Documents from Proponents
Download a PDF version of the documents received March 27, 2014, from Proponents of this initiative.Back to Top
BALLOT TITLE AND SUMMARY PREPARED BY THE CITY ATTORNEY
AN INITIATIVE MEASURE AMENDING THE CITY CHARTER TO REQUIRE VOTER APPROVAL IN ORDER TO CLOSE ALL OR PART OF THE SANTA MONICA AIRPORT, CHANGE USE OF THE AIRPORT LAND, OR IMPOSE NEW RESTRICTIONS ON FUEL SALES OR USE OF AVIATION FACILITIES
This measure would add a new provision to the City Charter requiring voter approval of certain decisions about the Santa Monica Municipal Airport. Voter approval would be required before a City decision to close or partially close the airport could become effective. Voter approval would also be required before any City decision could become effective to change the use of land, which is now used for the airport or for related aviation services, to non-aviation uses. The measure defines "voter approval" as a majority of those voting in a general municipal election voting "yes" to approve the City decision.
Also, unless the voters approved closure of the airport, and until that decision became effective, the measure would require the City to continue operating the airport in a manner that supported its aviation purposes and would prohibit the City from imposing upon aviation services providers new restrictions that would inhibit the sale of fuel or the "full use" of aviation facilities.
Additionally, the measure includes a retroactivity provision. It states that any City decision about the airport that is made after the filing of the Notice of Intention to Circulate the initiative petition (but before the election), and that would require voter approval under the measure, would be ineffective unless approved by the voters.
Finally, the measure includes provisions that provide for enforcement and defense of the measure, severance of any invalidated provisions, and the possibility of another measure on the same subject and the same ballot.Back to Top
VOTER APPROVAL REQUIRED BEFORE CITY CAN REDEVELOP AIRPORT LAND
Section 1. Preamble
WHEREAS, Santa Monica Airport land is a low-density land use that benefits the entire City of Santa Monica; and
WHEREAS, the City of Santa Monica has engaged in costly and unsuccessful litigation and has sought to close the airport to redevelop the land for other purposes; and
WHEREAS, City staff reports indicate that redevelopment of the airport land will likely result in high-density development causing increased traffic congestion, noise and pollution; and
WHEREAS, recent approval by the City of large, high-density developments has shown a disregard for the concerns expressed by nearby residents and ignored the will of the people of Santa Monica to prevent excessive development; and
WHEREAS, the City has made threats to close local businesses based at the airport and nearby business park that provide jobs for people, facilities for local businesses and tax revenue for the community; and
WHEREAS, the City has taken actions to harm local aviation related businesses as part of an effort to destabilize the airport; and
WHEREAS, the City has taken actions to reduce the services and facilities available to the airport and its users in an apparent attempt to achieve closure or partial closure of the airport; and
WHEREAS, the City of Santa Monica has exposed taxpayers to costly litigation with the federal government and to potential payment of legal damages to airport businesses harmed by their actions; and
WHEREAS, the Santa Monica Airport has already instituted rules that restrict noise, operating hours and type of aircraft using the airport in order to be a better neighbor; and
WHEREAS, the City has failed to consider the wishes of the entire community by collaborating with a small group of special interests who seek airport closure;
NOW THEREFORE, the voters of the City of Santa Monica shall have a right to express their views before the City of Santa Monica takes any action to redevelop Airport land.
Section 2. The following shall be added to Article VI of the Santa Monica City Charter:
640. People's Right to Vote.
(a) Voter approval shall be required before any City decision becomes effective 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.
Section 3. Any City decision that would require voter approval under this Charter Amendment and that is made on or after the date of the filing with the City Clerk of the Notice of Intent to Circulate this Charter Amendment shall have no effect until such decision receives voter approval pursuant to Section 2 of this Charter Amendment.
Section 4. Any person with a beneficial interest in the operation of Santa Monica Municipal Airport shall have standing to enforce any provision of this Charter Amendment in a court of competent jurisdiction. In addition to any other persons, the proponents of this Charter Amendment shall have standing in California and Federal Courts to defend this measure from all challenges to its validity or enforceability.
Section 5. If any portion of this Charter Amendment is declared invalid by a court of law or other legal body with applicable authority, the invalidity shall not affect or prohibit the force and effect of any other provision or application of the Charter Amendment that is not deemed invalid. The voters of the City hereby declare that they would have circulated for qualification and/or adopted this Charter Amendment and each portion thereof regardless of the fact that any portion of the Charter Amendment may be subsequently deemed invalid.
Section 6. If another Charter Amendment is placed on the same ballot as this Charter Amendment and is related to the same subject matter, and if both Charter Amendments pass, the voters intend that both Charter Amendments shall be put into effect, except to the extent that specific provisions of the Charter Amendments are in conflict. In the event of a conflict, the Charter Amendment which obtained more votes will control as to the conflicting provisions only. The voters expressly declare this to be their intent, regardless of any contrary language in any other Charter Amendment.
