Instead, the council approved the public vote proposal from Councilman
The move represents a significant shift from the council's earlier
position, in which a majority supported a proposal by Councilman Bob
Kramer calling for an advisory vote by city residents. Instead of simply
gauging public opinion, a binding vote would put the fate of a new
terminal in the public's hands.
"I think it would accomplish what the ROAR measure set out to do,"
Golonski said. "It's the most prudent path I can come up with."
Returning from a one-week vacation, Vice Mayor Bill Wiggins broke a
2-2 deadlock Tuesday on whether to put the ROAR initiative to voters.
Wiggins said that move would be unfair to those who played by the rules
for properly gathering signatures for a petition.
Earlier this month, City Clerk Judie Sarquiz rejected a petition
submitted by ROAR, which had had collected more than 7,400 signatures of
Burbank residents. Sarquiz, acting on advice from City Atty. Dennis
Barlow, said the initiative didn't conform to the state election code
because it didn't identify sponsors Ted McConkey and Howard Rothenbach.
By rejecting the ROAR measure, Wiggins sided with councilmen Golonski
and David Laurell.
Wiggins said he respected the effort by initiative gatherers and the
strong statement made by its many signers, but decided it was wrong to
put the measure to voters.
McConkey, a former councilman who co-authored the measure with
Rothenbach, said council members didn't adequately address the merits of
the initiative -- which calls for a mandatory curfew on nighttime flights
and other strict noise controls before any terminal can be built.
"Obviously I was disappointed," McConkey said Wednesday. "These are
not reasoned arguments, these are goofy arguments."
Laurell and Golonski have said the ROAR initiative was legally flawed
and could open the door to lawsuits against the city.
On Tuesday, the council directed Barlow to come up with several
possible scenarios for a public vote. He is expected to return with his
proposals and a timetable for the vote later this month.
McConkey said Wednesday that ROAR is considering recirculating the
petition or taking the issue to court. McConkey also said the initiative
would likely be rewritten to include tougher noise measures.
Councilman Bob Kramer, who signed the initiative, and Mayor Stacey
Murphy supported a public vote on ROAR.
"It's a shame to put them through that work again," Murphy said. "The
signatures are there."
Wiggins said rejecting ROAR was a hard decision.
"It was tough," Wiggins said. "You're elected to consider what the
people have to say.
"There are state rules that need to be followed," Wiggins added.
"There's no question the ROAR folks have the ability and organizational
structure to go out and collect the signatures (again) and do it right."