By From page A5 | April 14, 2014


Village Life’s coverage of last week’s town hall meeting reflects the reasons why I resigned from EDH APAC this week. APAC and the county have demonstrated ignorance, prejudice and denial of factual reality that can easily be checked by anyone. One point is that the Mather Master Plan reduces the airport’s cargo capacity, with the single most visible sign being elimination of 35 acres of existing cargo ramp.

This is written one day before my resignation from EDH APAC becomes effective at the end of the April 9 meeting. In that final meeting I will show an original document from May 9, 2001, in which the Sacramento County Airport System summarized its four airports in Meeting No. 11 of the Community Leaders Group that was part of its Master Plan process. In the table summarizing all four airports the “Designated Role” for Mather is “Reliever — Cargo”. Not megahub, not even hub of any kind. As one who participated in the entire series of Community Leaders Group meetings through 2004, I was a direct witness to the fact that there was never a suggestion in those meetings that Mather should be a major cargo hub. Traffic would be determined by the carriers operating at the airport, not by the airport.

The same document contains forecasts for future traffic levels for the entire Sacramento County Airport System. The 2001 forecast proved to be overoptimistic but was still not substantially higher than what we see today. Forecasts for future cargo tonnage and rates of flight operations were never remotely close to the level claimed by the Mather/cargo opponents.

Mather opponents base their contrary claims mainly on a vision statement made by Sacramento County director of economic development 17 years ago, in 1997. If that vision had been adopted Mather opponents would be quoting the adopted policy. There is no such adopted policy for them to cite.

No one noted that during the Town Hall meeting a UPS Airbus A300-600 overflew the CSD property where the meeting was in progress, and no one at the meeting noticed it. No one noted that the chair of APAC’s Mather subcommittee claims he has significant nuisances from noise, landing lights and vibration while his next-door neighbor reports that there’s none of these. I’ve done two sessions of noise measurements at that site in the past few days, and the maximum UPS aircraft noise I’ve observed was 61 dBA. The equivalent (Lmax) measurement for discussion at the Town Hall meeting was mainly in the range of 75 to 80 dBA from my seat.

Basically, there’s a contingent of people in El Dorado Hills and Folsom with a fixed idea, a remarkable level of ignorance of reality, an equally remarkable refusal to learn about reality. I invite anyone who’s willing to check the real circumstances to accompany me and observe actual UPS overflights from directly below the approach path. In actually talking with those who live under the approach, so far I’ve found about 10 people who say there’s no problem and one who says there is. That one is the EDH APAC subcommittee chair for Mather.

EDH APAC needs to apologize to the public for supporting utter nonsense in last week’s meeting. Then it needs to do internal cleanup on the committee. Above all, it needs to recognize appropriate standards of ethics for adherence to factual reality as a custodian of the public trust. I’m personally finished with APAC because it has violated my own values and ethics. If APAC can’t recognize its failings it would be appropriate for the county to intervene to either dismiss the committee or reconstitute its membership, but my worry is that the county may believe in the same fantasies.

El Dorado Hills

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