By Craig Sherwood
Executive Editor, BurbankNBeyond.com
With May 1 falling on a Sunday this year, the Burbank City Council will have their annual reorganization this coming Monday, May 2 instead. While the meeting in itself is not really important and no real City business will really be discussed, it is still a ceremonial event where we will bid good-bye to current Mayor Anja Reinke, but also will welcome Emily Gabel-Luddy and reconfirm Gary Bric back to his seat after winning re-election.
Burbank does not elect a Mayor, instead, the Council gets together at this annual meeting to pick both a Mayor and Vice-Mayor for the coming year. Jess Talamantes is the current Vice-Mayor of Burbank and should move up to the position of Mayor on an unanimous vote. Talamantes has served the City in numerous ways as a fireman for the City of Burbank and a longtime softball coach. He will be a great ambassador for the City during it’s Centennial Celebration this July as Mayor.
With that said, it now time for the Council to also give Dr. David Gordon the title of Vice-Mayor.
Yes, there are times that Dr. Gordon rubs some people the wrong way. There are many times that staff members are put in uncomfortable positions during reports that they give but there are also times that the questions that are asked turn out to be positions that were not considered in the reports.
Dr. Gordon does not go out of his way to make people feel uncomfortable, he just wants to make sure that in his mind all the questions have been answered, and sometimes the questions are the ones that others don’t want to ask, get asked. Now I don’t always agree with his positions, but I do like his diligence in asking the questions.
No matter how you feel about him personally, he, like all the other council members, have sacrificed many hours both professionally as well as personally to be on the Council. And there are not really a lot of ‘perks’ to being on the Council, it can sometimes also be demanding and grueling on the individual.
One perk is being the Mayor for a year. The Mayor does not have any more power than anyone else, and their vote is still just one of five. The Mayor does help set the tone at meetings and lately usually gives the final vote on a topic. Something Gary Bric started a couple of years ago and the tradition has continued.
Dr. Gordon, as someone who has given up many years of his life to serve the City, deserves the right to have his turn. No matter his views on a given subject, he loves this City and wants only the best for Burbank. It is OK to have a different opinion or a different way of doing something as long as the goal is the same, ‘what is the best for Burbank’.
While it may seem that the Council is a little bit fractioned at times, it does not mean that people can’t put their differences to the side and take the high road. The people of Burbank voted all of the members of the council on and all have the right, as well as the mandate, to be given an opportunity to lead.
When Monday, May 2 comes, I will be in the Council Chamber to thank Mayor Reinke for four great years of service to not only the City but to myself, a Burbank citizen. I will wish Vice Mayor Talamantes good luck during his term as Mayor and hopefully see the appointment of Dr. Gordon to the position of Vice-Mayor.