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El Toro: Bad Idea Never Cleared for Takeoff

March 31, 2002

Re "County Still Has Plenty of Airport Fight Left in It, Smith Says," March 20:

As a longtime resident of South County, I am continually amazed by the head-in-the-sand attitude of the pro-airport supervisors. Two election votes against an airport at El Toro, and Supervisor Chuck Smith still won't let it go the way of the Edsel.

It's understandable that there's more support in North County for an airport because it does not impact their quality of life, property values, etc. South County, on the other hand, realized how bad this idea was and was willing to fight it with money out of our own pockets. North County did not see fit to [fight it with money], with the exception of George Argyros and all his millions.

Those of us who will be around in 20 years can enjoy the fact that we stood up for our rights and voted against the El Toro airport, a bad idea that never was cleared for takeoff.

G. Ray

Laguna Niguel

*

Since Chuck Smith seemed to be in such a chuckling mood when he sat down with Dana Parsons to talk about the El Toro airport, I only hope he laughed as loud as we all did when he said the outcome of Measure W was determined by "a few very passionate people with a lot of money." Substitute "greedy developers" for "passionate people" and you have a perfect description of the road leading to the proposed airport at El Toro. A few greedy developers (George Argyros and friends) freely handed out their money to clueless supervisors (Chuck Smith, Jim Silva and Cynthia P. Coad) and, in every conceivable way, tried to ram an airport down the throats of the citizens of Orange County. Although I know that Argyros is busily learning Spanish in Madrid, don't be surprised if he again throws the weight of his millions into the new legal battle to toss out Measure W.

Smith laughs and says that in 20 years he "won't care" whether an airport is built at El Toro. The happy supervisor should know that in five, 10, 15 or 20 years, there will still be "passionate people" who, with or without a lot of money, care about the quality of life in Orange County.

Bill Gable

Laguna Beach

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