By John Fairweather

Measure LC represents an unprecedented handover of power over development
from the council to the people. It has never happened before in the hist-
ory of our city, and likely never will again. LC exists for one reason
only, and that is the existential threat to the City and its people that
measure D represents. Without the threat of D, the council would not have
been forced to go one-up and create LC.

Council knew that in the anti-development environment, if LC did not abso-
lutely hand control over development to the people, then it could not suc-
ceed in defeating D. They had no choice and had to send the language back
to city staff multiple times because staff simply could not believe the
council insisted on giving up so much power to the people. LC is a once-
in-a-lifetime opportunity to guarantee the future quality of life for the
entire city and surrounds and to place power over development in the hands
of the people not the politicians. Measure D does nothing to protect us.
Measure LC is an insurance policy against future councils, staff, develop-
ers, and any number of other threats known or unknown.

If you don’t trust the council, vote for LC, it takes their power over de-
velopment away and gives it to the people.

A vote for measure D takes the power over development (and everything else)
away from both the council and the people, and places it in the hands of
the aviation lobby.

Oct 29, 2014


Dear Friends, Neighbors and Residents,

Other neighborhood associations and resident groups are doing extensive
research on important local issues. Their efforts are to be applauded
as all have jobs, families, and other activities which would no doubt be
less aggravating than the work you will find below. We thank them and
are fortunate to be able to share the results with you.

Vice President
Santa Monica Mid City Neighbors

To: Santa Monica City Council

From: The Board of Northeast Neighbors

Re: 10/28/14 City Council Meeting Agenda Item 8B – Stage 2 Water Supply
Shortage Implementation and Proposed Drought Surcharges

Dear City Council:

California is experiencing a significant drought and all effort possible
must be made by all communities to increase water conservation. To achieve
the 20% reduction in water use called for by the State, a proposed Water
Shortage Response Plan has been crafted by City staff that sets surcharges
or fines for water users who exceed designated allotments. Differing wat-
er conservation thresholds are being proposed for Single-family home con-
sumers, Multi-family customers and commercial customers. After consider-
able study and discussion, it is the position of the Board of Northeast
Neighbors that the proposed surcharge plan should be revised in many res-

We ask that the City Council take the following actions in its direction to
Staff regarding Agenda Item 8B:
1. Increase the water conservation threshold for Single-family home
customers. The proposed threshold is too low and will impact a significant
number of households that have already made great progress in reducing their
water consumption. Many households responsibly began water conservation
efforts in 2009 in response to the City Council directive to the community
to reduce water usage by 10% and ongoing City water conservation programs
since then. The drought surcharge program should be structured to incentiv-
ize heavy water users to reduce, not penalize households that have already
made reductions.

The City is setting a threshold to try not to penalize those who are conser-
ving water. The question is: What is the right threshold? If you are below
the threshold, you are not subject to the drought surcharge. If you are above
the threshold, you have to reduce by 20% compared to your 2013 water usage or
be penalized. Under the proposed plan, if residents of Single-family homes con-
tinue to use water as they did in 2013, 58% of them can expect to be fined.
That bar for Multi-family households has been set higher, such that if resi-
dents of Multi-family homes continue to use water as they did last year only
20% will be subject to fines.

It’s worth noting that Single-family home customers as an entity use only 26%
of the city’s water and yet they are being targeted for the greatest reduction. Multi-family home customers in comparison use 41% of the city’s water.

The thresholds for Single-family home water use should be increased so that homeowners don’t bear a disproportionate burden for water conservation.

2. Increase the water reduction target for commercial customers to 20%
as proposed by Staff so that the threshold is commensurate with what will
be required of residential customers.

3. Do not allow exemptions of individual water meters as proposed by
Staff. Removing the requirement to install individual water meters from
apartments will not incentivize water conservation. To the contrary, it
will result in end users who are less educated about and less accountable
for their own water usage and consequently will make the water reduction
program less effective.

4. Make enforcement of the individual water metering of apartment units mandatory, and immediately stop Staff’s current practice of exempting new
development from having to meet this Code requirement.

