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Citzens' airport measure goes to clerk

March 15, 2000

Paul Clinton

CIVIC CENTER -- After six months of pounding city pavement for

signatures, a local political action committee submitted more than 7,000

names to the city clerk Tuesday supporting a measure that strictly limits

expansion at Burbank Airport.

Fanning the streets to collect names from homes and businesses in

every sector of the city, members of Restore Our Airport Rights said they

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collected about 7,400 names. The group has about 2,200 more signatures

than are legally required to get the petition on the ballot for the next

municipal election.

Unveiled Sept. 23, the petition offers an alternate airport expansion

solution than the Aug. 4 Framework for Settlement negotiated between

airport officials, Mayor Stacey Murphy and Councilman Dave Golonski.

Members of the group, known as ROAR, said their petition will force city

officials to recognize a significant public mandate that supports

stricter noise controls than thoseproposed in the framework deal.

The measure calls for a 14-gate, 200,000-square-foot terminal with a

mandatory curfew between 10 p.m. and 7 a.m. and a cap on the annual

number of flights. The initiative also calls for strict fines against

airlines that violate the curfew.

In contrast, the framework deal calls for a 14-gate,

330,000-square-foot terminal that would include a nighttime terminal

closure but no immediate curfew.

The group needs 5,214 valid signatures from registered Burbank voters

to force the city to include the measure on the ballot in February.

Once the signatures are counted by the Burbank city clerk, they will

be forwarded to the Los Angeles County registrar-recorder to be

validated. That could take at least two weeks. After that, the petition

would be placed on the ballot.

"If they meet the requirements, it will go on the ballot for

February," City Clerk Judie Sarquiz said.

The ROAR initiative, written by former City Councilman Ted McConkey

and activist Howard Rothenbach, offers a solution supported by the

residents of the city, committee members said.

"This is democracy at its best," McConkey said. "They wanted a local

solution. We gave them one."

City officials blasted the initiative in September, deriding it as

"deeply flawed" and a "wish list" of unrealistic demands. However,

Councilman Bob Kramer signed the petition last week.

On Tuesday, City Manager Bud Ovrom said he was skeptical the

initiative would ever stand up in court.

"It's not difficult to get an initiative qualified," Ovrom said.

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