The League of Women Voters of Santa Monica (the League) has taken positions on all five local ballot measures coming up for a vote on November 4.
The League opposes Measure D and supports Measures LC, H, HH and FS.
Although the League is strictly non-partisan and never supports or opposes individual candidates, our organization is political, and does advocate for or against policies based on principles we have arrived at through study and consensus.
In the case of November’s ballot, our organization has a variety of principles that support our decisions, principles the League established years before these measures were envisioned.
Measures D and LC both seek to affect the future of Santa Monica Airport.
The League opposes Measure D: AOPA Airport Measure.
Aviation interests have qualified Measure D, which would serve their purposes by blocking the City from making decisions about the airport, including the decision to close it, convert any of the land to parkland, or even make changes to make it safer. No lease can be changed, leaded fuel cannot be banned, no flight school closed, nothing can change without a costly city-wide election.
Claims by Measure D proponents that power to close the airport is enhanced by giving it to the people are deceptive. In fact, Measure D was designed to maintain the status quo. If it passes, it would require the City to continue operating the airport in a manner that supports aviation purposes, even after the end of the lease in 2015 until a vote of the people says otherwise.
The League believes in representative government as established in the Constitution. In Santa Monica, that form of government is described in the City Charter. Measure D is the antithesis of what the League would call good government; with regard to the airport land, it would eviscerate our local representative form of government and deliberative process, as well as our existing public planning processes that are open to full public engagement and debate.
The League supports Measure LC: It’s Our Land – Local Airport Control.
Measure LC, on the other hand, would retain good government practices with regard to the airport property. Measure LC does not limit the City Council’s ability to address environmental concerns and adverse impacts of airport operations. Under Measure LC, the City Council would have the ability to close the airport in 2015, if federal law allows it to.
Measure LC prevents any commercial development of airport land without a vote of the people while allowing usage for parks, open space and recreational usages if the airport is closed. It allows the City to take action to decrease noise and pollution, increase health and safety measures and increase recreational and park usage as land becomes available.
If Measure LC passes, the voters would approve the parameters that would guide development of a specific plan for the airport land, but the City would retain its governmental power as spelled out in the City Charter.
The League supports Measure H: Real Property Transfer Tax.
Measure H provides locally controlled funding to maintain and protect the quality of life Santa Monica residents deserve and expect. Measure H will enable Santa Monica to continue funding vital programs like affordable housing. Sacramento has recently taken away a dedicated funding steam (redevelopment funds) that this measure would replace. The League supports providing affordable housing throughout the city that address the needs of the elderly, the disabled, families with children, couples without children and singles.
The League supports Measure HH: Advisory Vote.
Measure HH tells the City Council that revenues from Measure HH should be used to repair, renovate and construct affordable housing to preserve Santa Monica’s quality of life. This will protect our neighborhoods and help keep seniors, disabled persons and families in their homes.
The League supports Measure FS: Rent Control Fee Regulation.
Measure FS is a City Charter Amendment to further regulate rent control fees, allowing a 50 percent split between landlord and tenant payments, and capping the total fee at $288. The League supports the principle that landlords and tenants share the cost of administering rent control.
The League of Women Voters of Santa Monica encourages every qualified voter to learn about the issues and candidates on this year’s ballot and to participate in this year’s election. Remember, every vote counts!
Ann K. Williams
League of Women Voters of Santa Monica