5. Explore programs to retrofit existing multi-family unit buildings
with mechanisms to monitor individual dwelling unit usage. Many apartment
buildings do not have individual water meters. Consequently residents of
these buildings cannot know their individual usage or be held accountable
for overuse. Providing a mechanism to monitor individual dwelling unit
usage would create a system where residents could be incentivized to reduce
water consumption through pass-through water billing based on actual usage.
It is our understanding from a recent meeting with Planning Director David
Martin that there are devices that can be installed that monitor usage to
individual units in existing buildings with only one water meter.

6. Do not approve the proposed increase in staffing or employ contract-
ors to implement the surcharge program through the creation of a new bureau-
cracy described as a “Water Conservation Unit.” The City already offers and implements a number of effective rebate and conservation outreach programs
and has been doing so for a number of years. The drought surcharge is a minor
change to our billing structure that can and should be handled by existing
staff. Santa Monica already has one of the highest staff-to-resident ratios
in the state. The proposed new staffing would be funded by the very drought surcharges that they are working, ostensibly, to prevent. Any new program
can and should be handled by existing personnel in the Office of Sustainabil-
ity and the Environment, which should be directed to set priorities accord-

Instead of using funds generated from drought surcharges for additional staff,
the revenue should be used to offset any anticipated reduction in revenues
associated with the expected decrease in water usage due the water conservation programs. This surcharge revenue could be used to offset the cost of operating
the current water system, replace and upgrade existing facilities and fund the
SWMP. This will create less pressure or need to increase general water rates.

7. Delay the 32 development agreements in the pipeline to avoid further
burdening our local water supply. The staff report observes that despite an
increase of roughly 3,000 new housing units in the last ten years, total water
use in Santa Monica decreased by 1%. Whose water reduction practices were responsible for this reduction despite the additional housing? It is important
to understand how new development can be expected to impact demand for water.
Surely no one believes that the addition of 3,000 new apartment units over the
last decade result in reduced water use in our city. While new units are more
water efficient, they are still generating additional demand and existing resi-
dents should not be required to bear the burden of this new water drain. Curr-
ently three new hotels have been approved by Council and there are 2,300 apar-
tment units pending Council approval.

8. The drought should not become an excuse to increase taxes on residents
and existing businesses and to hire additional City staff. The City of Santa
Monica already has one of the highest staff-to-resident ratios in the state.
Members of the community are very concerned that plans to manage water use in
Santa Monica are carried out in a manner that is fair to all existing residents
and businesses. While Santa Monica gets most of its water from our own wells,
we also purchase water from the Metropolitan Water District. Unless develop-
ment is constrained until the drought emergency has been addressed, water con-
umption will increase in Santa Monica and the price is one we will all have to

The Board of Northeast Neighbors

City Clerk – Please include this letter in the public record for the 10/28/2014
City Council Agenda Item 8B.

From Ocean Park Association (OPA):
Two Critical Meetings on Drought and Water Restrictions


The state of California has declared a severe drought situation and is calling
for a 20% reduction in water use by everyone. Come to a special community meet-
ing, organized by OPA, on Water Use and the Drought at the Ocean Park Library in Monday, October 27, 2014 from 6:30 – 8:30 PM. Gil Borboa, SM Water Resources Manager; Dean Kubani, Director of Office of Sustainability and the Environment;
and Kim O’Cain, Water Specialist with the Office of Sustainability and the Environment will be there to inform us of the coming water restrictions and to
answer your questions.


WHEN: Tuesday, October 28, 2014
WHERE: City Hall
TIME: 6:30 PM

City Council will be discussing Stage 2 Water Emergency Recommendations
including penalties for use beyond daily allocation for homes, apartments
and businesses. So far, recommendations to reduce water usage by 20% have
been voluntary; with the continued drought, water use reduction may become


A group of Santa Monica residents known as the “Transparency Project” ( is alleging that Santa Monica Mayor
Pam O’Connor has been accepting illegal campaign contributions. A complaint
detailing thirty-one (31) instances – accompanied by over 70 exhibits – has
been filed. It alleges and enumerates Mayor O’Connor’s repeated violations
of City Charter Amendment XXII, the Taxpayer Protection Amendment of 2000
a.k.a. ‘the Oakes Initiative’) for illegally accepting campaign contribut-
ions from developers, after voting to approve their projects.

