(November 28, 2003, initial post 1:00 p.m.) -- LB city management has for a second time failed to provide an agendized response to a voted City Council directive for a report on the effects of LB Airport on LB residents' health and property values.
The request for the report, first sought by a unanimous Council vote in May 2002, was reiterated in an Oct. 2003 Council vote that asked management to provide on Dec. 2 recommendations for producing the report, either as part of an EIR on proposed expansion of LB Airport terminal facilities, or as a stand alone report.
No such management item appears on the City Council's Dec. 2, 2003 agenda.
Instead, LBReport.com has learned that management intends to ask the City Council to refer the issue of residents' health and property values -- requested over a year and a half ago -- to a City Hall picked "Airport Advisory Commission," a body with no substantive legal power.
The Council's response to management's action remains to be seen. On October 14, 2003, the Council (on motion by Councilman Webb) asked the city manager to return on Dec. 2 with suggestions for the Council to review that will discuss further health and economic analysis options, either within the proposed scope of an EIR related to permanent expansion of the Airport terminal facilities or as a separate study.
Webb's Oct. 14 Council item followed months of objections by the grassroots homeowner group LBHUSH2 after city staff failed to deliver the report, co-agendized by Councilmembers Colonna (now Vice Mayor), Carroll, Kell and Webb, and requested in a unanimous Council vote on May 14, 2002.
In August, 2002 Councilman Carroll volunteered publicly that he had interceded with management to urge withholding the report until sensitive negotiations then-underway with the FAA had concluded. The FAA's involvement stemmed from a May 2001 Council vote (8-1 Carroll dissenting) that made it easier for carriers to fill LB Airport's then-vacant flight slots...which JetBlue did. The FAA matter ended in late April 2003...but the report requested by the Council on LB Airport's effects on LB residents was never delivered. On Oct. 14 2003, Councilman Carroll indicated that with the FAA proceeding concluded, he believed addressing the issues was appropriate and voted for Webb's motion.
Asked by LBReport.com on November 26 why city management had not agendized a Dec. 2 response to the Council's Oct. 14, 2003 motion, Public Information Officer Kathy Parsons indicated that management seeks to address the issue in the context of the Airport Advisory Commission.
On Oct. 21, the Council referred issues surrounding permanent expansion of LB Airport's terminal facilities and its accompanying EIR to the Airport Advisory Commission. However, a letter agendized for the Dec. 2 Council meeting by Airport Advisory Commission chair Ron Salk asserts that "Council referred an item to the Airport Advisory Commission (Commission) for follow-up action. Key issues encompassed within the referral are [in addition to two items related to the EIR concerning permanent expanded Airport terminal facilities]...Response to requests by the public for other information such as Airport impact on real estate values and health hazard risks of the local environment, including impacts from ports, freeways, and the Airport."
The City Clerk's minutes of the Oct. 21, 2003 Council meeting state in pertinent part that the Council "Requested Airport Advisory Commission to address the issues surrounding the permanent construction project proposed at the Long Beach Airport and its Environmental Impact Report. (Reyes Uranga/Webb) (8/0 Unanimous) (Absent: Baker)."
Reaction to these developments is pending as we post.
[LBReport.com comment: As will be made clear in a forthcoming LBReport.com editorial, we believe Councilmembers -- not management -- should held fully responsible for what has occurred to date...as well as their forthcoming Dec. 2 actions on this matter.]
Oct. 2003: Intense Two Hour Airport Discussion Stretches Past Midnight; Speakers Seek Health, Pollution Risk Assessment
May, 2002: May 14: Council Adopts Three Items Supporting City Hall Defense and Advocacy On Airport Noise Ordinance; We Provide Transcript Excerpts