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    Two Planning Comm'n Hearings Slated (May 4: 1:30 p.m.; May 11: 6:00 p.m.) On draft Enviro Impact Report Re Expanding Airport's Permanent Terminal Area Facilities

    (May 4, 2006) -- LB's non-elected (Mayor chosen, Council approved) Planning Commission will hold two hearings -- the first today (May 4, at 1:30 p.m.), the second in the evening on May 11 (6:00 p.m) -- on City Hall's draft Environmental Impact Report (EIR) regarding expansion of LB Airport's permanent terminal area facilities. Both hearings will be held in the City Council chambers (333 W. Ocean Blvd.)

    The second hearing was added following a May 2 City Council item agenized by Councilwoman Rae Gabelich, seeking a second, evening Planning Commission hearing on the matter carrying long term implications for the city and residents. "At this vital juncture, it is critical that the process be as public and transparent as possible," Councilwoman Gabelich wrote. The Council agreed...and a second Planning Commission meeting was added to accommodate after-work attendees on May 11 (6:00 p.m.) in addition to today's (May 4) workday meeting at 1:30 p.m.

    [ procedural caveat: if you speak at one Planning Comm'n hearing on the item, you may or may not be able to speak at the second hearing, it's up to the Planning Comm'n.]

    The Planning Commission's seven incumbent members are Matthew Jenkins (chair), Leslie Gentile (vice chair), Charles Greenberg, Mitch Rouse, Nick Sramek, Morton Stuhlbarg and Charles Winn.

    The decision of the non-elected Planning Commission can be appealed to the elected City Council by individuals who submit substantive testimony in person or in writing on the matter to the Planning Commission. The Council anticipates holding a June 13 meeting to hear possible appeals on the item, with a second Council hearing tentatively scheduled for June 20.

    In presenting appeal(s) to the City Council, appellant(s) can use the Council's visual equipment (projector showing images visible on television and in the Council chamber), a first amendment matter (since pictures can speak louder than words) that LB's incumbent Mayor Beverly O'Neill has routinely denied to the general public without explicit Municipal Code authority but also without audible Council objection.

    On the Council appeal(s), the general public can usually be heard (whether or not they filed appeals) although the incumbent Mayor has also frequently limited public testimony (usually claiming time considerations). City Councilmembers have the power by majority vote to override Mayoral rulings in conduct their meetings but rarely have.

    A new 3d district Councilmember, a possibly a new 5th district Councilmember and a new Mayor will take office in mid-July.

    And a new 2d district Councilmember (for the currently vacant seat) will take office in early June.

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