Karen Melick’s letter of September 27, 2014, contains many inaccuracies:

1) Ms. Melick says that, under Measure D, changes to SMO’s operations “…would require a majority of registered voters, not just a majority of those voting. With this definition it would be virtually impossible to approve any changes.”

This has been rebutted frequently. Marsha Moutrie, the Santa Monica City Attorney, publicly said: “…the term “voter approval” should be interpreted to mean approval by a simple majority of those actually voting. Proponents of the measure have agreed to this definition in writing….” (Santa Monica Daily Press, September 1, 2014, [Initiative arguments: future control of SMO])

2) Ms. Melick suggests that using paid signature gatherers for the Measure D petition was wrong. The National Conference of State Legislatures, on the other hand, states that in the US, “…the vast majority of petition campaigns use paid circulators…” It is immaterial who asked the 15,700 voters in Santa Monica to sign the petition. The Los Angeles Registrar of Voters validated the signatures. Ms Melick is trying to divert attention from the fact that 15,700 voters have already indicated support of Measure D.

3) Ms. Melick is “…concerned about the negative effects of the airport on our community.” What 15,700 Santa Monica residents are concerned about is the negative effects on our community if SMO is closed – the loss of dollars that goes into our local economy, the loss of nearly 1,500 jobs, the loss of a valuable asset to the community (the airport itself), the loss of our protection against low-flying large aircraft and against high-rise buildings within 3.5 miles of the runway (a FAA safety rule) and the threat of huge development and traffic that would result from SMO’s closing.

4) Ms. Melick objects that Measure D has received some funding from the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association and the National Business Aviation Association. She failed to mention that the opposing measure has received money from developers as have our City Council members.

5) On voting on airport changes, Measure D is straightforward. It says that “…voter approval is required in order to close all or part of the airport, change use of the airport land, or impose new restrictions on fuel sales or use of aviation facilities.” The opposing measure, on the other hand, says that “…the City Council shall have full authority, without voter approval, to regulate use of the Santa Monica Airport, manage Airport leaseholds, condition leases, and permanently close all or part of the Airport to aviation use.”

The “…full authority, without voter approval…” part of the opposing measure is critical. Measure D says that voters will be able to vote on any suggested changes. Measure D is democratic but the opposing measure takes control out of voters’ hands and gives the authority to the Council, the Council that works hand-in-glove with developers. The developers and the Council would love to develop the airport property. With Measure D, voters will determine the use of this important asset, the last, low-density property in Santa Monica.

Reynold Dacon

Santa Monica




From a recent anti-logic letter posted in this paper:

“Measure D would alter the City Charter with very specific language regarding voter approval for any future changes to SMO’s operations. It would require a majority of registered voters for such approval….”

Let me get this straight: Don’t vote for measure D because, if you do, the citizens of Santa Monica might – or most probably, will – vote to retain Santa Monica Airport?

And also, “They are selling Measure D as ‘voters decide… read: development’ but the real objective is to keep SMO operating as it is, which means huge profits to aviation companies that lease land from the City, then sublease some of it at rates that pay them much more than their leases cost.”

In fact, the “aviation companies” alluded to above are barely profiting from their leases (much less “hugely”) at SMO. But who is profiting? The City of Santa Monica … to the tune of $275,000,000 a year.

Santa Monica’s little Tongva park, at 6.2 acres, cost well over $40 million; at least $7,000,000 per acre. SMO is 36 times larger: 227 acres…1/3 the size of New York’s vast Central Park. You do the math.

(OK, you can cheat: that’d be $1.5 billion, not counting the loss of that yearly $275,000,000.)

So the proposal is: replace the currant profitable operation with the huge cost of demolishing the airport; the massive cost of building a “park” (whatever that eventually means); the cost of maintaining and operating said park; the inevitable traffic nightmares around it; a decades-long loss of income; the immediate loss of emergency (earthquake, fire, terrorism, flood, etc.) and medical services that SMO airport provides to all citizens; and…almost forgot…the resultant incursion of jumbo-jet air traffic routing to and from LAX that will inevitably occur.

But let’s not let the voters decide!

Vote for D while you still can.

Tony Bill

Santa Monica

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