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On December 1, four South Bay mayors met in National City to appoint a new member to the board of directors of the San Diego County Regional Airport Authority. The four mayors were: Ron Morrison for National City, Casey Tanaka for Coronado, Cheryl Cox for Chula Vista, and Jim Janney for Imperial Beach.

The airport authority website defines the agency’s tasks as: “to

operate San Diego international Airport, plan for the future of air transportation needs of the region, serve as the region’s Airport Land Use Commission — and ensure the adoption of land use plans that protect public health and safety surrounding all 16 of the county’s airports.”

The four mayors selected Janney for the position. Janney was defeated by Serge Dedina in the recent Imperial Beach mayoral election. The county Registrar of Voters certified the election results the day after the meeting — December 2.

(The registrar also recognized Mary Salas as the winner of Chula Vista’s mayoral race. Cox, who was termed out, presided over her last council meeting December 6.)

Appointment to the airport authority board is considered a political plum and some people suggested the appointment should have been deferred until after the two new mayors were sworn in. The term of the current representative, Tom Smisek, ends January 31, 2015.

A 2014 U-T article titled “Airport board stipends total $140,000” details the financial perks that come with the appointment:

“Commissioners and committee members receive $200 per meeting or event, up to eight per month, as a way of compensating them for their volunteer work.”

The article also notes that airport authority boardmember Greg Cox augmented his county supervisor income (which is $143,031 annually) with airport-board stipends that totaled $10,600 within a two-year span.

Similarly, the article points out that councilman David Alvarez, who receives $75,386 as a city-council member, received an additional $5800 from the airport authority between 2012–2014.

As for the position that Janney will occupy, the U-T article said “commissioner Tom Smisek was paid $18,800 in various airport stipends during the nearly two-year period examined by the watchdog.”

Code governing the appointment to the board indicates that the South Bay mayors can appoint “a member of a city council of one of the south county cities or another resident of one of the south county cities.”

The Reader queried Coronado mayor Casey Tanaka via email on December 6 regarding the appointment of Janney. Tanaka wrote: “The South Bay Mayors meet once a month. At our November meeting, we talked about Tom Smisek's pending retirement as our South Bay rep in January and we reconfirmed that we would rotate this position between our four South Bay cities. Tom, from Coronado, replaced a gentleman from Chula Vista.

“We determined that Imperial Beach should be next because of Mr. Janney's interest in the position. We confirmed his appointment at our December meeting. This would allow a smooth transition between Mr. Smisek and Mr. Janney. Mr. Janney was the only person considered and we unanimously felt he was the right choice to represent our South Bay cities because of his many years of experience in local government. He knows our issues and we are confident he will represent us well.”

The San Diego County Regional Airport Authority was created in 2001 by legislation enacted by former state senator Steve Peace.

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joepublic Dec. 8, 2014 @ 12:45 p.m.

Does anyone know where the minutes to these group-of-mayors' meetings can be found?


VigilantinCV Dec. 8, 2014 @ 4:43 p.m.

This is the true legacy of Mayor Cheryl Cox. She is always looking out for and rewarding the Cox dynasty cronies. Does not Greg Cox serve on this same Board? Did not Greg endorse Janney's failed bid to remain Mayor? It is lamentable that Mayors Tanaka and Morrison would go along with this blatant power grab. Since the new term does not begin until February 1, this should have been the appointment of newly elected Chula Vista Mayor Salas and newly elected Imperial Beach Mayor Dedina. Shame on all Cheryl.


Susan Luzzaro Dec. 8, 2014 @ 6:37 p.m.


This particular meeting was part of the San Diego Airport Authority. You can find the agenda on their website. I wasn't aware that the mayors met once a month. Mayor Tanaka also mentioned that the city managers met once a month. However, I cannot find where these meetings are noticed or minutes are published.

What I found curious was that the mayors had agreed to rotate the appointment--but appears only to ex-mayors? The appointment could go to anyone who lives in the South Bay.

Also curious that Janney got it because he expressed interest. No one else interested I guess.


Susan Luzzaro Dec. 8, 2014 @ 8:26 p.m.

VigalantinCV, Well, we have two new mayors, Salas and Dedina. It will be interesting to see if it's politics as usual.


AlexClarke Dec. 9, 2014 @ 5:39 a.m.

Its not what you know but who you know. Follow the money.


eastlaker Dec. 9, 2014 @ 8:15 a.m.

Overlapping layers of bureaucracy assist in maintaining control--but unfortunately, control is not maintained over those who need to be controlled.

Amazing. So what exactly does this group do. How many more of these shadow organizations are there?

Former mayor Janney has found a comfortable spot.

Are these people some of those interested in expanding Brown Field--because no one I know is in favor of that.


Sjtorres Dec. 9, 2014 @ 2:03 p.m.

I don't see anything interesting or wrong with this.


anniej Dec. 9, 2014 @ 3:36 p.m.

eastlaker - expand Brown Field - I would remind all what happened the last time they attempted to expand Brown Field - the community, my community turned out in mass.

While I am not looking for anything else to do - I WILL FIGHT ANY EXPANSION TOOTH AND NAIL. With the mountains to the east and a large community to the west (mine), Mexico to the South and Eastlake to the north - anyway you look at it is a TERRIBLE IDEA!!!

