Editor:

At what point should the residents of Santa Monica say enough? At what point will they act to stop the incessant waste of taxpayer dollars in a futile effort to shutter Santa Monica Municipal Airport?

Throughout the past roughly twenty years, the City Council and Mayor’s office of Santa Monica have lost virtually every single attempt to close the airport. Millions of taxpayer dollars have been spent in this effort thus far and the question before the residents now should be “When is enough to going to be enough? When will the City of Santa Monica recognize that those who came before made agreements that cannot be eliminated or disregarded? When will they stop the bleeding and tell the City Council to back off?”

Those millions could have been spent on things like schools, road improvements, improving current parks, and a myriad of other areas important to residents.

The latest loss for the City is the December 4 decision of the FAA that the City of Santa Monica is bound by all of its past Grant Assurances pertaining to operation of KSMO. Despite yet another flat out loss, the City Council still is willing to spend your money on things like paying a new “point man” over 200K dollars per year to act as a consultant on airport issues. Couldn’t they spend that 200K this year to buy new computers for the school kids or install lights along some of the bike routes?

The simple truth of the matter is that this whole mess reeks of a City of Bell situation. History has taught us that when elected officials are so almighty determined to do that which they know full well they cannot do, there are usually forces at work behind the scenes influencing those elected officials decisions and behavior. I suspect it’s no different here when it comes to developers and the City Council. Yet these are the people residents of the City of Santa Monica trust to manage the money?

Now that Kevin McKeown is leaving office, perhaps its time for a new direction with regard to the airport. It’s established that the airport is going to remain for at least another eight years. Maybe the City Council should try acting in a manner that embraces their responsibilities to operate the airport and thus enjoy the influx of revenue that this little airport can provide to the City.

Right now at the airport there are a large number of businesses who are simply fed up with the constant threats of closure, implementation of policies aimed at strangling the airport out of existence and adoption of official policies that are discriminatory against aviation businesses. Most of the businesses at the airport are organized now and preparing to petition the Courts for injunctions which will force the City to renew leases, remove landing fees and provide these businesses with stability and certainty which up till now the City has actively worked to deprive them of year after year.

The businesses at the airport have reached a point where unless the City changes its course in the extremely near future, the City will risk losing all control over the airport and some control is certainly better than none, right?

This airport belongs to the Federal government and the City is permitted to operate it, so long as they abide by all of the Grant Assurances. Presently they are not even remotely close to complying with those Assurances and the courts know so. Does the City Council honestly believe that after 8 consecutive losses, they will somehow win? Really?!?!

Lets stop wasting money, start embracing the airport and what it can offer the City and reap the benefits of having it. We are going to have it anyway, for almost another decade!

Chris Thrasher

Santa Monica