Santa Monica Observer - Community, Diversity, Sustainability and other Overused Words

By David E. Goddard
Santa Monica Resident 

Former Chair of Santa Monica Airport Commission, calls on City Manager Rick Cole to Resign

2015 attempt to deceptively gift $15 million sweetheart leases to jet tenants, Atlantic Aviation and Gunnell Aviation, by claiming rental rates on 200,000 square feet of airport hangars were the false


Santa Monica City Manager Rick Cole


The residents are deeply concerned about the gross mismanagement and fraudulent actions by the Santa Monica City Staff. After residents publicly called for their terminations, City Manager Rod Gould resigned in 2015 and both City Attorney Marsha Moutrie and Assistant City Manager Martin Pastucha have agreed to resign in 2016. We are now calling for your resignation and those of Deputy City Attorney Ivan Campbell and Airport Director Stelios Macrides, who were complicit in the false appraisal rental rates.

Resident concern stems from City Staff's 2015 attempt to deceptively gift $15 million sweetheart leases to jet tenants, Atlantic Aviation and Gunnell Aviation, by claiming rental rates on 200,000 square feet of airport hangars were the false Buss Shelgar appraisal rate of $4.50 psf/year when the actual rental rate was for $24.00 psf/year.

Council Members Ted Winterer, Gleam Davis, and Terry O'Day knowingly went along with City Staff's plan for the 3-year sweetheart leases over warnings of residents and other Council Members. Further, Councilmember Ted Winterer deceptively misrepresented facts to support City Staff's actions as displayed in the documentary video referenced above.

As former Chair of the Santa Monica Airport Commission, I audited Atlantic Aviation's operations in 2012 and discovered Atlantic received $5.6 million per year but only paid the City $194,255 per year in rent. In July 2015, when Atlantic's lease expired, the City could have corrected this by increasing Atlantic's rent to a market rate. Instead, you, City Manager Rick Cole, only increased Atlantic's rent to $266,710 per year. These collective actions are the concerted gifting of public funds, our taxpayer dollars, to Atlantic Aviation by City Staff.

Further, Justice Aviation agreed to leave the airport for $100,000 but was paid $435,000 due to a "claimed error" by the City Attorney's office. This appears to us to be a setup for a much larger separation payment to Atlantic Aviation.

The aviation tenant leases expired on July 1, 2015 and they have no right to be at the airport nor to be paid anything to leave. The FAA ruled in 2000 that no aviation tenants are required after July 1, 2015. This decision was upheld in 2003 and the FAA is judicially estopped from changing its position. All of the City's federal agreements have expired by their own terms. The City Council passed a leasing policy that eliminates aviation uses from the airport.

No aviation tenant should now be at the airport except by your decision, City Manager Rick Cole, to perpetuate this concerted gift of public funds to Atlantic Aviation. I am calling for:

1) the immediate termination of Atlantic Aviation's holdover;

2) the immediate cessation of fuel sales at the airport;

3) the immediate termination of all non-compliant holdovers; and

4) the Los Angeles County District Attorney to investigate your actions and others responsible for gifting $4 million of public funds to Atlantic Aviation and Gunnell subtenants since July 1, 2015, and those City Council Members, specifically, Ted Winterer, Gleam Davis, and Terry O'Day, who supported City Staff in their acts.

Respectfully Submitted,

David Goddard, Resident

Former Chair, Santa Monica Airport Commission


Reader Comments

VeniceCitizen writes:

Santa Monica Airport (SMO) violates the civil rights of an estimated 120,000 citizens in Mar Vista, West L.A. and Venice. Civil rights protect personal liberty and the operation of flights in and out of SMO display an active disregard for those citizen’s health and safety by polluting the environment with contaminants and inflicting excessive noise on residents without consent.

AlanLevenson writes:

Interesting that Mr Jerabeck and Mr Goddard sit on opposite sides of the airport fence and agree the city is not doing it's job. The airport does not have FAA required safety areas and puts residents health and safety at risk. Agreements with the Federal Government ended either decades or years ago, yet the FAA reversed it's former positions and continues to use delay tactics in desperation. It is time to take clear and decisive action. Jet traffic has INCREASED 50% in the past 5 years.

johnjerabek writes:

That Mr. Goddard shamelessly ignores federal regulations and the City of Santa Monica's obligations to our nation in his ridiculous, yet undeniably creative strings of words he considers coherent sentences regarding the policies that govern activities at Santa Monica Airport is noteworthy. Thankfully, he no longer has any responsibility regarding aviation and public safety whatsoever. That we agree Mr. Cole and the council is shirking their responsibility to the public is sadly amusing at best.


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