A Spanish language translation of this document will be provided at a later time.Back to Top
CITY ATTORNEY'S IMPARTIAL ANALYSIS
BALLOT MEASURE AMENDING THE CITY CHARTER TO REQUIRE VOTER APPROVAL IN ORDER TO CLOSE ALL OR PART OF THE SANTA MONICA AIRPORT, CHANGE USE OF THE AIRPORT LAND, OR IMPOSE NEW RESTRICTIONS ON AVIATION SERVICES AT THE AIRPORT
This measure, placed on the ballot by a petition signed by the requisite number of voters, would add to the City Charter a requirement that voters approve certain potential City actions relating to the Santa Monica Airport. Voter approval would be required before a decision to close or partially close the Airport could become effective and before changing the use of the Airport land to non-aviation uses.
Also, unless the voters approved Airport closure, the City would be required to operate the Airport "in a manner that supported aviation purposes" and would be prohibited from imposing new restrictions on aviation services that would inhibit either the sale of aircraft fuel or the "full use" of aviation facilities.
The overall effect of this measure would be to reduce the City Council's authority over use of the Airport and of the Airport land that is now used for aviation purposes. The measure would take away from the City Council any ability to close or partially close the Airport or to change Airport land uses. Thus, the measure would insulate the Airport against closure or change by imposing a new requirement of voter approval, and it would protect aviation-related use of the Airport land until that requirement was fulfilled. Likewise, aviation services currently provided by private businesses at the Airport would be protected until after a vote to close the Airport.
The measure could limit the City Council's ability to address environmental concerns and adverse impacts of Airport operations for however long the Airport remains open. For example, the measure could preclude potential City efforts to reduce air pollution and related health concerns through new limitations upon the sale of aircraft fuel.
It is unclear whether the measure would interfere with the City's day to day Airport administration, including administration of Airport leases. If it limits City administration of the Airport, the measure could be legally invalid under the California Constitution, which prohibits initiatives on administrative matters. The voter-approval requirement of the measure may also be somewhat unclear; however, the term "voter approval" should be interpreted to mean approval by a simple majority of those actually voting. This interpretation appears in the City Attorney's impartial summary of the measure, which was not challenged; and the proponents have agreed in writing that they intend only to require a majority of those voting, rather than a majority of all registered voters.
The measure includes a retroactivity provision. It purports to make the measure's requirements of voter approval retroactive to March 27, 2014, when the proponents filed notice of their measure's circulation. This provision could nullify City Council decisions about the Airport made between the March filing and the general election in November. The measure also includes provisions on remedies, severance and competing measures and on the same ballot.Back to Top
ARGUMENT IN FAVOR OF MEASURE D
The politicians and developers want to redevelop 227 acres of low-density Santa Monica Airport land without voter approval.
We CANNOT leave the most serious land use decision in Santa Monica history to them alone.
We say Let The Voters Decide!
Santa Monica Airport provides for 175 businesses employing 1,500 people. It generates $250 million in economic activity for our local economy every year.
And despite the loud voices of a few people, citywide polls show consistent support for keeping the airport open.
But a few politicians, developers and special interests have tried and failed to redevelop this land for years. Now they’re at it again.
Their scheme to close Santa Monica Airport without voter approval and redevelop the land would alter our quality of life forever. Development will bring more density, traffic and pollution.
So, PROTECT Santa Monica by VOTING “YES” on the VOTERS DECIDE INITIATIVE.
Now, the politicians have a competing measure to confuse you. DON’T BE FOOLED.
The Politicians’ Initiative (Measure LC) deliberately omitted THREE MAGIC WORDS in their ballot question and hid them in the text. The words are “without voter approval.” Their dishonest initiative allows politicians to close the airport and begin a long redevelopment process “without voter approval.”
They say we can vote on some of their development plans, but not on the real issue: redeveloping 227 acres of land! Don’t Be Fooled (Vote No On Measure LC).
Remember, airport land protects the ENTIRE City of Santa Monica from high-rise canyons like Century City because it limits development on surrounding land from the beach to the Westside.
The politicians say Santa Monica voters shouldn’t decide an issue as complex as closing the airport for redevelopment.
We disagree. You have a right to be heard. Vote Yes On The Voters Decide Initiative (Measure D)!
/s/ Winston Cenac, Ocean Park Resident
/s/ Diedre Powell, Resident of North of Montana
/s/ John J. Jerabek, Resident of Wilshire-Montana Neighborhood
/s/ David J. Hopkins, Resident of Ocean Park Neighborhood
/s/ Christian Fry, Resident of Wilshire - Montana
REBUTTAL TO THE ARGUMENT IN FAVOR OF MEASURE D
Your NO vote on Measure D is critical for determining the future of our Airport land.