In the latest move, Santa Monica’s City Attorney has referred the Transpar-
ency Project’s complaint to the Public Integrity Division of the Los Angeles
District Attorney’s office. Santa Monica City Attorney Marsha Moutrie stated
that because she “reports directly to the City Council” (of which the mayor –
and subject of the complaint – is a member) “her office has a conflict of in-
terest, as does the Santa Monica Police Department.”

The Los Angeles District Attorney’s Public Integrity Division describes its responsibility concerning public officials as follows: “Public officials are
elected to positions of public trust. In the event of any breach of this trust
the Public Integrity Division will investigate, and if appropriate, prosecute criminal misconduct by any elected public official.” Specifically, concerning election and campaign violations, the PID explains: “Because the integrity of
the election process is crucial to a free and democratic society, the District Attorney’s Office must be vigilant in enforcing all laws that regulate the el-
ection process. In this regard, the Public Integrity Division is charged with investigating and prosecuting allegations of voter fraud, illegal voter regis-
tration practices, illegal campaign practices, illegal campaign contributions
and falsification of candidacy papers.” (See

The Transparency Project alleges these serious allegations relate to serial
batched, coordinated contributions that Ms. O’Connor accepted from owners, principals, or senior officers of three of the biggest developers in Santa
Monica – Hines, Macerich, and Century West – after she voted to award each
developer a substantial public benefit.

The Transparency Project describes itself as an all-volunteer group of Santa
Monica residents concerned about openness and accountability in Santa Monica
city government and politics. The Transparency Project formed in 2010 after a developer-funded PAC refused to timely disclose contributor information to
Santa Monica voters. Project members track political contributions to city
council candidates and officers to ensure that representatives serve the
public’s best interest.

The above is reported information. The Wilshire Montana Neighborhood Coali-
tion nor Santa Monica Mid City Neighbors express an opinion on the validity
of the allegations contained in the complaint at this time.


The Committee for Racial Justice presents: “Issues From Ferguson –
What’s the Impact on Santa Monica?” on Sunday, November 2. It will
feature a discussion with Jacqueline Seabrooks, Chief of the Santa
Monica Police Department.

What about Santa Monica? Where do we stand on the issues arising
from the killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri: racial pro-
filing, militarization of police, use of force training, cultural
competency of police, fair representation on the police force of
people of color, etc.

Chief Seabrooks has more than three decades of proressively res-
ponsible municipal policing experience. As of May 29, 2012, she re-
joined the Santa Monica Police Department as its 17th Chief of

She was instrumental in developing and implementing a cultural comp-
etencies curriculum in the Santa Monica Police Department. She is a
long-term supporter of those activities which empower youth by en-
hancing their experiential opportunities, and is involved with the
Santa Monica Police Activities League (SM PAL); she serves on the
Boards of Directors for the Santa Monica Boys & Girls Club and the
Human Relations Council. She holds both Masters and Bachelor’s de-
grees in Public Policy and Administration from CSU, Long Beach and
CSU,Dominguez Hills respectively.

The issues raised at Ferguson are very significant and we hope many
community members will attend. It will be held in the Thelma Terry
Building, Virginia Avenue Park, 2200 Virginia Avenue Park in Santa
We will begin at 6 PM with a potluck supper. The program will begin
at 6:30 pm. (served by Big Blue Bus lines #7 and #11).

Co-sponsors of the event are the African American Parent, Student,
Staff Support Group; Virginia Avenue Park; and the Church in Ocean

For more information, please call 310-422-5431.


Coming Soon: Water cutbacks and fines for residents. A gusher of new
projects for developers.

700 new pack-and-stack apartment units approved.Three new hotels ap-
proved. Four more hotels pending.

3,500,000 sq. ft. of pending and approved new developments, equal to
seven new Santa Monica Place malls.

Pam O’Connor has NEVER voted against a large development in 20 years
on the City Council.

NATL GEOGRAPHIC – California is experiencing its worst drought since
record keeping began in the 19th century, and scientists say this may
be just the beginning

SANTA MONICA DAILY PRESS — Santa Monica is preparing water cuts.

SANTA MONICA LOOKOUT — During Stage 2, water allowances would be 68
gallons of of water per person per day. The average person uses 80 to
100 gallons of water a day.

SANTA MONICA PUBLIC WORKS: Mandatory restrictions would require a 20
percent reduction in water use, Fines would be charged for exceeding
your water budget.

