The Burbank City Council is interested in learning whether it is a good idea to have current council members to serve on the Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport Authority.
Council members voted 4-1 to direct city staff to gather information about the history of Burbank elected officials taking on the dual role and the legality of being able to do so.
The issue was brought up by Vice Mayor Will Rogers, who claimed that several residents wanted current council members to be commissioners on the airport authority as a way to hold the agency accountable, especially as it moves forward with a 14-gate replacement terminal project at Hollywood Burbank Airport.
Join the conversation on Facebook >>
Currently, the City Council appoints three at-large members of the public to represent Burbank on the Airport Authority — retired Burbank police Lt. Don Brown, former Mayor Bill Wiggins and former real estate agent Ray Adams. All three of the commissioners' terms end on July 31 of this year.
On the other hand, Glendale and Pasadena are currently represented by elected members — Glendale council members Vartan Gharpetian, Frank Quintero and Zareh Sinanyan, Pasadena Mayor Terry Tornek, Pasadena Councilman Steve Madison and Pasadena City College board member Ross Selvidge.
Councilwoman Emily Gabel-Luddy said that she was curious to hear about the complexities of having a current Burbank council member serve as a commissioner.
"I'd like to be more informed about what brought this to a halt in the past," she said, adding that she would also like to know about the history of Burbank council members serving as commissioners.
Councilman David Gordon, who was the lone dissenting vote on the matter, said that though having a council member on the Airport Authority was one way the public can hold the airfield accountable for its actions, he thought it was not the right move because of possible Brown Act violations.
"When you're on the airport commission, you're going to go into closed session," he said. "Those are restricted information and discussions. Same thing with the [City] Council. So if you have council members that are going to closed session [as airport commissioners] and going into closed session as council members here and there's a discussion or dispute, they've got to take a side. They can't abstain."
Though he did not like the idea of having current council members as airport commissioners, Gordon said he had some interest in possibly having the positions elected directly by the public.
Additionally, Gordon said that though he has not agreed with some of the decisions made by Burbank's current airport commissioners, he respects the work that they have done over the years and appreciates their knowledge and experience.
Anthony Clark Carpio, email@example.com
Copyright © 2017, Burbank Leader