You want more room to land planes - well, there is a large area on the other side of those mountains to the east of the 8 - called the dessert. My community having the potential to be the victim of a plane crashing into our homes - where is the sanity in that??????


eastlaker Dec. 9, 2014 @ 6:07 p.m.

Just as you say--perhaps there are some who do not know that in suburban DC very recently a plane did crash into a house, killing a young mother and her two children. This was a plane that was attempting a landing at a smaller airfield.

The reason I brought up Brown Field is that as Jim Janney will be getting a rather nice salary, there might be those who will hope or expect him to produce something...along the lines of something that would benefit that dear aggregate, the developers, who seem to be popping up just about everywhere these days.

If I am off the mark or just plain wrong, please forgive me, as I am just trying to figure out what is going on around here.


Susan Luzzaro Dec. 9, 2014 @ 7:46 p.m.

just to say...

the airport authority owns lots of property, some came about when they split from the port of san diego..

for example they own land or were in the process of selling the salt plant down on the bay...

san diego airport authority agenda and 1470 bay boulevard


anniej Dec. 9, 2014 @ 10:02 p.m.

eastlaker - well, with all due respect to any looking to send flying planes over our neighborhood - think again.

I saw the story on the recent plane crash - HEART BREAKING - and interestingly enough it brought to mind our fight, down here - was thankful to the hundreds who banned together, met in homes and threatened legal action back when..........

When are these officials going to realize, communities are not the dumping ground for back room, get rich quick deals?

Oh, and did I mention the strong cross winds up here on the mesa? Yet another reason why the expansion was not seen as an option.


eastlaker Dec. 10, 2014 @ 9:06 a.m.

Susan and anniej, isn't it amazing that we need to be ever vigilant here in the South Bay, as apparently we are seen as easy targets for so many schemers.

But I think the fact that we are catching on will work in our favor.

Just as Sweetwater needs to start playing by the rules, so does the city of Chula Vista--Chula Vista needs to start maintaining a city plan that means something, a city plan that actually reflects what the people who live here want in their home town. Not what developers want to extract from it.

And, as light dawns on us, we see that cooperative politicians are rewarded by sweet positions that may only require allowing developers to do just what they please.

We will need to watch what the San Diego County Regional Airport Authority is doing, or not doing. Again I say, amazing. The salt plant never really looked like much--so what sort of development would they have in mind. They would have to substantially alter that area of the bay front to be able to build much of anything, right? I have heard that there is supposed to be a large hotel going in on the southern-most part of Imperial Beach (where the condemned apartment buildings now are) and supposedly there is a plan to replace the trailer park that sits just north of 75 on the bay with condos. That and the proposed expansion of Navy facilities would seem to make IB quite the happening spot.

The sharks must be smelling blood in the water. I hope all the citizens of IB and the southern reaches of San Diego will wake up so that what will be built will benefit the larger communities and the people who live there--and not just be a few more fast bucks for those who really know how to work corporate welfare for their benefit.


anniej Dec. 10, 2014 @ 9:22 a.m.

During Mc Cann's swearing in speech he stated he was an adjunct college professor - reaching out to all of you - IS THAT TRUE? I remember past in past speeches where he referred to himself as a teacher at Montgomery


AlexClarke Dec. 10, 2014 @ 9:28 a.m.

Well whatever the case McCann fooled 50% + 2 of the voters.


Visduh Dec. 10, 2014 @ 4:27 p.m.

There's still hope that McCann won't serve on the council. A couple days ago a representative of the county Dem Party "requested" a recount. So the party organization will pay for it. It was supposed to start this morning, and the requester can specify the order to recount the ballots, by precinct. So, if there's an indication that some precincts were miscounted, and that the outcome could change, you tell them to keep counting (and running the meter for you). If you want to stop at any time, you can, which stops the meter of expense. However, for a recount to result in a change of outcome, it has to be done fully and completely. We can only watch and wonder how this will play out.

As far as McCann's claim to be a prof, remember that there are scads of these out-of-town operations that offer classes locally. Bridgepoint's Ashford University, the University of Phoenix, and many others fit that description. Then there are the JC's. Could some one of his buddies at Southwestern have hired him to teach a class there? The mutual hand-washing could still be alive and well.


eastlaker Dec. 10, 2014 @ 9:53 p.m.

I'm not sure he has any pals at Southwestern College, but maybe he found a gig somewhere. I can't think what he would be qualified to teach, however.

We can only hope that the recount brings a good result.


Visduh Dec. 12, 2014 @ 10:37 a.m.

Knowing nothing of McCann's academic background, I cannot comment on his qualifications. I do know that to teach in a JC in this state, you need a masters degree in the field. Most four-year institutions are permitted to have some of the faculty with a masters, although they are expected to have a majority with doctorates. So, does he have a masters?


Visduh Dec. 20, 2014 @ 10:31 a.m.

It appears that the recount has ended, incompletely because the partial results didn't seem to indicate a change in outcome. So, Johnny is on the council for four years. While I don't expect anything good to come from that, there is a slim possibility that his antics will continue and that the average out-of-touch, mark-the-circle-for-the-familiar-name voter in CV will awaken to the reality of who he is, what he does, and his abysmal lack of character. In other words, his term could be his very last if he doesn't straighten himself out. But I'm not counting on that.


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