If you have any interest in the City’s plans for managing our water
supply in the drought that has seized our state, you should attend
tonight’s City Council meeting (6:30 pm, City Council chambers, City


Bobby Shriver and his supporters are touting his experience on the
Santa Monica City Council as a reason to vote for him for County
Supervisor. For more than three years, I served on the City Council
with Bobby Shriver and I am supporting Sheila Kuehl. Let me tell you

Bobby decided to run for City Council because he was angry that the
City’s enforcement of its hedge ordinance would require him to trim
the hedge around his home. Before the hedge issue came up, he never
had shown any interest in local politics or local issues.

Bobby was sufficiently upset about the hedge issue that he decided to
run for City Council. He spent hundreds of thousands of dollars of his
own money on his campaign. No one in our small city had ever seen that
kind of personal wealth spent on a City Council race.

Bobby ran on a platform of collaboration and respect for residents.
Once Bobby was elected, it became clear that this was just campaign

After he was elected, Bobby was difficult to reach. When he was will-
ing to speak with residents, he often seemed impatient and distracted.
On the dais, he was rude to his colleagues, city employees and members
of the public. He frequently interrupted members of the public and
other council members when they were speaking. Bobby didn’t work well
with others so he did not get very much done.

Soon after he was elected, Bobby’s lack of interest in local politics
resurfaced. Except for a very few issues, Bobby seemed unprepared for
meetings and unconcerned about the matters on the Council’s agenda.
The City Council only meets twice a month, but Shriver completely missed
46 meetings — 1 out of every 5 meetings. He was late, some times as
much as two hours late, to 102 meetings. In fact, Shriver was present
and on-time for only 39% of the Council’s meetings. And he often left
meetings early before the public comment portion of the meeting.

I want a County Supervisor who listens to the public, treats everyone
with respect, and can collaborate with her colleagues. I want a County
Supervisor who shows up on time and is ready to work. I want a County
Supervisor who stays as late as necessary to make sure all voices are
heard. That’s why I am supporting Sheila Kuehl.

Gleam Davis
Santa Monica City Council member



Mark Twain said, “There are lies, damn lies, and statistics.” Davis’s
letter has all three.

My first reaction: The letter is too ridiculous to dignify with a res-
ponse. But then I decided Davis and Kuehl should not get away with send-
ing people such blatant lies.

The most effective lies are hinged on particles of truth. Let me sort
the fact from the fiction:

1. Bobby did get involved in city politics because he received a
letter from the city threatening him and many others, he soon found
out, with $20,000-a-day fines if they did not cut their hedges to com-
ply with a 1946 law that had not been enforced for decades. About 200
people organized and presented a set of well-reasoned arguments for
taller hedges to the council. The council and city staff basically
told them to take a flying leap. The issue immediately changed from
hedges to the arrogant way City Hall treated the people it was supp-
osed to be serving. I and others met with Bobby and pointed out how
much good he could do on the council. Everyone who enters local pol-
itics has a defining moment—realizing what he could do for the city was

2. Bobby had to put a lot of his own money into his first camp-
aign. Davis neglects to mention that his major opponent was the co-
chair of the political machine that has controlled the city for the
past 30 years. The machine’s PAC typically adds around $100,000 to the
funds candidates raise. Another fact check: This was not the first in-
stance of significant personal funding of a Santa Monica council race.
In 1992 an independent candidate spent $65,000, mostly his own money,
on his campaign and lost.

3. Regarding the red herring the Kuehl campaign has been throw-
ing around since January: Only a desperate campaign would take the time
to generate those statistics about meetings and votes. The council min-
utes for eight years consist of about 1,600 pages. If anyone actually
did the work, it would have taken about 20 hours to come up with those
umbers—which means they can feed them to anyone without fear of contra-
diction. Except when attending the funerals of his mother, uncle, and
father, Bobby made sure he was present for every important vote. Santa
Monica voters approved of the job he was doing by re-electing him in
2008 by more votes than any council candidate ever received. None of
his own money went into that campaign.

4. Davis shovels on more untrue, unsupported claims, but for bre-
vity, I’ll end with the most idiotic: “Bobby didn’t work well with others,
so he did not get very much done.” Here’s a short list of what he got
done—and he did all this while part of a 4-3 or 5-2 minority on the
council. That’s the best evidence that he got along very well with his
colleagues and city employees.

