Letter to the Editor: Clarification on Letter from Former AWG Board Member Regarding Lauren Kleiman

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Recently Costa Mesa resident and former Airport Working Group (AWG) board member Andy Smith wrote a letter to the Newport Beach Independent regarding Lauren Kleiman.  Kleiman also served on the AWG board from 2017-2019.

Smith implied in his letter that AWG was actively seeking Ms. Kleiman to return to the board to “lay the groundwork for the upcoming extension of the John Wayne Airport Settlement Agreement.”

This was written in the context of supporting her election to the city council.

In fact, I had a brief informal conversation with Lauren in late 2021 and she indicated that she was not interested in rejoining the board.  No formal offer was ever made nor voted on by the board (required by AWG Bylaws).

Subsequently, in 2022, AWG added two former Newport Beach city councilmembers with extensive experience on airport issues to the board of directors to broaden our policy strength.

It is important to note that AWG does not endorse city council candidates and it would be improper to imply such support.

We very much appreciate Lauren Kleiman’s past service on our board, and her interest in airport issues. We also enjoy outstanding relations with the entire city council, and are proud to partner with all current members of the council and city administration to protect our community from the impacts of John Wayne Airport (JWA) on Newport Beach residents.

As issues such as the impact of the General Aviation Improvement Program on private jet activity, the need to extend the Settlement Agreement, and support the increased use of next generation quieter commercial airline aircraft at JWA, the partnership between AWG and the city council will be more important than ever.

Mel Beale, President AWG

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