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Burbank Votes to Put Airport Issue on Ballot

March 30, 2000

BURBANK — On a unanimous vote, the Burbank City Council has agreed to have voters approve any new Burbank Airport terminal.

The vote took place Tuesday after the council refused to place a more restrictive ballot measure before voters. That proposal would have required voter approval of a new terminal, imposed a mandatory 10 p.m. to 7 a.m. curfew and set a cap on future flights and passengers.

The more restrictive measure was originally proposed as an initiative by the group Restore Our Airport Rights, or ROAR. The city clerk disqualified the ROAR initiative two weeks ago because signature petitions failed to include the names of the measure's chief proponents, former Councilman Ted McConkey and Howard Rothenbach.

After the disqualification, Mayor Stacey Murphy and Councilman Bob Kramer sought to put the ROAR measure on the ballot by council vote. Last week, the council deadlocked 2 to 2 on the issue, with Councilman Bill Wiggins absent.

On Tuesday, Wiggins joined councilmen David Laurell and Dave Golonski in voting against putting the issue on the ballot.

The council majority argued that the city had to be consistent in applying election rules and that approving the initiative would have effectively set the city up as its sponsor, opening the door for potential litigation.

"The city attorney cautioned me that the initiative was constitutionally flawed," Laurell said. "Ethically, I wasn't going to be party to it."

Golonski, however, introduced a new motion requiring that any new terminal plan go to voters for a binding vote. The council had previously agreed to an advisory vote.

The Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport Authority wants to build a 330,000-square-foot terminal to replace the existing 170,000-square-foot building, which is located too close to an airport runway by modern federal standards.

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