· Homelessness is down 20% in Santa Monica, even though it has
increased in LA County. This would not have happened without Bobby’s work.
Because people told him homelessness was their biggest concern, he got the
council and city staff to change policies that were simply helping people
live on the street to programs that helped them move off the streets into
supportive housing. He convinced the council to hire former LA County
Supervisor Ed Edelman as “Homeless Czar.” Ed, Bobby, and city staff work-
ed to create programs that have moved hundreds of people into housing:
the Homeless Court, the Serial Inebriate Program in the jail, and Project
Homecoming, which reunites people with family, are three. Soon 60 chroni-
cally homeless vets will move into a rehabilitated building on the West LA
VA campus. Bobby made that happen.

· Santa Monica Bay had the second dirtiest water in the state.
In 2006 Bobby raised funds and helped run the campaign to pass Measure V,
which provided money to clean the storm water draining into the bay. Water
quality went from D’s and F’s to A’s by 2011. Heal the Bay’s Mark Gold
said, “Measure V never would have passed without Bobby Shriver.”
The Annenberg Beach House would not exist, if not for Bobby. He found out
the State of California was ready to take back control because Santa Monica
was not doing anything with it. He got Wallis Annenberg involved, which
brought a grant from her foundation of $27 million and the beautifully
restored public facility we enjoy today.

· Smarter city budgets resulted from Bobby’s watchdog mentality.
City Manager Rod Gould told me, “Bobby made our staff perform better, be-
cause they knew he was going to ask hard questions.” Even though it meant
retribution from unions, Bobby wasn’t afraid to point out that the city’s
pension plans are unsustainable, unless employees contribute to them.
Santa Monica’s police union gave $50,000 to the union PAC supporting Kuehl,
and not because of anything she ever did for public safety.

I could go on, but I hope it’s clear: Anyone who says Bobby “didn’t get
much done” as a Santa Monica City Councilmember has been drinking too
much Kuehl-Aid.

I have served on the Santa Monica City Council for 24 years. During that
time, no other councilmember even came close to working as hard and getting
as many good results as Bobby did. Los Angeles County would be very lucky
to have him as a Supervisor, and that’s why I am supporting Bobby Shriver.


Bob Holbrook

P.S. Three other Santa Monica City Councilmembers have also endorsed
Bobby, making a council majority.


Defiantly refusing to obey Santa Monica anti-Corruption campaign financing
law, Mayor Pam O’Connor, who’s seeking a sixth term on the City Council,
allegedly has committed new violations, involving contributions from the
owners of Casa del Mar and Shutters Hotels.

It is clear that O’Conner detests the Oaks Initiative passed by almost 60%
of voters. It prohibits her from taking campaign contributions from major
developers whose projects she has voted to approve. She signed the ballot
argument against the Initiative. She voted to spend $400,000 of taxpayer’s
money to sue— unsuccessfully-–to invalidate the law in the courts. Now she
plain refuses to follow it.

“Pam O’Connor is defiant in her refusal to follow the Oaks Initiative. Even
after the Transparency Project filed two dozen Complaints against her for
illegally accepting donations from major developers in violation of Santa
Monica law, she continues to illegally accept these donations,” says Mary
Marlow, Chair of the Santa Monica Transparency Project. “She thinks because
of her position there will be no consequences.”

Today the Santa Monica Transparency Project filed new allegations against
Mayor Pam O’Connor based on additional violations of Santa Monica law. Spec-
ifically, she allegedly accepted campaign donations from the owners and
the president of another developer after voting to award it a public benefit.
These new allegations are contained in the Transparency Project’s Second
Amendment to its original Complaints filed on October 8, 2014. These new vio-
lations are alleged to be part of a continuing pattern of illegal campaign
financing by Mayor O’Connor that has been referred by the Santa Monica City
Attorney, citing a conflict, to the District Attorney’s Public Integrity Div-
ision for investigation.

