, Airport Open Houses, etc.). I asked probing questions about the Parcel J and PacifiCenter redevelopment projects, expansion impacts on our residents and schools, pollution control measures, and more.
For some reason, these and the myriad of other charitable/nonprofit/citywide activities I engage in didn't warrant a reappointment.
In June 2000, the AAC's Commissioners had over 60 years of cumulative experience. In July 2002, the cumulative experience of ALL nine Commissioners will be less than 10 years. The prior two Chairs, and their head of Community Outreach, will no longer be a part of the commission.
Long Beach is at a critical juncture in our Airport's history. There is extreme pressure to exceed our current flight ordinance. On June 13, the Airport Manager again reiterated, there will NOT be a moratorium below 41 commercial + 25 commuter flights. Homeowners must be vigilant, and vocal, about their desire to maintain the number of flights at Long Beach Airport at our current threshold.
I'll continue to advocate on behalf of existing airport tenants and unsuspecting residents, particularly our children and seniors, so the negative impacts of airport expansion do not cause us undue harm.
June 18, 2002
The Council voted to approve the following Mayoral appointments and reappointments to the Airport Advisory Commission:
Appointments: Douglas P. Haubert, Rindy Francia, Don M. Temple
Reappointments: Charles Luskin, Ronald D. Salk, Deborah Veady