That’s precisely why special interests controlling that land are betting big dollars you’ll buy their deceptive argument: Approve Measure D - then only “you decide” what to do with our land! Sounds good, but it’s a lie.
Just follow the money.
Private jet industry lobbyists created Measure D as a last ditch effort to maintain private use of public land and their sweet airport lease-agreements. These lobbyists knew the only way to do this was to promise you a “vote” on any change to the present use of the airport.
But their “vote” is phony -- it’s only a vote on changing aviation uses at the Airport -- not a vote on limiting future development. A successful Measure D would lock in special interest control of our airport for generations. And the way they’ve defined “voter approval,” it will be practically impossible to make any changes at the airport -- even to require unleaded fuel.
That’s a terrific deal for the private jet owners but a lousy deal for Santa Monicans.
Residents -- your neighbors -- urged the City Council to place Measure LC on the ballot so that we can retain local control and preserve forever the ability of Santa Monican voters to control the use of our airport land.
Don’t take the bait. Money talks – but don’t buy it. Vote No on Measure D. Vote Yes on Measure LC.
Ted Winterer, Santa Monica City Councilmember
Tony Vazquez, Santa Monica City Councilmember
Gleam Davis, Santa Monica City Councilmember
Mary Marlow, Chair – Santa Monica Transparency Group
John Fairweather, Chair – Committee for Local Control of Santa Monica Airport Land (CLCSMAL)
ARGUMENT AGAINST MEASURE D
Words matter. Money talks.
These two axioms are your guide to understanding the real purpose and special interests behind Measure D.
Any measure claiming to give voters the ultimate say in as critical a decision as the future of our Airport land sounds pretty righteous! Until you carefully read the words: "Voter approval” means a majority of the voters of the City Voting “yes” on a ballot measure…”
These words DO matter because, while this sounds like we get final say at the ballot box, in fact the above language realistically prohibits any voter-approved change to the present use of the Airport property.
Because, by not defining “winning vote” as a majority of those ballots cast in one election (how we determine winners now), this measure would require a majority of all registered Santa Monica voters (voting or not in the election) to cast a similar ballot. This would require voter participation on a single ballot issue greater than in any election in the City’s history!
In other words (that matter): that ain’t gonna happen.
So, unless you vote NO vote on Measure D, this devious change to election law will essentially lock in the status quo at the Airport forever.
Who benefits from this sneaky attempt to deceive Santa Monicans? Let’s ask the money behind Measure D. Answer: Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA). Hardly your neighbors, this outside special interest group has everything to gain, including perpetual preservation of their sweet-deal facilities and landing rights. What do we get? A 30% yearly increase in luxury jet traffic that spews air and noise pollution across our neighborhoods.
Don’t be fooled. Measure D is a special interest ace-card-up-the-sleeve masquerading as a civic-minded ballot measure.
Words matter. Money talks. Vote NO on Measure D.
/s/ Ted Winterer, Santa Monica City Councilmember
/s/ Tony Vazquez, Santa Monica City Councilmember
/s/ Gleam Davis, Santa Monica City Councilmember
/s/ Mary Marlow, Chair – Santa Monica Transparency Group
/s/ John Fairweather, Chair – Committee for Local Control of Santa Monica Airport Land (CLCSMAL)
REBUTTAL TO ARGUMENT AGAINST MEASURE D
It is shocking that three members of our City Council would sign an argument against the Voters Decide Initiative that is deceptive and dishonest AND can be proven false in the very pamphlet you are holding in your hand!
While our City Councilmembers based their entire argument on an illogical interpretation of the word “majority,” the Santa Monica City Attorney’s own “impartial summary” makes crystal clear that if adopted, the Voters Decide Initiative would require a majority of the voters voting to agree to close the Airport and redevelop the land. As the City Attorney states:
“the term ‘voter approval’ should be interpreted to mean approval by a simple majority of those actually voting. This interpretation appears in the City Attorney's impartial summary of the measure, which was not challenged; and the proponents have agreed in writing that they intend only to require a majority of those voting, rather than a majority of all registered voters.”
See her analysis for yourself! (It’s also online at http://tinyurl.com/l9a367z)
Why have the opponents of the Voter’s Decide Initiative (including three members of the City Council) resorted to such shameful deception and distraction? Perhaps because they don’t want the City’s voters to control Santa Monica’s most important land use decision in recent memory.
We want to avoid massive overdevelopment in Santa Monica, and protect the thousands of jobs that the Airport provides!
So, vote YES on the Voter’s Decide Initiative (Measure D), and
Vote NO on the Politicians’ Initiative (Measure LC)
Winston Cenac, Ocean Park Resident
David J. Hopkins, Ocean Park Resident
Christian Fry, Resident of Wilshire-Montana
John Jerabek, Resident of Wilshire-Montana
Deidre Powell, Resident of North of Montana