* Your news brief (Sept. 8) reporting the Los Angeles City Council’s hiring of a Century City law firm to help with Los Angeles’ lawsuit against the environmental impact report for a new terminal at Burbank Airport is bad news for taxpayers and worse news for the Valley’s shrinking job base.
Certainly Los Angeles needs a lot of help, but even for its $35,000 initial fee, the politically well-connected firm of Manatt, Phelps and Phillips will be hard-pressed to make the city’s case.
Unfortunately for the city, no law firm can ignore the reality that airplanes, not airport terminals, make noise. The city of Los Angeles accepted this reality in its own environmental impact report for a new 700,000-square-foot terminal at its Ontario Airport, yet scoffs at the same action by Burbank and will waste several hundred thousand taxpayer dollars on staff and costly outside law firms in the process.
Are there no other, more important city needs?
And can anyone doubt that a new terminal for Burbank is critically needed?
The old terminal was fine for passenger needs in the 1930s and even the 1940s. But for the future, if Los Angeles is serious about cutting city waste, creating jobs and rebuilding our economy, the City Council should be encouraging the rational development of the Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport, not spending a small fortune to delay work on a transportation facility that’s urgently needed now.
JAMES E. FOY