Countywide : Airport Foes Pressing to Hit Ballot Deadline


An organization opposed to building a commercial airport at the El Toro Marine Corps Air Station has been told that it has just under two weeks--about a month less than expected--to collect enough signatures to place an initiative on the March 26 ballot.

As a result, said Bill Kogerman, co-chairman of Taxpayers for Responsible Planning, the group is redoubling its efforts to collect the more than 16,000 signatures still needed to qualify.

“It is our plan to have in excess of 200 people in the field for the next 15 days, and 300 on weekends,” Kogerman said. “This has energized us. There is no question that we will succeed.”


Kogerman’s group is trying to repeal Measure A, the proposition approved by voters last year requiring Orange County to build an airport at the El Toro base after its closure by 1999.

He said earlier communications from the county indicated that the group had until Oct. 24 to submit signatures to place the initiative on the March 26 ballot. That, he said, was a misunderstanding.

That deadline was simply the legal the 180-day limit for submitting signatures after starting the process.

According to Beverly Warner, elections section supervisor with the county registrar of voters, the signatures must be turned in by Sept. 18 to be processed in time for the March primary.

“We’ve never told them anything about when the election would take place,” Warner said, adding that the required processing includes up to 30 days for signature verification, two weeks for scheduling on the Board of Supervisors’ agenda and 30 days for the supervisors’ review. “It’s a case of timelines,” she said. “By the time you get through them you’re getting very close.”

To date, Kogerman said, his group has collected about 60,000 of the 76,314 signatures required to put the initiative on the ballot.