Liset Márquez, Staff Writer
Created: 06/04/2010 07:06:45 PM PDT

ONTARIO – The city has hired a political consultant to improve its relations with Los Angeles World Airports.

The City Council recently agreed to give the city manager the authority to extend the consultant’s contract through the end of this month. The contract could be worth up to $150,000.

Last year, Ontario officials brought in the Los Angeles based-Englander, Knabe and Allen consulting firm to assist them as the city explores the option of resuming control of LA/Ontario International Airport.

“They have the depth and knowledge in working with a city like Los Angeles,” City Manager Chris Hughes said.

The political consulting firm also has experience in airline management and air service marketing, which Hughes said is critical as Ontario continues “negotiations with L.A. officials and each determine what each other wants.”

In December, Councilman Alan Wapner requested that the city manager meet with LAWA – which operates ONT – to discuss its regionalization efforts as well as the possibility of taking control of the airport.

At that time, Wapner asked that the city manager bring back a report with his findings to the council. The report has yet to be given to the council.

Hughes said he will report back when substantial progress has been made.

Wapner said he sees the consultant contract extension as a positive.

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