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Valley Perspective

Burbank Airport

April 22, 2001

Re "Measure Doesn't Fly," Times editorial, April 8.

You bet we don't trust our city officials to represent us in dealings with Burbank Airport. After years of deception and double-dealing by these officials, we've learned our lesson well. If we want an airport we can live with, we'll have to do it ourselves. Federal and state courts gave us the right to control land use at the airport.

You say that I'm disingenuous in claiming that the initiative gets around federal law "by telling the city, not the airport, what it can and cannot do," including no airport expansion permission without mandatory curfews and a cap on future flights.

You admit that the airport needs city approval to proceed with expansion. Well, the voters of Burbank are going to tell the [City] Council what conditions need to apply before granting expansion approval.

For more than 10 years, hundreds of us have been battling the airport's plans for a huge new 27-gate terminal without mandatory curfews or caps.

We were in the trenches, demonstrating, arguing, cajoling, signing petitions, attending countless meetings, fighting to stop arrogant attempts to overwhelm us with more destructive noise and pollution.

It was only after a major council change in 1995 that we began the successful legal battle to stop this runaway airport growth. We got no objectivity from The Times then, and we're getting none now.

You say Burbank got everything it asked for in a draft agreement reached two years ago on a new terminal. Absolutely false. We got a tentative agreement allowing a larger terminal but still no mandatory curfew or caps. We also gave up our right to stop the acquisition of land for airport use, an agreement that can be changed at will by the council and airport.

Now the Burbank City Council is expending public funds to keep the ROAR [Restore Our Airport Rights] initiative, signed by nearly 11,000 registered Burbank voters, from the ballot. Why should we trust our public officials? As reported in your newspaper, Burbank is paying an attorney who specializes in defeating citizen-sponsored anti-airport growth initiatives.

TED McCONKEY

Co-founder, Restore

Our Airport Rights

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