Councilman David Laurell said the initiative is "the best of both
worlds" because it gives city officials and residents dual roles in the
process. City negotiators -- a team which includes council members Stacey
Murphy and Dave Golonski -- are unlikely to accept a deal that doesn't
include a mandatory curfew on flights at night, Laurell said.
"There are no specifics (in the city's initiative) because there is no
deal," Laurell said. "This gives the council and staff the leeway to come
up with a deal that is appealing to the voters."
Not everyone was pleased with the decision. On Wednesday, Glendale
Councilwoman Ginger Bremberg accused the council of pandering.
"What they are elected to do is make decisions," Bremberg said.
"They've abdicated to will-I-get-reelected pressures."
For years, the Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport Authority has been
trying to build a new terminal to replace the current 14-gate structure,
which was built in 1930. But Burbank, which is seeking assurances that
noise over the city will not increase with a new terminal has resisted
the airport's plans. Litigation continues, but a 1999 court victory gave
Burbank the final word on land-use issues on the former Lockheed Martin
Corp. property where the airport intends to build.
City officials acknowledged that a campaign by a grass-roots group
influenced their decision to place their own measure on the ballot.
Restore Our Airport Rights collected 7,400 signatures in an effort to
force the city to secure a nighttime flight curfew and annual cap on
flights in any terminal deal.
An earlier deal between the city and the airport, which was abandoned
earlier this year after being criticized by many of the affected parties,
didn't include either measure in the initial phase.
ROAR co-founder Howard Rothenbach said that unlike his group's
initiative, the city measure wouldn't give residents enough influence in
the airport expansion battle.
"It's a smoke screen to give the people a false sense of security that
they will have some control at the airport," Rothenbach said.
In the November vote, Burbank will add its measure to the county
ballot. City Clerk Judie Sarquiz has said the vote will cost Burbank