City Council Meeting: Nick Schultz Named New Mayor

Nikki Perez is tabbed the vice mayor of the city and Konstantine Anthony is a council member.

Mayor Nick Schultz seated as Vice Mayor Nicky Perez stands to his left along with fellow City Council Members. (Photo by Ross A Benson)

Burbank’s mayoral mantle was handed from Konstantine Anthony to Nick Schultz at the latest city council reorganization special meeting at city hall on Monday before a packed house in the council chamber.

Nikki Perez was named vice mayor, and both were approved unanimously by all city council members.

The term for mayor and vice mayor runs from December 2023 through December 2024.

“It’s the culmination of three years’ of really hard work. I am so honored and grateful to have this opportunity to serve the City of Burbank,” said Schultz, who is the city’s 23rd living mayor. “I know that we have incredible challenges ahead of us, but I am up to the task.”

Schultz, who earned a bachelor’s degree in history and political science and a law degree from the University of Oregon, has ties to the city.

“This is my home. This is where we’re raising our kids,” he said of his wife Allie, an entertainment lawyer who was in the audience. “This is where my heart is, and so I’m going to give this everything I’ve got because Burbank deserves this.”

Like President Harry S. Truman famously once said, “the buck stops here,” and so it does for Schultz.

“No matter what happens, good or bad, I am the person that people view as accountable for Burbank and I hope over the coming year that I will be accessible, transparent and honest,” he said.

With Perez’s parents and grandmother present, she was both touched and honored.

“I have to say this is historic for our city,” she said. “I’m just so humbled and so honored by the amount of calls we received asking for our first indigenous and first openly LGBTQIA+ vice mayor and I’m so honored to serve in that capacity and be the voice for the many Burbankians we have who are calling for it. I am grateful to all of my colleagues for their vote of confidence.”

Perez, who has a BA from UC Riverside in psychology and music performance and a master’s from UCLA in public affairs, remained light.

“Konstantine said he felt like he lost 20 pounds when he became mayor and I feel like I gained 10,” she joked. “It’s an additional responsibility, and I welcome that responsibility. I signed up to lead my city. This is just another step in the process, and I will continue to lead my city along with my colleagues.”

Anthony, who grew up in Northern California and spent his middle school years in rural Iowa, reflected on his time in the big chair.

“Serving on council for two years was an interesting job, something I’ve never done before and I’ve never been in public office. To be able to serve the community in that way was very fulfilling, but it in no way prepared me for the last year of serving as mayor. The public scrutiny. The tasks of a mayor are far beyond the scope of a traditionally elected public office,” he said. “There is a gravitas that comes with the title of mayor that cannot be comprehended until you sit in that chair. When I had conversations with residents and community members last year, they looked to me for help, for inspiration, for understanding, and for hope. I couldn’t always give it to them. I couldn’t always tell them straight to their face that things were going to be okay. But I made a commitment to work every single day to try to see if I could.”

Anthony, the first openly autistic mayor west of the Mississippi, studied film at San Francisco State University and along with the city council members, fought the good fight and in the end, they prevailed.  

“It was a very hard year. The [SAG-AFTRA] strike. The economics around that. The targeting of my position by hate groups. The national media attention inundated our small city with some of the worst vitriol you could imagine,” he recalled. “It has been very difficult. I knew I could get through it. I knew that if we did the work, the everyday work and business of the city, we would succeed and we have.”

Anthony, now a council member, is confident that the city is moving ahead.

“We’re here at the light of the end of the tunnel and I am very excited to hand over the reins to councilmember Schultz who is now the mayor and Schultz will lead us into a 2024 of prosperity,” he said. 

The three-hour and three-minute meeting featured 30 general public comments and saw 16 people who called in.

In the audience were several dignitaries including Laura Friedman, the state assemblymember, Dr. John Paramo, the Burbank Unified School District superintendent, Dr. Emily Weisberg, the BUSD vice president, Dan Brotman, the Glendale mayor and Barry Gussow, the longtime real estate agent.