Santa Monica Lookout
|Santa Monica Council Tackles Airport Leases|
By Jonathan Friedman
July 16, 2015 -- The City Council on Tuesday approved some of the lease renewals for tenants at Santa Monica Airport, but delayed action on the more controversial ones, including those that are aviation-related.
A major issue was City staff’s recommendation for aviation-related leases being renewed for three years. Several public speakers told the council they opposed this concept, preferring month-to-month offers or none at all.
“We’re going to have a fight,” said long-time Santa Monica resident Steve Unger. “Let’s have the fight now. You’re prolonging it. You’re kicking the can down the road.”
Another opponent is Los Angeles City Councilman Mike Bonin, whose chief of staff read a letter to the council. He said that by approving three-year leases, the council would be saying it “does not intend to close in the foreseeable future.”
“While I will fully support you and continue to be a steadfast partner in your fight to take back control of [Santa Monica Airport] and shut it down, I will not stand by while you continue to disproportionately impact my constituents with the environmental impacts of your airport,” Bonin’s letter states.
Following the reading of the letter, McKeown said, “Let’s work together and not divide ourselves, and hand this to the FAA by not being united on the issue.”
He also made comments about the complexity of the situation.
“We sometimes can’t take the short-term actions people demand of us because we have to play the long-term game,” he said. “We can’t afford to take a misstep that sets us back five years in a court hearing we may or may not win.”
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