Although not a resident - I live in New Zealand - I've had association with Santa Monica for a good number of years, even before marrying a former S.M. resident, with whom I visit every year, and am appalled at the suggestion that SMO might be forced to close by the Luddites that surround it and now also aspire to inhabit the City Council.
I had a letter published in the SMDP, but was roundly criticised and told to mind my own business, as I didn't live there full time, sadly that is true, but I'm entitled to my opinion,
On this years' visit I purchased a bumper sticker from the museum, proclaiming " I LOVE the noise of aeroplanes". I chose not to display it on my car at the time - lest I got a brick through my window - but I proudly display it now, and have had many requests to bring back more sticker next year !
Best of luck to FOSMO, I hope you win.
A couple decades back we too had a hostile "environment" for out airport albeit a much smaller airport than Santa Monica. They went ahead and built an upscale subdivision on the South side of the expressway, off the end of 18/36. The only saving grace was a church between the North edge of the subdivision and the airport. The end of the runway is about as close to the highway as permissible. In retrospect, the airport was moved way "out there" back in 57 to get away from the populated areas.
When the city and particularly the residents found that first, they would have to pay the FAA current market value for that prime land, and second, a good portion had been deeded to the city with the stipulation that it could only be used as an airport, or cemetery. It would have been a very expensive trade.
I only used 18 when necessary. IE with the wind out of the South and strong as I could handle a 25 knot direct cross wind and the other runway 06/24 was longer.
Unfortunately 18/36 was also short at 3000 feet.
They complained that when I went over they couldn't even carry on a conversation which I believe. On a hot summer day with 4 seats full and gas to bring the Deb to gross we would only be a couple hundred feet up as we passed over the subdivision at full RPM with the pop tips going supersonic.
There were many arguments about the cost of the airport, but a commissioned study showed the airport was bringing in about 10 million dollars of indirect income per year. The opposition refused to accept the numbers so they commissioned their own study which showed that the airport was bringing in substantially more than the official study said.
Then one hot summer day we had a number of high performance planes (both twins and singles) come in. I was also flying. Now the numbers on 833R are * Big* and easy to see. With all the activity the one opponent spotted my tail numbers and complained I flew over every 5 minutes all afternoon. I couldn't do a touch and go every 5 minutes if I were paid to try without flying an extremely tight pattern, but I don't do them as I consider them dangerous in that plane. I used to practice them on occasion, but only enough to keep all the work in mind. But as we all sounded alike I was given credit for all the takeoffs. With the traffic that day I'd have been lucky to come close to once every half hour, but as it was I only did two take offs. So, at least by insisting he had identified me going over every 5 minutes and the commission knew It wasn't me, he lost credibility.
Then we had one guy put up a tall TV antenna right on the center line. Again I happened to be flying. The owner was upset because I darn near hit the guy working on the antenna although he probably wasn't nearly as upset as I was. He called the airport and complained. The tower was gone by evening.
But eventually with some programs to educate the population we were able to win out although I think the expense of closing the airport was probably the key.
Since Meigs Field, I doubt the FAA is going to be nearly as forgiving and can make it much more expensive.
The Santa Monica city council has long been known to be corrupt and beholden to real estate developers who want to grab that airport land.
There have been investigations of other Los Angeles area cities like Bell and Vernon, mass corruption was uncovered and council members were terminated.
That is what Santa Monica needs. FOSMO needs to look into the corruption of ALL of the city councilors and especially the ones that are hell bent on closing SMO - they have a clear motive not based on facts. It's money in their pockets.
Enough sitting around and taking it. Start fighting these corrupt councilors and expose them for the greedy bastards they are!