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Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Airport Plan Passed, County to Sue

LAXBy a 12-3 vote, the Los Angeles City Council voted to move forward with airport expansion including a $500 million payoff to local cities and groups as hush money. Unfortuanately, our local LA papers couldn't seem to get the latest on the vote on their websites by this evening, so we've had to go to the San Jose Mercury News to get you the story. You can also read Poopy's spin here (Wonder if a consultant was paid to put this press release out on this web service?)


Prior to the vote, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted to sue the City if the plan is approved. Rightly, they view this illogical plan as having a possible negative effect on efforts to seek a regional airport solution in the Southland.

CindyShepherding the measure for Poopy through the Council was Cindy Miscowski who later appeared on Warren Olney's excellent Which Way, LA? program on KCRW. (You can listen to the six minute interview with Cindy here, requires Real Player.)

Is it just me, or when you listen to Cindy does she sound inherently full of herself and phony? In the interview, she dismisses the County's vote and implies they are not serious. She makes the point that the City could essentially settle with the County as they have with Lennox, Inglewood and the labor groups - for the right price the County's silence might be bought.

One would hope not. The County is the only player in this - other than the FAA who must give final approval - who has the resources and power to go against the City.


Anonymous Anonymous said:

Cindy is neither phoney or full of herself. She is a very nice person. She is sometimes very naive and doesn't make good decisions, even though she tries.

As to the interview, which I did listen to, the only comment is that it sounded like Cindy was stating things the way she would have liked them to be and not the way they really were. Again, very naive.

Positive comments go to Weiss, Parks and Villaragosa for standing up to what they believe and realizing that this plan is a windfall for UNIONS and will do nothing to secure the airports or increase it's revenue stream.

It is truly amazing that the other councilmembers, many of whom I respect greatly, wouldn't have the good sense to say NO TO EVERYTHING, until the Mayor and the Council find a way to provide more public safety officers for the benefit of us all.

Talk about screwed up priorities ?

December 08, 2004 9:44 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

I give Bitter Bernie, Tony Villar and Jack W. much credit for this. I guess that was a big smack by Antonio to the unions for jumping to Mayor Poopie.

As far as Cindy goes - naive or phony - I am not sure which is worse.

Lets hope Zev et al have the balls to do what is right and are not just looking for dough.

December 08, 2004 9:58 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

With the $500 million dollar hush money payoff, the city could hire thousands of new police officers. Or they could hire hundreds of new police officers, AND give a pay raise to the men and women who risk their lives every day to keep our city safe.

A big THANKS FOR NOTHING to Hahn and the city council. I hope the county and the FAA put a stop to the ill-fated plan.

Mayor Sam has it right; Cindy's not naive, but she certainly is full of herself. Why shouldn't she be? She's pushed the gargantuan expansion through the city council and has succesfully bought the silence of every anti-expansion group. She, nor the other eleven members of the council, have any reason to think buying the county's silence will require anything other than money. It's a good thing Hahn's special interest groups always seem to have more where that came from.

Thank goodness for the county's plan to sue, and thank goodness for Cindy's term limit.

December 08, 2004 9:59 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

All of you need to get with the times. LAX is the 3rd busiest in the WORLD and yet the most antiquated. Cardenas was right when he said that no one wants to come to LA because the airport is a nightmare. As for the 3 losers Bitter Bernie, Tony Villar, and lapdog Weiss it's so obvious they are sticking together on everything all the other city councils members are for. Tony Villar can just kiss that union endorsement out the window. Everyone can see right threw these THREE STOOGES..that's what they've been called around city hall. This is long over due and Cindy is smart, classy and did a great job. Men can't handle women being that smart....Get over it.

December 08, 2004 10:07 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:


So no one thinks that approaching this from a regional approach as oppose to a just LAX model is good?

Palmdale --- Oxnard??? Doesn't Washington DC, New York and Chicago all have 3 airports that feed into the region, while LA has just one.

God forbid there ever be a terrorist attack at LAX, wouldn't we be srewed since all our eggs our in one basket? We'd at least have Palmdale and Oxnard to use to take care of business. 11 billion can make huge strides in places where land is cheaper, contruction costs are less, and quite frankly the burden isn't on LA. I mean we as a city take on other people's trash (Sunshine) we augment the regions transportation fund (MTA) we are the ones that almost got Measure A passed (64%), lastly we are also taking in everyone's homeless folks. We as a city cannot take the brunt of everyone's problems, places outside of this city need to take some responsibility for these regional problems as well. LA making an 11 billion dollar investment to solve other people's problems isn't smart for Homeland Security, isn't smart for transportation, and quite frankly isn't smart.

