7/14/2015: Documents Related to Tonight’s Santa Monica City Council Meeting

An important Santa Monica City Council Meeting happens tonight, July 14, 2015. Item 8-C of the agenda calls for a discussion and vote on the direction the City of Santa Monica will take regarding aviation leases. Concerned Residents Against Airport Pollution and others advocating for quality of life (as well as air quality) will be offering citizen comments, asking for the shortest possible leases, even month-to-month. The aim is to maximize flexibility as the city transitions to a new era of local airport control and local noise regulation, with the elimination of jets at KSMO, and the eventual possible closure of the airport to better serve local community needs.

Just one week earlier, on July 8th, Mayor Kevin McKeown and Councilmember Susan Himmelrich spoke at a meeting in Washington, DC, as set up by Representative Ted Lieu. FAA was present, but had declared that they would not discuss anything, that their attendance was in a ‘listening-only mode’. Here are a few selected excerpts from Mayor McKeown’s statement in Washington, DC:

“The FAA has taken the position that Santa Monica must continue to endure the danger, pollution, and noise that have been clearly documented from numerous sources. The FAA has used all of its power as a federal agency to deny relief to residents, inside Santa Monica and outside our borders. You have deflected lawsuits toward us, toward our City, because we own and operate the airport.”
“Yes, we do own and operate the airport. And I’m here to let you know that Santa Monica, freed of the 1984 Agreement, is prepared to act on the rights we have as owners of the land and operator of the airport. Fifteen years ago, a Final Agency Decision from you, the FAA, recognized that after the expiration of the 1984 Agreement, the future of Santa Monica Airport becomes a local land use matter.”
“Santa Monica can no longer accept your silence on matters of life and safety. We are no longer willing to let you hide behind the cloak of so-called Part 16 proceedings, which you have used to claim you cannot respond to our concerns today.”
“We know and you know that it is the FAA that has the authority and power to alleviate our residents’ suffering and distress. Despite the City’s entreaties over many years, you have refused to help us. Instead, when we have tried to protect our own residents, you have sued us. You have sided with aviation interests. You have drawn us into Part 16 hearings as way to further delay just adjudication.”
“We will fight to protect our residents. The FAA, so far, fights to protect corporate aviation interests. We have no choice but to continue fighting for our land and our residents. We will not be denied. We will not stop. And we truly believe that ultimately, we will prevail. We have come to you here in Washington to make our case, but we will leave to make a new future, for our land and our community.”

And here are links to PDF copies of related documents… (blue dates link to online content)

Transcript of remarks from Mayor McKeown and Councilmember Himmelrich to FAA
Delivered at the meeting in Washington, DC
A ‘Thank You’ letter, from Mayor McKeown to Representative Ted Lieu
An online version was also published by the Santa Monica Mirror.
Staff Report
10-pages, including some analysis for the different lease proposals, and staff recommendations
Supplemental Staff Report
2-pages of supplemental information regarding the unblended rates listed for the proposed airport leases (on the Council Agenda for July 14, 2015, at Item 8-C)
Additional Supplemental Staff Report
3-pages of notes prepared by City Attorney Marsha Jones Moutrie