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Burbank Ousts Gee as Airport Commissioner

July 31, 1986|GREG BRAXTON | Times Staff Writer

Burbank Airport Commissioner Margie Gee, who impressed Burbank officials with her knowledge of airport matters but frustrated them by her combative demeanor, was ousted from the post Tuesday by the Burbank City Council.

Removing Gee by a 4-1 vote, council members said they want a representative on the Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport Authority who can get along with other commissioners.

Council members said they will ask airport officials to postpone significant airport decisions until they can name a replacement for Gee, 50, the only anti-noise activist on the nine-member airport panel.

Burbank, Glendale and Pasadena each appoint three commissioners.

"In Mrs. Gee's heart, she's doing what she thinks is right," said Councilman Michael Hastings, who nominated Gee for the board but voted with the majority to remove her.

"But you have to get along."

Dossin Votes to Retain Her

Councilman Al F. Dossin cast the only vote to retain Gee but made no comment.

Gee also did not speak at the meeting, although representatives of several homeowners groups urged that she be retained.

Councilman Robert W. Bowne, who made Tuesday's motion, said last week that Gee had displayed an unwillingness to cooperate with fellow board members, and that she seemed consumed with relatively minor issues that delayed more significant matters.

Last week, in the latest episode in a continuing conflict, Gee clashed with board President and former Glendale Mayor Robert W. Garcin and airport officials, saying minutes of meetings misrepresented her views and reflected "prejudice against me and my participational remarks."

She also complained that her requests for transcripts of board discussions had been ignored, although similar requests from other commissioners had been honored.

Clouded by Controversy

Gee's term on the board has been clouded by controversy almost since she was appointed by the council in May, 1985.

After her appointment, Gee indicated she might withdraw as a plaintiff in a $20-million anti-noise lawsuit against the authority if she were advised to do so by airport attorneys.

As it became evident that Gee would not withdraw from the suit, Councilwoman Mary Lou Howard and Leland Ayers, Burbank's third representative on the nine-member board, began to pressure her to make a decision in order to avoid a conflict of interest.

The state Fair Political Practices Commission ruled that Gee could not vote or participate in any discussion that could have a bearing on the lawsuit.

But Gee refused to withdraw from the suit or resign from the board.

The council voted last month to retain her, saying her knowledge of airport matters and her ability to represent the concerns of residents about noise outweighed her potential conflict of interest.

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