As for the unions, i think they know Antonio's regional approach solution, and either way a union job is a union job. Whether it be in Palmdale or Oxnard unions could care less where the job is as long as their members are part of the process, which in Antonio's plan they are.

Antonio stood up for something he's been saying since the first mayor's race -- he stood there as solid as a rock and wasn't going to compromise the city's interests away. Thats leadership.

December 08, 2004 10:57 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

I can see where Meat comes from in regards to this issue. Everybody is always quick to say "Share the wealth" but they never say "Share the burden". Los Angeles should not be looked at by the rest of the Southern California region as the city that takes on the heavy task of providing quality air travel for the entire area.

I've heard many politicians (especially Tony V.) bring up the issue about smart development: building housing closer to workplace areas, and integrating transportation projects to service those areas. Using that approach, it would make much more sense to take the funding that is being placed for the LAX expansion and share it with the other airports in the area: John Wayne, Ontario, Burbank, and Palmdale. It's common sense.

Sadly enough, it doesn't seem that Hahn has any.

December 08, 2004 11:27 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Tony Villar a leader? Please get your head out of the clouds. No one believes Tony because he has a big character flaw...that drug letter. Its popped its ugly head up again and people are remembering he supported a drug dealer. He has a district outraged at his lies and even have him on a video camera sounding sincere saying "I'm staying, I will finish out my term" No I won't run for mayor etc. etc. Smart group getting that on tape. You think the last mayoral race was nasty...

December 08, 2004 12:04 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:


To the above poster -- have fun. I wish you well and have a good holiday.

May god bless you and your family -- and put some joy in your life.

December 08, 2004 1:44 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Its amazing Meat how you don't like to hear the truth. It strikes a nerve with you everytime. Remember these words...its not personal...its business. However, when you're expecting a paycheck then I guess it does become personal.

December 08, 2004 2:36 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:


It seems to shock you that i am not on Antonio's payroll - i am not.

This is business, i understand that, you are right. So understanding that it is business i put the normal political business model under this recall effort and find that this recall is not going to happen. Before the Davis recall the governors numbers were in the tank, there is no such parrallel with Antonio's numbers. Hence the "business" of this tells me, there is no recall, this councilman will not be recalled, and this all FAKE distractions put on by FAKE people.

As for the letter - the evil letter written for a grieving father that sheriff baca and cardinal moheny wrote (different versions) isn't going to work this time. And if it is so potent why didn't Pacheco use it? why? it's lost its juice, theres nothing there, and it has nothing to do with the real issue of this Mayor being paralyzed by scandal.

The videotape -- it only will have potency in one district, a district whose votes aren't the ones that will send someone into the mayor's office. There aren't enough there. Yeah i said it.

blog away dum-dums.

December 08, 2004 2:57 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Like Meat or not, he makes sense on most items. You can't talk about the Davis recall in the same manner as you can this "recall effort". Davis was somebody who even after being re-elected, didn't carry much positive support throughout the state - with either dems or reps. Villaraigosa seems to have worked well with the city departments to bring much needed services to the area, something that you would expect from all elected officials but hardly get in the same capacity as he has. The differences are many between them two.

Secondly, Darryl Issa had to bring millions into the pot in order to build attention and create an army necessary to collect the necessary signatures and momentum to carry the recall campaign. Now when one thinks the proportionality of the amount of money spent in the recall effort and the population of the state of CA and compare that to a City Council District that has over 250,000 residents, it'll take some significant amount of cash to make this really happen.

So for those of you who are out there who are part of this recall, come out and say who you are, you are your supporters, and who are the people supporting this effort financially. The Davis Recall had support from bigshots like Schwarzenegger and cash behind the campaign, which is what made it successful. GIVE ME NAMES! SHOW ME THE MONEY! Do that, and I might start to take you guys seriously. I await your reply...

December 08, 2004 5:56 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

In my experience (several years working in and around City Hall), Miscikowski is both: naive AND full of herself. It's a deadly combination. Yes, LAX has lots of problems, and the region has gargantuan aviation needs, but the Riordan-Hahn-Miscikowski chimera of a plan neither solves LAX's problems nor expands its capacity. Hahn must deliver something, anything, so he can claim a win in his campaign rhetoric and deliver jobs to his union supporters. Miscikowski's motivation? She just loves to craft a compromise and call it a win-win, even when it's the worst of all possible worlds, and I'd bet that Hahn promised her something (for herself or someone close to her) in exchange for getting this to a successful Council vote. BTW, that $500 million isn't fungible to police officers or anything else non-airport-related. Airport revenues may only be spent on airport expenses, period. Just ask Dick Riordan.

