Top Navy Brass Says USN Has No Interest In Leasing Any Part of El Toro For Aviation And Is Proceeding With Plans To Sell It
(June 17, 2003) -- A City of Los Angeles proposal to operate a commercial airport at El Toro took a hit by a big torpedo...but isn't sunk.
Acting Secretary of the Navy Hansford T. Johnson said in a statement quoted in today's Los Angeles Times and posted verbatim below by LBReport.com, that the Navy has "no interest in leasing any part of the base for aviation reasons as it violates the spirit of [Orange County intiative] Measure W, which we are honoring." The statement said the Navy "fully intends to proceed with public sale for the approximately 3700 acres on this site."
[begin Acting US Navy Secretary Johnson statement]
The Department of the Navy works closely with local officials to meet the mandates of base closure law to return properties to productive local use. Marine Corps Air Station El Toro was slated for closure in 1993 and last year we issued our Record of Decision for disposal of this property. The Navy remains committed to this decision. We have no interest in leasing any part of the base for aviation reasons as it violates the spirit of Measure W, which we are honoring.
> The Navy fully intends to proceed with public sale for the approximately 3700 acres on this site. Public sale is the quickest means by which the department can divest itself of the property and local governments begin generating tax revenue and the proceeds from the sale will permit the Navy to initiate clean up projects at other sites sooner.
Secretary Johnson's statement may not be the last word. L.A.'s position (stated in a 37-page legal style memorandum) is that the FAA and the Navy have both said an El Toro Airport was their favored reuse alternative...and the federal government/USN is not bound by local measure W. L.A. has asked the Dept. of Transportation to get control of El Toro from the Navy...and lease it to L.A. for operation by Los Angeles World Airports (which runs LAX, Ontario and Palmdale airports).
That request is still pending...and is supported by Congressman Dana Rohrabacher (R., HB-LB-PV) subject to a vote by OC residents. State Senator Kevin Murray (D., Los Angeles) has also introduced a state Senate resolution backing an El Toro Airport.
The Orange County Regional Airport Authority -- comprised of 14 north Orange County cities -- also supports the L.A. plan for an El Toro Airport.
The L.A. proposal is opposed by three of five members of of the Orange County Board of Supervisors (both sides have sent dueling letters to the DOT).
South Orange County Congressman Chris Cox (R, Newport Beach/Irvine) also favors following Measure W (anti-El Toro Airport).
Orange County Regional Airport Authority -- Comprised of 14 North OC Cities -- Backs L.A. Bid to Operate El Toro As Comm'l Airport; We Post Resolution
State Senator Kevin Murray (D., Los Angeles) Introduces Resolution Backing L.A.'s Offer To Operate El Toro As Commercial Airport; We Post Text
Dissenting OC Supervisors Smith & Silva Send Letter to U.S. Trans. Sec'y Mineta Applauding L.A. Proposal To Operate Airport @ El Toro; We Post Letter
OC Supervisors Vote 3-2 To Remove Pro-El Toro Airport Supervisor Smith As OC SCAG Rep...And Replace Him With Anti-El Toro Airport Supervisor Norby
OC Bd. of Supes Votes 3-2 To Send Letter to U.S. Trans. Sec'y Mineta Blasting L.A. Proposal To Operate Airport @ El Toro; We Post Letter
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