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    OC Bd. of Supes Votes 3-2 To Send Letter to U.S. Trans. Sec'y Mineta Blasting L.A. Proposal To Operate Aiport @ El Toro; We Post Letter

    (June 11, 2003) -- The Orange County Board of Supervisors has voted 3-2 at its June 10 meeting to send a letter to U.S. Dept. of Transportation (D.O.T.) Secretary Norman Mineta, blasting a proposal made to Mineta by the City of Los Angeles and Los Angeles World Airports to have the D.O.T. acquire the former El Toro Marine Air Station from the Navy and lease it to L.A. to operate as a commercial airport.

    The Supervisors' letter, approved on the split vote (Yes: Wilson, Norby, Campbell; No: Silva, Smith) stated in part:

    "We are outraged at this suggestion which blatantly ignores the decision of the citizens of Orange County who passed Measure W more than a year ago designating El Toro for park and other public benefit uses. The Orange County Board of Supervisors will not tolerate any attempt by the City of Los Angeles to overturn a local land use decision made by the voters of Orange County and endorsed by its political leadership." posts the letter verbatim on a link below.

    The split vote by the O.C. Supervisors comes in response to a 37-page legal style memorandum, first revealed by the L.A. Times and subsequently posted verbatim by (related coverage, linked below) in which L.A. officials argued that Measure W may govern local land use decisions but is not binding on the federal government. The L.A. memorandum noted that both the FAA and the U.S. Navy considered an El Toro commercial airport their preferred alternative.

    The L.A. proposal has been endorsed -- subject to voted approval of OC voters -- by OC-LB Congressman Dana Rohrabacher (R., HB-LB-PV)...but was not supported by his colleague to the south, Cong. Christopher Cox (R., Newport Beach-Irvine).

    El Toro Airport has divided the Orange County Board of Supervisors -- and much of Orange County -- for years. When OC voters countywide passed Measure W in March 2002, residents of the Anaheim-area district represented by pro-El Toro Airport Supervisor Cynthia Coad voted to replace her with anti-El Toro Airport Supervisor Chris Norby, tilting the formerly pro-El Toro Airport Board position to an anti-Airport Board position.

    To view the Supervisors' letter adopted 3-2 on June 10, click OC Supervisors' letter to U.S. Dept. of Transportation re El Toro.

    Related coverage:

    OC Cong. Chris Cox -- South of OC Cong. Rohrabacher -- Reacts To L.A. Proposal To Operate Comm'l Airport @ El Toro; We Post Statement Verbatim

    LA Airport Agency Seeks To Operate El Toro As Airport; LB-HB Cong. Rohrabacher Supports Plan Subject To OC Voter Approval; We Post L.A.'s 37-Page Legal Brief Style Memo

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