December 08, 2004 6:25 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

We are never going to see any major expansion of LAX or begin to implement the myriad of regional solutions to SoCal's aviation constraints for one reason: NIMBYs. Expansion of John Wayne? Not going to happen because there is an existing curfew and great discontent in south OC. Burbank Aiport? Hell no. The NIMBYs out there are having a fight for their lives with the City of Burbank and the Airport Authority over a minor expansion to accommodate new security measures. Palmdale? We keep talking but I don't see any results. Ontario? Again, good luck. And we lost El Toro to a stupid park and housing development. Do we need more people from south OC driving to LA on the 405 or 5 freeways? No, we don't. We need a regional plan. Rather, we need to force a regional approach to aviation, transportation as well as commercial and housing development. It's time we put these NIMBYs in their place. I am a homeowner and understand that we all want to preserve our quality of life, but come on this is ridiculous. We need progress now and the LAX expansion is a short-term fix and accomodationist approach to a persistent problem in SoCal. We need true leadership on this issue. City Hall lacks that leadership as does our county and state officials.

December 08, 2004 8:19 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Anyone, including Villaraigosa, can say that a regional approach is necessary for air transportation, but will they have the guts to talk about the NIMBYism recognized by the above poster.

It is clear that sounded good is more important than doing something about it.

LAX has been a problem for a long time and Villaraigosa could have done something as Speaker if he was truly interested in helping, but he didn't.

December 09, 2004 1:00 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

From Bob Hertzberg:

I think we should break up LAX. It is too big and doesn't work. Give control back to each local airline and let them make the decisions that work best for them. It's not like the best and the brightest are flying the planes.

December 09, 2004 8:28 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

That's not a bad idea. Who says that an airport has to be a government run operation? It would probably function far better owned by private enterprise. Union Station is privately owned. Why not LAX?

December 09, 2004 10:20 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Bob Hertzberg wants to be mayor and all he's done in the last two weeks is use horrible language "not the best or brightest" when referring to city employees and now airline pilots. Who the hell is he to judge anyone?

December 09, 2004 11:29 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

From: Ex DWP Guy

He's like any of the rest of us who have had experience dealing with city employees - he is right.

They are not the best and the brightest. As someone who has managed and hired people in both the public and private sector, I can tell you he is absolutely right. Most city workers are morons. Some of them are good people. But the majority of them could not be hired by private industry, other than semi-governmental organizations like Kaiser, SBC, Edison, etc.

And Hertzberg knows what he is talking about - he knows more about how municipal government works than just about anyone. The guy is a freaking genius!

(But I still may vote for Tony because Hertzberg is too conservative for me)

December 09, 2004 2:26 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Hello, the "Hertzberg" comment is clearly a joke. A pretty funny one, actually, that manages to skewer Hertzberg's penchant for offering plans that A) don't really address the problem; B) create whole new problems and C) aren't within the power of the mayor to effect anyway. [No, I didn't post the original comment.]

Airports CAN'T be run by airlines. LA could spin off the airports agency into its own semi-independent (but still public) entity, sort of like MTA or how the NYC airports are run, but I don't know how that would be an improvement.

The only authorities with real power to change the regional aviation mess are state and federal officials who would take on the messy land use and NIMBY issues, but that's never going to happen for fear of alienating communities forced to accept airports.

And as far as that "best and brightest" slam, I thought Hertzberg performed extremely well at the debate EXCEPT for that gratuitous and nasty remark. City employees may or may not be less competent than those in the private sector (and I think that's an extremely dubious assertion), but any mayor is utterly dependent on civil servants to provide information and guidance in running the several massive bureaucracies that make up LA government. The trick, as in any corporation or management situation, is to identify those civil servants most aligned with and best able to execute the mayoral agenda. Sadly, I believe that Hahn and his minions have done this extremely effectively. It all says much more about the agenda than about the employees.

December 09, 2004 3:28 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

There are privately run airports throughout the Country. Ok, so let's sell at least one of the airports we own, if not all, and then use the money to get out of debt....put more cops on the streets, help our homeless, fill our potholes....and have a huge City Party celebrating ANYTHING !!!!

December 10, 2004 11:56 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

There are no privately owned commercial airports in this country. The FAA would have to approve such a sale, and probably the state and county as well. And what, exactly, would it accomplish to sell LAX, other than to create an enormous new source of campaign contributions and lobbyist employment?

December 11, 2004 11:41 AM  

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