13th Ward Council candidate Linea Palmisano issued a statement Monday noting her endorsement from Congressman Keith Ellison and her plan to work with him to pursue an environmental impact statement reviewing potential changes to flight paths.
The Federal Aviation Administration is rolling out a national plan that would concentrate plane departures on fewer flight paths. Local plans are on hold.
In response to Palmisano’s press release, Perry issued one of his own calling her “late to the game” on the issue. In August, Perry also called for an environmental impact statement at a town hall meeting hosted by Ellison. He said air traffic should be treated like light rail or any other ground transit, with a full environmental review. In an interview earlier this fall, Perry said City Council members need to be “strong, vigorous, aggressive advocates” on airport issues.
Palmisano’s campaign recently countered Perry’s claim that she is late to address the issue.
“Linea was part of the formative meetings of MSP Fairskies, and participated in the formation of their mission statement,” campaign manager Ray Hoover said in an email. He also highlighted an April candidate forum in which Palmisano said she supported an environmental impact study.
Candidate Missy Durant also stood up at Ellison’s town hall forum, asking a question she often raises during debates to reach the core of an issue: “What problem are we trying to solve?” In an MSP FairSkies Voter’s Guide response, Durant said we should support the airport, but growth and change should not come at the expense of residents.
In an interview earlier this fall, candidate Bob Reuer said he isn’t bothered by airplane noise, although he sympathizes with people who are.
“Hopefully we can come up with something that’s going to work for everyone,” he said.
Palmisano elaborated on her position in a September interview with the Southwest Journal. She said the city should fill a long-vacant airport lobbyist position, and said the FAA’s proposal seems to be based on flight times and cost savings, rather than safety.
In Perry’s Oct. 30 press release, he said he wants to see an “Airports Liaison” on staff with the city of Minneapolis to work with residents. He also said the airport should measure the impact of potential flight path changes using a noise metric that counts the number of times an airplane exceeds 70 decibels each day, described as the point when a resident must stop a conversation. He said future analysis of airport noise impact should use a lower decibel threshold (55 dB CNEL) than required today.
MSP FairSkies Coalition is a group working to organize Southwest-area representation on airport issues. The Coalition has prepared its own Voter’s Guide for mayoral and council candidates, asking for the airport-related actions candidates would take the first 90 days in office. The guide is available at www.mspfairskies.com/ward-13.
Editor’s note: This story is updated to include new statements from Matt Perry and Linea Palmisano’s campaign.