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Sides prepare for ROAR debate

September 05, 2001

Karen S. Kim

BURBANK -- The two opposing sides of Measure A will face off in a

public forum Saturday, just two days before ballots are expected to be

mailed to Burbank voters.

And both sides are diligently preparing for battle.

"I don't know what to expect, but I just can't see any of the

arguments against Measure A that I've heard that hold water," said Howard

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Rothenbach, coauthor of the measure. "I think we'll be able to defend our

position when they attack us."

Opponents of the measure have not determined who will represent their

side in the forum, though they are meeting this week to finalize

strategy, review questions and study the initiative.

"We just want to show the voters how flawed the language of the

initiative is," said Lew Stone, president of the Burbank firefighters'

union and possibly one of the forum participants.

"They've made 12 conditions that are so ambiguous and so open to

interpretation. We just want to show that the interpretation is going to

take a whole lot of lawyers, a lot of money and a lot of time."

Measure A requires that the city implement certain airport

restrictions, including a mandatory curfew, cap on flights and passengers

and an agreement from the Airport Authority that limits expansion. The

measure will appear on Burbank's first by-mail election ballot on Oct. 9.

Rothenbach and former Councilman Ted McConkey will defend Measure A,

also known as the Restore Our Airport Rights initiative, at the forum.

The two are busy this week, studying the history of the city's

negotiations with the airport, reading ballot arguments and anticipating

possible forum questions.

The forum will be from 10 a.m. to noon at the Fire Training Center,

1845 N. Ontario St. Each side will make a 10-minute opening statement, a

seven-minute response and a five-minute rebuttal. Both sides then will

answer questions from members of the audience before closing with a

two-minute statement each.

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