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Airport Panel Debates Televising Its Meetings : Agencies: The broadcasts, over local cable, could be done for $100,000 the first year, report says. Critics call it a waste.

August 17, 1993|HUGO MARTIN | TIMES STAFF WRITER

The Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport Authority could televise its bimonthly meetings at a cost of $100,000 for the first year, according to a staff report that reignited debate Monday over the proposal.

The suggestion to broadcast the panel's meeting on local cable channels came last month from newly appointed Pasadena Commissioner William Paparian. But it has since been criticized by some members who consider it a waste of money.

Although most of the authority members have expressed support for the concept, authority President Robert W. Garcin Monday referred the proposal to a subcommittee for further study, a move that seemed to frustrate Paparian.

"We should go ahead with plans to videotape meetings," Paparian said.

But Garcin, who has opposed the idea, said the proposal must go through committee review before being considered by the full panel.

"We are not taking action on this issue today," he said. "I don't see this as an urgency item."

Dios Marrero, the authority controller, said he is not sure when the authority can again consider the proposal since many authority members plan to take vacations in the next two months.

To broadcast the panel's meeting, a staff study released Monday said the authority would have to spend about $50,000 for video equipment and another $35,000 to soundproof its meeting room, which overlooks the Burbank Airport's runways and is often filled with the roar of departing jets.

The authority also would have to spend about $15,000 annually to hire technicians to record the meetings, the report said.

But the report did not seem to sway critics or proponents of the plan. The three most vocal opponents--Garcin and commissioners Carl W. Raggio Jr. and Carl Meseck--represent the city of Glendale, which does not televise its City Council meetings.

Burbank and Pasadena televise their City Council meetings on cable.

Supporters of the plan include Pasadena commissioners Paparian, Chris Holden and John C. Crowley. Burbank representatives Michael R. Hastings and Brian B. Bowman were absent Monday but have supported the plan in the past. Burbank Commissioner Robert R. Bowne said he wanted the idea studied further.

Paparian pushed for televising the meetings, saying it would inform neighboring residents about the authority's actions.

Commissioner Holden agreed, saying the airport may be able to win over airport critics by keeping them informed of the authority's actions.

"I think it serves our best interests in the long run," he said.

But Garcin said it was "terribly naive" to believe that a cable access show would win over airport neighbors, some of whom have waged a dogged battle for 15 years to impose controls on the airport or close it. He suggested that the authority set aside the proposal for at least five years until the airport completes construction of its new terminal, which may include a soundproof meeting room.

Commissioner Raggio said the $100,000 price tag was "exorbitant" for a cable show that may get very few viewers.

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