• Matt Esnayra

Jetblue's departure from LB Airport put a hole in the city's library budget

When longtime Long Beach Airport tenant, JetBlue left two months ago, moving nearly of its Southern California flights to LAX. Their exit caused a financial void for Long Beach's library system, which relied on hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines from the airline violating the city's noise ordinance.

What happened:

Long Beach Library Services Director Glenda Williams told councilmembers Tuesday night that the library is facing "funding challenges," not only from the ongoing coronavirus pandemic but also from the departure of JetBlue Airlines. The airline was a constant violater of Long Beach's noise ordinance that accounted for a significant portion of the library's budget.

  • ✈In 2019, the city collected $532,100 in airport noise ordinance violations, and in 2018 the city racked up over $1 million, according to a city report.

  • Flashback:👉JetBlue and the City of Long Beach have disputed over fines resulting from the city's noise ordinance, flight-slot usage, and the Long Beach City Council voting down JetBlue's hopes of hosting international flights out of Long Beach Airport.

What they're saying

  • Long Beach Library Services Director Glenda Williams said to the LB City Council, "I will mention a couple of additional funding challenges with the departure of jet blue. We will realize the annual loss of 400 to 600, a thousand dollars from noise ordinance violations. These funds are used to purchase print and online resources. Our current budget from the general fund is less than $700,000, almost 25% of what she should be for a city."

  • LB City Councilmember Daryle Supernaw said, " I was very surprised to see Jetblue mentioned in this report, under challenges. I seem to recall, warnings to not make these fine monies, a part of the structure of funding for the libraries. So, rather than ask the question, I'll just make a statement that the loss [of] the JetBlue fines of $400 to $600,000 a year under challenges, that pales in comparison to the challenges of the neighborhood impacted by these late-night fights,".

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