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(Feb. 9, 2015) -- Former U.S. Senator (D, NY)/former U.N. Ambassador Daniel Patrick Moynihan famously stated that everyone is entitled to their own opinions but not to their own facts.

We share the opinion that a benign-appearing City action could invite unintended consequences and put the City's protective Airport Ordinance at risk.

The facts on which we base our opinion are as follows:

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  • LB's Airport Ordinance currently protects the City from uncontrolled, unlimited flights at all hours of the day and night. There is publicly stated consensus, including from those on the opposite side of our views below, that the Ordinance must not be jeopardized.

  • Long Beach has no legal obligation to allow a federal inspection facility at our Airport to enable international flights.

  • To allow international flights for one operator would (we presume and no one has denied) make it problematic to deny similar flights by other international operators. That could open the floodgates to multiple international operators, including cargo operators, who'd have no compunction about attacking, weakening or destroying our protective Ordinance.

  • There are currently no LB flight slots for large aircraft (over 75,000 pounds) available under the Ordinance. They're currently filled or close to filled. [LB's Airport ordinance does allow increased flights by large aircraft, and is considered among the most progressive in the country for doing so, as large aircraft flights as a class become quieter which to our knowledge isn't currently the case.]

  • Accordingly, enabling international flights for one operator would create potential risk exposure from other international operators who, for the first time, would have an incentive to seek flight slots and, if denied, could attack, weaken or destroy the Ordinance that protects our City. That is not a smart place to lead this City.

That's why this isn't just a benign favor to accommodate an Airport tenant. That's why it's bogus to claim that one "supports the Ordinance" while simultaneously advocating an action that could weaken or destroy the Ordinance.

Name calling and attempting to smear homeowners as "airport haters" or "fear mongers" is beneath the level of serious discourse on an issue carrying permanent consequences for the City. History has proven right the homeowners and responsive Councilmembers who preserved LB Airport's major selling point -- its easy-in/easy-out boutique size that travelers like. Fortunately, they prevailed instead of opponents who supported a 30% larger monstrosity that could have undermined LB Airport's major feature, created unsustainable debt and subjected the Ordinance to future capacity-invited risks. The City owes prescient residents and Councilmembers like Rae Gabelich a debt of gratitude for preserving our City's right-sized Airport and respecting and protecting LB's neighborhoods.

We view each home along miles of streets in East Long Beach, Los Altos, Bixby Hill, Los Cerritos, Bixby Knolls and Cal Hts (parts of Council districts 3, 4, 5, 7, and 8) as a business, a family's business. Each home is a family's most important investment. If any LB Council incumbents think some corporate business plan deserves more respect than those miles of taxpaying families' most important investments, they deserve an education at the earliest possible ballot opportunity.

Property tax revenue is the City's largest revenue source. Smart cities protect quality neighborhoods and the revenue they bring citywide. Direct Airport revenue doesn't (and legally can't) provide police, fire, parks, libraries or infrastructure beyond the Airport. Ancillary spin-off revenue is small by comparison: about a penny on the dollar for souvenirs and food plus some hotel room taxes for travelers if they stay here which most don't.

An owner doesn't let a tenant dictate how to use the owner's property, especially if the tenant's desires could expose the owner to unintended but long-term damaging consequences.

Based on the facts above, in our opinion it would be foolhardy and reckless for City officials to wilfully invite a new risk exposure for the Ordinance that protects our City.

On this issue, everyone is entitled to their own opinions, but not to their own facts.

Opinions expressed by, our contributors and/or our readers are not necessary those of our advertisers. We welcome our readers' comments/opinions 24/7 via Disqus, Facebook and moderate length letters and longer-form op-ed pieces submitted to us at




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