City Council Election Question #5 – Charter Review

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As part of myBurbank’s Election 2022 coverage, we have asked all of the candidates in the three races some tough questions to help voters decide who deserves their vote.

In the race for City Council, there are seven candidates, and we asked ten tough questions. We told the candidates they could write as much as they wanted, and we did not edit their responses in any way. We rotated the order after every question.

Today is question 5 of 10 – Charter Review: With the charter review, there had been talks of term limits, council districts, and even a full-time mayor. What are your thoughts, and should anything else be looked at in the Charter?

Tamala Takahashi

The Charter Review Committee made several important recommendations for council to consider. They suggested the council look into possible changes such as: term limits, what it would look like if we districted, how a mayor-council city structure might be beneficial, public hearing when hiring department directors, capping election fundraising for council elections, reconsideration of our charter-encoded commissions, increasing the frequency of council meetings, and more flexibility for public meeting participation options.

I support looking into the viability of all of these considerations. It’s time to modernize our city governance, and these recommendations for consideration are a good place to start. If elected, I’m looking forward to looking very closely at how we can improve the functioning of our city

Link to the full list of charter review recommendations: https://burbank.granicus.com/player/clip/9899?view_id=6&meta_id=400981&redirect=true&h=bcba6eeccce3f519c6c890c146797f48

Carmenita Helligar

I do agree with term limits. Council districts I personally feel would add more of a divide in our community. I don’t see it working for our diverse community. A full time Mayor should not be necessary if all council members and doing a good job.

Zizette Mullins

The Charter Review Committee gave careful consideration to the entire City Charter before arriving at their recommendations. I believe these independent recommendations deserve further rigorous review and public vetting during the next stage of the process. As a City Council Member, I would carefully consider the Committee’s findings and public input on all of the issues. Thankfully, Burbank has had a diverse Council both in gender and ethnicity. The Council and the community are accustomed to a mayor rotation. This is not a rule but rather a tradition which seems to work well for the City. As far as the districting, this is a subject for further Charter review and was not among the Committee’s recommendations. I believe that whatever system Burbank adopts must result in fair representation.

Nikki Perez

I know cities throughout our region are discussing the benefits and downsides of term limits. On one hand, some folks feel that elections are effectively term limits, as they require the continuing will of the voters, while others express that without term limits incumbents are able to consolidate power and a base that almost ensures their re-elections. While I believe my ultimate thoughts would require further study, I would lean towards the implementation of term limits in line with other regional cities of our size who have varying limits from 2-4 terms. For Burbank, I would consider looking at 3 terms as a limit. 

Regarding districts, I do not believe our city should be districted. We are too small of a city geographically for districts to function in the way they should. While I understand wanting to have a Councilmember represent your specific neighborhood, in many ways we have that anyways. Our City Council should be united and unanimously represent all our neighborhoods and diverse communities. 

I also do not think our city is large enough to have a full time Mayor. With a full time Mayor position, we would only be adding to our city’s bureaucracy and politicization of a position. 

Sharon Springer

I support at large representation, not districts, so that each Council member represents all residents.   I support term limits and I support a City Manager/Council form of government wherein we do not have a full time Mayor.   I support Charter Review looking into a system of Ranked Choice voting.

    1 COMMENT

    1. What methods did the Charter Review Committee deploy to conduct their due diligence in examining what the community wants? I was not surveyed nor contacted in any way to ask my opinion and none of my friends living in Burbank were contacted.

      In the age of social media, was the public given an easy way to give their views on districts, term limits, and elected mayors (aka a “strong mayor system” of government)?

      It costs virtually nothing to conduct surveys posting social media links, providing QR codes on BWP utility billing and emailing BWP customers. That would cover 100% of on-grid businesses and households.

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