Monday, Nov. 20, 2006 | Two weeks ago the Miramar airport idea went down to ignominious defeat (62 percent to 32 percent) even though it was the fever-dream of powerful insiders – developer John Moores’ employee (and former state legislator) Steve Peace and developer Malin Burnham – and had the high-priced campaign expertise of GOP operative Tom Shepard. Kiss goodbye three years and $17.2 million of taxpayer money.

Last week we learned that ex- school superintendent Alan “Blueprint” Bersin is back in town – appointed by Mayor Sanders to paid-membership on the now-discredited Airport Authority – an organization whose functions and structure are currently under review for still-undisclosed legislative changes from State Senator Christine Kehoe, who frequently carries water for local real estate interests. Could we be going from bad to worse?

Maybe that unaccountable airport authority of mostly behind-the-scenes players, led by Bersin pal Bill Lynch from Rancho Santa Fe, should have listened more attentively to dissenting member and Lemon Grove Mayor Mary Teresa Sessom. She testified in an interview with voice writer Rob Davis that, for disagreeing with the ballot measure’s substance, she was frequently “misled” by airport authority staff as well as “marginalized” and “lied to” by her airport authority peers as she tried to do her job.

With such a group, was that election outcome really a surprise? Will an airport authority redesign by someone like State Senator Kehoe really improve it? With members like Alan Bersin, appointed by “strong mayor” Jerry Sanders, can the authority really act in the public interest? I think the answers are no, no and no, but I will stay tuned.

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