David Voss — former member of the City of Los Angeles Board of Airport Commissioners — has been appointed chair of the Neighborhood Council of Westchester-Playa del Rey Airport Relations Committee.
The Neighborhood Council voted 18-6 Tuesday, August 2nd, to approve council president Gwen Vuchsas’s appointment of Voss as airport relations chair.
The Airport Relations Committee is composed of eight Neighborhood Council members and five community members.
Voss succeeds Robert Achermann, who had served in the position since 2003. Voss also serves on the Neighborhood Council Planning and Land Use Committee and is chair of the Bylaws Committee.
“I’m looking forward to be able to try to move things forward to constructively promote a regional aviation plan,” said Voss, a Marina del Rey attorney. “I will do what I can to protect the community and I’m hopeful that with my experience on the airport commission I can bring some thinking to the table.”
Voss was appointed to the city Board of Airport Commissioners by former Los Angeles Mayor James Hahn and was confirmed by the City Council in July 2004.
But when Antonio Villaraigosa became mayor July 1st, Villaraigosa nominated new members to the airport commission.
Achermann said he was “not surprised” at the Neighborhood Council’s decision to replace him as chair, because he has been on an overseas assignment for three months with a new job.
But Achermann acknowledged that he was disappointed at the decision because he had discussed his job situation with Vuchsas.
“Gwen was concerned that I didn’t notify her of my employment situation, but I had done so in person and in writing,” Achermann said.
Vuchsas, who reappointed Achermann as airport relations chair in June, said Achermann never informed her of the overseas position and said that she wouldn’t have made the reappointment, had she known.
“I wouldn’t reappoint anyone who was going away for months,” Vuchsas said. “It’s not personal to Rob.
“I would have made the change to anyone on the council because I have a responsibility as president to make sure that the committees are run properly.”
Achermann’s local job also had affected his ability to be on time for Neighborhood Council and committee meetings, she said.
But Achermann said that when he was unable to physically be at meetings, he would participate through a speakerphone.
“I have been a pretty strong chairman,” he said. “I put my heart and soul into the (Airport Relations) Committee.”
Denny Schneider, a Neighborhood Council Airport Relations Committee member, said Achermann would always try to attend meetings either in person or by phone.
“Robert has been doing an exceptional job and has been advocating for the community all this time,” Schneider said.
While no one on the Neighborhood Council questioned Achermann’s commitment to the community, council members felt the proper thing to do was to make a change, Vuchsas said.
“The (council) felt Voss would be an outstanding chair because he has a lot of respect at the airport and he had a very effective term on the airport commission,” Vuchsas said.
The Neighborhood Council earlier voted to oppose Hahn’s master plan for Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), but Voss supports the plan.
Achermann said Voss’s support of the LAX master plan may have an effect in his role as airport relations chair.
“It’s about power and Voss having some say on LAX matters on the Neighborhood Council,” Achermann said.
Although Voss supports the LAX master plan, he said it will not be an issue for the council, which is united in its effort to promote a regional solution for the airport.