O’Connor’s newest violations, revealed in her October 22, 2014 campaign fil-
ing, started on October 5, 2014 when she accepted, and then did not return
in the 10 days required by law, contributions from the owners and president
of Edward Thomas. On September 11, 2012, Councilmember O’Connor had voted
in favor of the sale of 1920 Ocean Way to Edward Thomas, which also owns
Casa del Mar Hotel next door and Shutters Hotel. It is likely that Edward
Thomas wants to develop this empty Ocean Way beach property into ultra high-
end condominiums.

“Catch me if you can” is not the law, Marlow said..”It doesn’t work for the
rest of us. It should not work for Mayor O’Connor. Pam O’Connor’s modus ope-
randi appears to be, she’ll accept campaign contributions in violation of
Santa Monica law, and only return them, maybe, if she is caught. This conduct
is totally unacceptable,” says Mary Marlow. “That these serial violations
would continue after the Transparency Project filed its original Complaints
can only be viewed as demonstrating contempt by Pam O’Connor for the law and
Santa Monica residents.”

Pam O’Connor’s October 22, 2014 Campaign Disclosure Statement also contains
an important admission that she has violated Santa Monica law. She has re-
turned the contributions of the two co-founders and owners of Century West,
Michael Sorochinsky and Steven Fifield, as well of a senior officer Kevin
Farrell, each of which contribution was named in the Transparency Project’s Complaints.

But Mayor O’Connor did not return the contribution of Century West’s other
principal Randy Fifield. She also did not return any of the illegally accep-
ted ontributions she received from mega-developers Hines and Macerich, inc-
luding some from the presidents of both companies. A reasonable question is,
is it the Mayor’s strategy to return a few of the illegally accepted contri-
butions, and keep the rest, in the hope that the issue will die down and she
can defiantly go back to her campaign finance business as usual?

The Transparency Project is an all-volunteer group of Santa Monica residents concerned about openness and accountability in our City government and pol-
itics. We believe openness and accountability are the cornerstones of a heal-
thy democracy. The Transparency Project formed in 2010 after a developer
funded PAC refused to timely disclose contributor information to Santa Monica

The members of the Transparency Project are Mary Marlow, Chair, Julie Lopez-
–Dad, Laurence Eubank, Zina Josephs, Carol Landsberg, Lorraine Sanchez, Eliz-
abeth Vandenburgh, and Alin Wall.



CityTV, in partnership with the League of Women Voters’ Santa Monica
Education Fund, is presenting a series of election programs, ranging
from candidate forums and interviews to quick takes and ballot measure

“Council Candidates Live!” the second of two live sessions with the
Council candidates, will be shown Monday night from 7 to 9 p,m, .
Moderated by Sandy Jacobson, it will present the candidates in random
groups of three or four. Each group will answer a set of five quest-
ions in a 20 to 30 minute segment. The questions have been submitted
by Santa Monica “community leaders, representing neighborhood groups,
business improvement districts and other areas,” according to CityTV.

For “Round Two,” The candidates will be shuffled. In addition to being
broadcast on CityTV, channel 16 and TW99. it will also be streamed at

Another series, “On The Record With Your City Council Candidates” will
feature each of the City Council Candidates making a 45-second state-
ment to introduce himself or herself to voters.

According to CityTV, these election programs can be seen on CityTV, Cable
Channels 16 and 99, and digital broadcast channel 20.2. In addition,
CityTV is streamed on-line at Individual videos can be seen at, the City of Santa Monica’s election website. ,

At the outset, we were given a long list of times that various pre-election
programs would air. But, so far, we haven’t found any program we’ve looked
for at the time and place on CityTV’s schedule. We have, however, seen end-
less hours of cooking and/or/eating shows.

We have no idea why it’s so difficult for CityTV to make a schedule and
follow it, or what its apparent affection for programs that feature food
derives from. We only know that the schedule listings are meaningless.

For the record, it may also run candidates for other offices, in a series
called On The Record, which will feature the candidates in one-minute seg-
ments. And it may also feature Ballot Measures D, H and HH in discussions.

And the candidates for the School Board, the College Trustees will be shown
in forums presented by the League of Women Voters of Santa Monica Education
Fund and the Santa Monica-Malibu PTA Council. They were taped on October 1,

Finally, the third segment of the October 20 “Candidates Live” was scrambled,
and was scheduled to be “fixed” and screened later. To our knowledge, it has
yet to run.


There are two unique facts about the battle of initiatives that’s cur-
rently raging in Santa Monica.

