Sunday, November 27, 2011

San Bernardino officials draft response to grand jury

By Kimberly Pierceall, The Press-Enterprise, Riverside, Calif.
Source: McClatchy-Tribune Information Services


San Bernardino International Airport's response to the civil grand jury's response (that was a response to the airport's original response to a scathing report that questioned the airport's management) appears to be ready.

On the Nov. 30 agenda for the San Bernardino International Airport Authority's agenda is a draft copy of a letter the authority and its parent agency -- the Inland Valley Development Agency -- may send to the grand jury.

Approval of what the letter may say is only up for a vote of the airport board, though, not the related IVDA board.

Earlier this month, the grand jury made the unheard decision to fire back at the agency for its "unsubstantiated and misleading" allegations that the jury got its facts wrong.

The cost to build a passenger terminal and a destination for private planes to land and refuel has grown in cost from $45 million to more than $142.5 million and the report questioned no-bid agreements awarded to the airport's developer, Scot Spencer, as well as a legal settlement with the agencies he manages, among other concerns raised. The grand jury's report was released June 30. In September, the FBI led a raid of airport offices as well as the offices and rented Riverside home of Spencer.

The Nov. 30 meetings of the SBIAA and IVDA boards will start at 3 p.m. at Loma Linda City Hall at 25541 Barton Rd.

The proposed response (verbatim and with no changes to spelling, punctuation or formatting errors):

SBIAA and IVDA Confirm Intent for Action on Grand Jury Report

The Board of Directors of the San Bernardino International Airport Authority acknowledged the receipt of the Grand Jury's follow up letter and affirmed at their meeting the implementation of a program to address the concerns.

"We welcome the clarifications of the Grand Jury who, as we, wish to insure that the San Bernardino International Airport and the related development activities of the Inland Valley Development Agency are managed and operated with the highest professional standards."

"We have moved forward and begun the process of addressing all of the concerns with the systems and operations issues raised by the Grand Jury report We have already taken steps to address their suggested improvements and are conducting a review which will set in place policies and procedures that meet the highest professional, accounting, and public accountability standards".
Best Impaired Risk

"We have asked out Interim Executive Director to manage this corrective action process and anticipate that we will be able to demonstrate in a very short time not only the intention but the capacity to become a public entity whose policies, procedures, programs and operations will be viewed as exemplary".

"We are pleased with our achievements in the redevelopment of Norton Air Force Base and the development of the San Bernardino International Airport to date but remain committed to new ideas on how we can do even a better job."

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