City of San Jose – City Council Meeting Sept. 25

Members of the General Aviation Community – Those of us who enjoy flying generally hate doing paperwork. Getting us to write a letter is even tougher unless the cause is either so dire that it would impact us all or it hits so close to home that we are compelled to take action.  I accept this as fact, but after over 14 years of being involved in GA issues at San Jose International and seeing the general aviation community heavily impacted by issues such as 18 years of no new city tenants, non-competitive pricing for parking and fuel, and other issues too numerous to mention, the San Jose City Council has crossed a line. In a city that values “open government”, the council and city staff have conspired to ignore, trivialize, and work around the Airport Commission, a body whose specific purpose is to advise the council on all matters aviation. 

They have done this by refusing to allow the body to discuss issues brought before them by the public.  This is in direct contradiction to the mandate of the body which states that they may “If requested to do so … by a member of the public, or upon (their) own initiative, ………..may investigate, study, or review any matter pertaining to the airport or aviation.” 

This is taken directly from the municipal code and that code has not been modified or changed.  The council, in concert with airport staff, has simply forbidden the discussion of and public comment on specific issues.

The good news is that at least three members of the council believe that Boards and Commissions of the city are being hampered in the way they operate and communicate with the council, and on September 25th, the council will take up this subject.  If you are interested in hearing the discussion or participating in the debate, plan to attend that evening. 

If you are interested in having your voice heard even if you are unable to attend, send a short, polite email to the addresses below expressing your support for a strong Airport Commission which is allowed to hear public concerns and opinions from the General Aviation community and expresses it’s position to the council in a way which is standardized city-wide and used by all Commissions and Boards.

This is one of those opportunities for us to raise our collective voices and have GA demonstrate our resolve.  In speaking to the Chief of Staff of one of the members of the council, she said that this issue is one of great importance and needs to be addressed immediately.

Thank you for taking the time to write and attend.

Doug Rice
Sr. Vice President – California Pilots Assn.
AOPA ASN Representative – SJC