Apologies to Mayor Bradley
By Jack Humphreville, May 21, 2013
LA WATCHDOG - On Tuesday, May 21, the politically appointed Commissioners of Los Angeles World Airports are expected to recommend that the Great Hall at the Bradley West Terminal be named as The Antonio R. Villaraigosa Pavilion in honor of the current Mayor of Los Angeles.
At the same meeting, the Commissioners will approve a Travel Authority where Los Angeles World
Airports will pay for the airfare and “reasonable” expenses for the Mayor’s upcoming three day 2013 Trade Mission trip to Beijing so that he and an aide can promote the new Bradley Terminal at LAX and hob knob with Chinese officials and other muckety mucks.
But both of these agenda items lack any supporting information, not dissimilar to what happens at City Hall when our Elected Elite try to slip a backroom deal past an uninformed public at the last minute.
With respect to the Beijing trip, there is no publicly available financial information, either in the 19 page agenda for the Board of Airport Commissioners’ agenda or the accompanying 62 page report that provides details on the agenda items. But this game of hide and seek raises numerous questions as to whether the Mayor is travelling first class, staying in Presidential Suites, and what are “reasonable” costs.
While we are probably not talking “big bucks” to use a term floated by a City official when asked about this all expense paid junket, there is the issue of whether our philandering Mayor is once again living the high life of wine, women, and song while the City is still “kicking the can” down the road to insolvency and our unemployment rate is one of the highest in the country.
As for the naming the Great Hall at The Bradley Terminal at LAX in honor of Mayor Villaraigosa, several wise guys (a unisex term) commented that LAX is certainly an appropriate place to honor our globetrotting 11% Mayor. This $1.7 billion project is, like the mayor, late and over budget because of the lack of proper planning. And like the mayor’s wine tab for high end wines, the bill for this massive project will be paid for by third parties, in this case, the airlines and their passengers, including many residents of our City.
But to name such an important part of The Bradley Terminal after a glib politician with a million dollar smile and lifestyle who is still alive and, even more so, still in office, is totally inappropriate and against protocol. This is further aggravated by fact that the Airport Commissioners were appointed by about to be honored mayor.
It will take years to determine the true legacy of Mayor Villaraigosa.
While many hail his accomplishments on transportation, crime, education, and the environment, there are issues of character that must be considered. More importantly, the financial condition of the City is questionable, in large part because of Villaraigosa’s abject failure over the last eight years to address the Structural Deficit, to pave our streets, and to fund our pension plans.
The Board of Airport Commissioners should send the mayor to China, but only after proper
disclosure. But given that there are only 41 days until we have a new mayor, these politically appointed commissioners should defer any decision on naming the Great Hall of The Bradley Terminal after Antonio Villaraigosa. To make the decision now is not only inappropriate, but an insult to Mayor Bradley’s great legacy.
Whereas, Mayor Antonio R. Villaraigosa took office as mayor of the City of Los Angeles on July 1, 2005 and immediately thereafter resolved to advance a rational, community sensitive plan for Los Angeles International Airport that allowed for sensible improvements for the people of Los Angeles and the millions of world travelers who depend on it; and
Whereas, Mayor Villaraigosa played a pivotal role in bringing a historic settlement of the LAX Master Plan lawsuits beginning an extraordinary era of peace between the airport and surrounding communities; and
Whereas, the settlement ushered in the development of a number of critically important airport modernization projects not seen since the 1984 Olympics; and
Whereas, chief among them the modernization program is the Bradley West Project, the largest public works project is the City’s history; and
Whereas, the $1.7 billion Bradley West Project will create a new world class terminal that will offer travelers the very best in airport amenities and will help retain the City’s global competitiveness for years; and
Whereas, none of this would have been possible with the Mayor’s leadership, vision, and resolve; and
Whereas, this action is exempt from the requirements of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) pursuant to Article II Section 2(f) of the Los Angeles City CEQA Guidelines; and
Whereas, actions taken on this item by the Board of airport Commissioners will become final pursuant to the provisions of Los Angeles City Charter Section 245;
Now, therefore, be it resolved, that the Board of Airport Commissioners determined that this action is exempt for the California Environmental Quality Act requirements, approved naming the Great Hall of the Bradley West Terminal in the Mayor’s honor as the Antonio R. Villaraigosa Pavilion.