First, it’s the largest influx of out-of-state money ever invested in
a political contest in Santa Monica history, and our town is 139 years

It’s at $872,000 now, and, given the rate at which it’s piling up, it
could hit a million dollars by Tuesday, November 4, election day.

Second, this is not the sort of political battle Santa Monica wants to
engage in. Our opponents, and they ARE opponents, want to take control
of Santa Monica Airport. Nearly all of them live far from here and their
interests are antithetical to our interests.

That’s bad. What’s worse, much worse, they insist they’re our friends,
on our side, when, in fact, they’re the villains in this costly game.

Put succinctly, the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association’s (AOPA) mea-
sure D, is designed to take control of the Santa Monica Airport and force
the city to continue operating it for their benefit.

It would require voters to pass another ballot measure or measures in
order to change aviation land uses to non-aviation use, including partial
or total closure of the runway. It seems to be designed to maintain the
status quo and to make it extremely difficult for the City to manage the
airport or mitigate noise, air pollution or safety impacts on thousands
of residents in Los Angeles and Santa Monica. And, if the airport were
to close, Measure D would do nothing to prevent development, but would
prevent us from ending dangerous Leaded Avgas sales at Santa Monica

In comparison, CLCSMAL (Committee for Local Control of Santa Monica Air-
port Land) has thus far raised $101,275, all but 2 percent donated by
residents. (as of October 17, 2014)

The sponsoring committee for measure D is named “Santa Monicans for Open
and Honest Development Decisions,” but D is not about development. Here’s
the text:

AOPA’s initiative D

(a) Voter approval shall be required before any City decision becomes eff
ective that changes the use of land currently used for the Santa Monica
Municipal Airport and related aviation services to non-aviation purposes,
or that closes or partially closes Santa Monica Municipal Airport. The
term “Voter approval” means a majority of the voters of the City voting
“yes” on a ballot measure approving such a change at a general municipal
election. (b) Unless the voters have approved the closure of the airport
pursuant to paragraph (a) of this section, and such decision has become
effective, the City shall continue to operate the Santa Monica Municipal
Airport in a manner that supports its aviation purposes, and shall not
impose additional restrictions on providers of aviation support services
to tenants and airport users that inhibit the sale of fuel or the full
use of aviation facilities.”

The City of Santa Monica’s counter- measure LC s IS about development.

The City’s initiative LC

“If all or part of the Airport is permanently closed to aviation use, no
new development of that land shall be allowed until the voters have app-
roved limits on the uses and development that may occur on the land. How-
ever, this section shall not prohibit the City Council from approving the
following on Airport land that has been permanently closed to aviation
use: the development of parks, public open spaces, and public recreation-
al facilities; and the maintenance of existing cultural, arts and educat-
ion uses.”

When the airfield was built nearly a century ago, it was small and simple,
as were the few planes that used it. In fact, a second airfield at Wilshire
and 26th was far busier. Both Charles Lindbergh and Amelia Earhart are
said to have flown in there.

In those days, Clover Field (named for a young Santa Monica flyer who was
killed in World War I) was isolated, virtually alone in what was then
countryside. But the Air Age was underway. Santa Monica’s population grew,
and the Santa Monica Airport grew, too.

An attractive new neighborhood, Sunset Park, rose around the airport. The
Jet Age was underway. Private jets were the new status symbol. Today, jets
come and go all day. Their noise is unbearable. Jet fuels contain pollut-
ants that drop on the neighborhood below. Flight school students fly patt-
erns over the houses all day. In 1982, the newly elected SMRRs made two pro-
mises: to create a farmers’ market and close the airport. Farmers’ markets
flourish today, but the airport is still in business, thanks to the FAA,
which, according to its charter, has absolute control of the sky. Accidents
are more frequent, with planes crashing into houses. The noise is unbear-
able, and pollution proliferates.

Santa Monica’s dedicated Airport Commission has worked for years to find
ways to eliminate the jets and flight schools. The City has tried to close
the airport, but when the federal government returned control of the airport
to the city after World War II, the 1948 Instrument of Transfer included a “perpetuity” clause.

When the City attempted to ban jets in the 1970s, it was sued, lost the suit,
and signed the infamous 1984 Agreement with the FAA, which requires the
city to operate the airport until that agreement ends on July 1, 2015.

