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"California airport users still unhappy about security system"
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- Subject: CAA: GA News, "California airport users still unhappy about security system"
- From: "Stephen Irwin" <stepheni@xxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Thu, 3 Oct 2002 03:12:59 -0700
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Wednesday, October 2, 2002
Airport users still unhappy about security system
By TERESA ROCHESTER
The San Bernardino (CA) Sun
Redlands - The news came on a Saturday from an airplane pilot Paul
Wohlers didn't know: a copy of Wohlers' passport was published in a
Redlands staff report on a proposed airport security system policy.
The administrative boondoggle sparked a searing commentary from Wohlers
at the Redlands City Council meeting Tuesday night and a tense exchange
between the pilot and Mayor Kasey Haws.
But the end result the council's decision to hold off on the policy
until more security issues could be hashed out pleased Wohlers, who
rents a tie down space from Redlands Municipal Airport-based
"Security is important but it's equally important to ensure personal
privacy,' Wohlers said Wednesday. "We want to make it (the security
system) work for what its meant for.'
Wohlers was one of about a dozen speakers at Tuesday's meeting who
complained about the system which relies on surveillance cameras, locked
gates and gate-access cards.
Those who take issue with the system said the application for
gate-access cards, which has since been revised, asked for information
that borders on invasion of privacy.
Wohlers included a letter to the city's Public Works Department airing
his problems with the application and the new $104,518 system along with
his gate-card application and the requisite copy of a
Letters from airport users were included in the staff report prepared
for the council meeting, however, Wohlers' entire application packet
made it into the public document.
"That is what I would term an error,' said Public Works director Ron
Mutter, whose office processes the applications. "It was not in the
original packet that I signed off on. I was asked if we should include
(Wohlers') letter and I said yes. For whatever reason his entire file
got put into the packet. I was totally unaware. I got a call Monday
Wohlers lambasted the staff at the council meeting Tuesday, asking
whether the mistake was "spiteful retribution' or just unwitting
"I fully understand the need for security around an airport, but what
you are demanding does not serve security in any way, and what you have
done is a serious breach of security and a violation of public trust,'
The comments were received coolly by the council and the mayor who told
speakers that personal attacks would not be tolerated. "Let me suggest
that you may find yourself a little more effective if you don't use
those words,' said Haws.
At no point during the hearing did the council ask how the mistake was
Councilman Gary George said council members did casually ask what
On Wednesday, Wohlers sent a letter to Haws apologizing for the tone of
his presentation but also asked for an apology from the city for
releasing his information.
At the same time he lauded Police Chief Jim Bueermann, whose department
along with Public Works is overseeing the implementation of the security
Both Bueermann and Mutter said they were interested in continuing the
discussion on concerns over the security system, particularly issues of
access and information requested on the application form.
"I think the main thing that we are concerned about is the issue of
security and how the security works and what information (on the
application) we need,' said Mutter. "We are not the security experts.
Public Works simply implements the system.'
Staff from both the Public Works Department and the Police Department
will participate in a joint meeting between the Airport Advisory Board
and the City Council next week to continue the discussion about the
Post your opinion on this story in the CAA General Aviation Forum
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