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Newsletter No. 41. Dec. 5, 2023

  • Airport landing fees to start in January.

  • Council meetings starting late, ending late . . . really late.

  • Kaji continuing to fight Metro extension.

  • Full-time City treasurer?

To the delight of Torrance residents and the consternation of pilots, starting in January, almost all planes will be charged $6 landing fees.

The exceptions are military, public safety and medical flights. Robinson Helicopter was also exempted because it does not use the runways.

That last exemption had broad community approval. Judy Brunetti, co-president of the Riviera Homeowners Assn., praised Robinson for its community involvement and for directing its pilots to fly over Pacific Coast Highway, rather than residential areas.

District 6’s Mike Griffiths favored the option to charge both transients and local pilots. He called it the fairest option because everyone who touches down will pay.

District 2’s Bridgett Lewis was concerned that local pilots paid for hangars and tie-downs and didn’t want them to also pay to land.

However, City Attorney Patrick Sullivan said a failure to charge locals would open the City to a suit from transients who could claim the fees were discriminatory.

Griffiths, District 1’s Jon Kaji, District 3’s Asam Sheikh and District 5’s Aurelio Mattucci cast the winning votes. District 4’s Sharon Kalani recused herself because of a conflict, Lewis abstained and Mayor George Chen cast the sole no vote. That vote may come back to haunt Chen when he runs for re-election in 2026. District 5 and 6 residents have long memories.

The pilots accused the City of unfair tactics, but Sullivan and Council members shot down the accusations.

Pilots also claimed the airport brought in $10 million a year to the General Fund, but they were reminded those dollars came from rentals on properties, such as Rolling Hills Plaza, that were originally airport land but are no longer part of the airport itself.

Torrance Airport Assn. President Peter Broen called the fees “the first step in the destruction of the airport.”

Ironically, it might be the thing that saves the airport from the forces that would like to shut it down. A few months ago, Kaji got Council approval to add the airport to the list of City-owned properties that will be evaluated to see if they could be repurposed to a more profitable use.

Residents still have concerns: They want to see the City ban touch-and-goes and enforce the no-left-turn rule so that planes fly to the ocean before turning, which would end the flying over homes.

How late was it?:

After a seeming trend to reasonable ending times, the Nov. 28 meeting adjourned at almost 1:30 a.m. The mayor has no control over when meetings end, but he does determine whether they will start on time. He routinely starts about 15 minutes late.

He also can move agenda items around so that high-interest discussions occur earlier in the meetings. For example, the landing fees’ discussion started at 11:30 p.m., certainly a disincentive for public involvement.

Metro delay:

Supervisor Holly Mitchell again has moved back the decision on which route Metro’s C Line extension will take. In October she set it for January because Mattucci and Kaji had been campaigning to derail the line. They said it would bring homelessness and crime to Torrance.

Mitchell said she wanted to hear from the community. She apparently heard that Torrance residents didn’t share the two Council members’ opinion.

However, she was receiving complaints from Redondo Beach residents. They wanted Metro not to use its right-of-way in their city. Instead, they preferred the more costly Hawthorne Blvd. route.

Mitchell then decided to ask for a few more months’ delay to see if she could get federal funds to pay for that option.

At the Nov. 28 Council meeting Kaji announced that he plans to talk about his concerns to every Metro board member. Also, the organizers of the Recall Kaji 2024 and Recall Mattucci 2024 committees plan to contact every Metro board member to let them know that neither Council member has the support of the community.


Anyone interested in signing one of the recall petitions, can email me at, and I will share your information with the appropriate committee. All signers must live in the district, but volunteers do not have that restriction.

A full-time treasurer?

Some people were questioning whether Tim Goodrich is working full time. He defeated Dana Cortez and three other candidates to become treasurer in 2022.

Starting in 2018, Cortez’s performance had become controversial for a few reasons, including her failure to actually do her job. In frustration, the Council had removed certain duties from her and cut her salary in half. The ordinance used the phrase “full time.”

At that time, Goodrich was on the Council, and he suggested the treasurer should be paid like the Council: $100 a month.

Fast-forward to 2022, and he is no longer pushing for that. But some people are questioning whether Goodrich is working full time because he has another full-time job.

He said at the Nov. 28 meeting that he has reduced his hours at his other job. Council members appeared to agree that Goodrich was performing his treasurer duties and that the full-time demand is inappropriate. The Council has agreed to put removal of the full-time phrase on a future agenda.

Mark your calendar:

Asam Sheikh will have a District 3 community meeting at 6 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 11 at the Mary K. Giordano Regional Transit Center, 465 Crenshaw Blvd., just north of Torrance Blvd.

Before I go:

v Whatever holiday you are celebrating, may it be wonderful. This will be the only newsletter in December, but I am looking forward to sending out a new issue in January.

v Want to tell the City Council your opinion on an agenda item or address any concerns? Send it to; in the subject line put the agenda item or the topic.

If you also want your comments to appear in an agenda item’s Staff Report, send it as well to Make sure that you have sent it by 2 p.m. on the day of the meeting – earlier if you want it included in the agenda’s first posting, which can be a week ahead.

Jean Adelsman

Feel free to share this email -- or tell friends about And if you email a response to, please indicate whether you are expressing a thought for my eyes only or whether I may share your comments with the whole audience.

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