Meanwhile, the Airport Commission found that a 35-acre parcel (which includes
the western 2,000 ft of the runway) was returned in a 1949 Quit Claim, which
does not include a perpetuity clause. So the Airport Commission has advised
the City to do the following:

1. Close the 35 acres, which includes 2,000 feet of runway, to aviation uses. Currently too short for jet landings by FAA standards, the closure would make
the runway much shorter.

2. Stop selling jet fuel, which several local airports in the Los Angeles bas-
in have already done.

3. Refuse to renew leases to aviation-related businesses when their leases
expire in 2015.

Those three steps would eliminate the jets and the flight schools and restore
the serenity and safety of the nearby neighborhoods.

The night the plan was reviewed by the City Council, speakers included resi-
dents and members of the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, (AOPA) the
industry lobbying group from Washington, DC, which claimed that this was a
scam on the part of the City and developers to replace the airport with a large development. According to them, the airport generated millions of dollars ann-
ually for the City, and its loss would seriously impact Santa Monica taxpayers
of the city. In fact, according to the City Manager, airport income matches that
of a midsized shopping mall.

The speakers went on to say if the City approved these three changes, the AOPA
would move to stop them.

The City Council directed staff to bring them options for partially or totally closing the airport by the end of this year.

The next day, the AOPA’s lobbyists filed its intent to qualify an initiative
to prevent ANY changes at the airport. They paid signature gatherers as much
as $20 a signature to qualify the initiative for the ballot. Measure D would change the City Charter to prohibit any changes to the Airport unless they were approved by the voters.

If D, which must stand for “draconian,” passes, the City Council would have to
renew leases to the businesses that are causing the current problems. Further,
it could not raise rents, but would be forced to continue to lease at sub-market rates, causing an annual budget deficit. In addition, the City could not stop
selling jet fuel or leaded fuel for the prop planes.

In other words, the City and its residents could do nothing to ameliorate the increasingly dangerous hazards that now afflicted them and their West L.A. neigh-

The Council ordered staff to prepare a competing initiative: LC (local control).

The propaganda distributed by “Santa Monicans for Open and Honest Development Decisions” claims our City Council is lying to us and is planning to build a
huge Playa Vista-style development on the airport land. Of course, Measure LC actually prevents any such development, which is why the normally polite League
of Women Voters refers Measure D as “D for Deception.”

There are also some serious questions about the D people’s definition of Voter Approval. The initiative says, “Voter approval means a majority of the voters
of the City voting ‘yes on the ballot measure approving a change in a general municipal election.” There are about 62,000 registered voters in Santa Monica.
A majority would be 31,001. In Santa Monica’s 139 years, only one election
drew that many votes, and they didn’t all vote the same way. The operative phrase
in D is “of the City.” “Voter approval” generally means a majority of the
voters who voted on the issue. If that definition holds, no change will ever
be occur, because as the number of registered voters grows, so does this requirement. Also, this stipulates that such a vote must be on a general muni-
cipal election – and they only occur every two years.

The D people’s latest ploy is to invite their nationwide association of pilots
to fly into Santa Monica on election day, go to the polls and try to convince undecided voters to vote their way.

At bottom, Measure D is a thoroughly delusional effort by the aviation indust-
ry to take control of the Santa Monica Airport and force the City to run it to benefit the industry – at the expense of Santa Monica, its residents, its
health and safety, and, indeed, its future.

Here’s contact information: Committee For Local Control of Santa Monica Airport
Lands (yes on LC, no on D).

If you’d like to help defeat Measure D or want further information, the Committee
for Local Control of Santa Monica Airport Lands (yes on LC, no on D) web site can
be accessed at or email at



Bikes will gather in front of City Hall, 1685 Main Street.Meet at 2
PM. Ride out 2:30 PM.

Decorate your bike with YES on LC, NO on D signs, bring horns, more
cowbells and of course your bicycle and a helmet!

Let’s show everyone that bicycles and people are MORE important than
jets and money!

Bicyclists are gathering together to promote a healthy and sustainable
means of transportation less dependent of cars and jets and more on
“people power”

This ride is co-sponsored by Santa Monica Spoke and takes place after
the morning’s Kidical Mass ride. Spend the day riding with us.