Election Results Still too Early to Call in Burbank Races

City Council candidate Zizette Mullins is joined by family members at Tequila's, awaiting the election results while toasting the current numbers. (Photo by Ross A Benson)

Maybe the only good thing that came out of the pandemic was that all voters were given mail-in ballots to cast, and that has continued into the 2022 election.

And with all good things, there is usually sometimes a bad side effect, and that is with about 65% of ballots being mailed instead of being cast at polling places the day of the election, it takes time for the votes to come in and be counted.

City Treasurer was the only one who ran unopposed and the only one who could rest easy, while the other candidates could do nothing but watch updates as they saw the people’s will.

It will not be until Friday, around 4 pm, that the next set of results will be announced by the County. Officials there have decided to wait before each release so that more substantial vote counts are updated at a time instead of trickling in on their website counting page.

Let’s take a look at the races to this point. We have asked all of the candidates to comment as they continue to await the final results.

Burbank City Council

Last update as of 4:23 pm on 11/10/22

With three seats up for grabs, it appears to be still a four-person race as to who will hold one of the Council seats and will join Nick Schultz and Konstantine Anthony, who were elected two years ago, on the Council.

Nikki Perez is the front runner at this point with 9,888 votes and holds a 1,402 vote lead against an elimination spot, and looks like a lock for one of the seats.

This is her first run at a Council seat for Perez. “I am deeply appreciative to the voters for Burbank for their support thus far. My team and I know there are a lot of votes yet to be counted, and we are cautiously optimistic about the final results. It would be a tremendous honor to serve my hometown if provided the opportunity by the final tally,” said Perez.

Burbank City Clerk Zizette Mullins is looking to move one seat to the left in the Council Chambers in also her first run for a Council seat, “

As we await the election results from the County, I would like to take this opportunity to thank all those who took the time to vote in this important election. I would also like to thank everyone who supported my campaign for City Council and marked my name on the ballot. During my campaign, I met many wonderful community members and learned so much from them about our beautiful City.  I hope to continue serving my community as a City Council Member. Thank you again for placing your trust in my ability to do so.” said Mullins.

Incumbent Sharon Springer is currently on the bubble and has been through this before, going for her second term on the Council, and was appreciative to all who voted for her, “Thank you for my first term and to my supporters during my re-election campaign.  Thank you to my fellow campaign candidates.  Running for office is a major decision.  The run takes strength and stamina, and I admire each one, and I’m grateful for their service to the city,” said Springer. If she is reelected, will be the only sitting Council member with over two years of experience.

After the last release of votes, Tamala Takahashi sits in fourth place but is only 82 votes away from the third seat, “No matter what the results will be, I am incredibly proud of my team and their hard work. I am also thankful for my supporters, colleagues, partners, and friends for their positive involvement in the campaign and all they do for our wonderful city. Whatever the outcome, I look forward to continuing to collaborate with our community leaders and advocates, nonprofits, and small businesses to move towards a smarter, safer, more sustainable Burbank – together,” said Takahashi.

Note: Carmenita Helligar did not respond to an email for comment.

Burbank Board of Education

Last update as of 4:23 pm on 11/10/22

Incumbent Charlene Tabet currently has a 266-vote lead over second place and a 557-vote lead over the cutoff spot, with only the top two being elected to the School Board.

Abby Pontzer Kamkar currently holds a 291-point lead over third place Larry Applebaum and is awaiting the next set of results coming out Friday afternoon, “As a first-time candidate, I’m really proud of the results so far. I’m honored that almost 5,000 Burbankers (and counting) trust me with this responsibility. We had a strong field of candidates, so I trust that when the votes are counted, we’ll have two thoughtful and responsive public servants elected,” said Pontzer Kamkar.

James Morrison did not get the votes he had hoped for but was nonetheless still upbeat about the experience, “It was great to participate in this wonderful democracy of ours. In certain parts of this country, this basic practice is being threatened; however, I’m happy to live in a place where voter intimidation doesn’t exist for the most part,” said Morrison.

He also went on to say, “I would like to extend a warm thanks to all of those who ran in their respective races and to those who supported my campaign. Win or lose, this has been an amazing experience.

That said, it was extremely nerve-racking at first to see the response to the effort put forth throughout this election cycle. However, I’m learning to be at peace with any outcome as it is in God’s hands now. There is absolutely nothing I can do at this time other than spend time with my family and friends to make up for the time lost during this election season. I came into this race to make a statement. Hopefully, someone out there listened. If not, then I will come back wiser and louder. Stay safe and take care,” Morrison concluded.

While probably not going to receive the needed votes this cycle, Michael Morgan was all-in when it came to the process and the reasons for running.

“It is a privilege to campaign alongside all of the very well-qualified and committed Burbank School Board candidates. I voted using a QR code this year and filled out my ballot on my phone through the Lavote.gov website. As someone who did early experimental research and deployment of QR codes while finishing my Master’s at USC, I think it is incredible to see how far technology has come since I was a student at John Burroughs. 

I want to see more EdTech utilized in BUSD and more preparatory instruction for BUSD students in the fields of computer programming, animation, VFX, robotics, and engineering, including a solid entrepreneurial foundation for the next Kimberly Bryant (CEO/Founder of Black Girl’s Code) or Osvaldo Montelongo (CEO/Founder of Connect Care Hero) coming from our school system.

I will continue to work with everyone in Burbank who is eager to build and engage an education system that is successful in training students to bring moral and intellectual excellence in whatever they do, including preparing our students to work and thrive in a rapidly shifting globalized economy,” said Morgan.

Note: Charlene Tabet, Larry Applebaum, Brian J. Smith, and Harutyun Ketikyan did not respond to an email for comment.

Burbank City Clerk

Last update as of 4:23 pm on 11/10/22

This is probably the one out of the three races in that we will not see a change in the results. Kimberley Clark currently holds a 3,191 vote lead over second place Viviana Garzon.

Although she remains cautious about the final outcome, Clark said, “While it’s too early to know the outcome, I remain optimistic, and I thoroughly enjoyed the process. I want to thank the thousands of people who exercised their right to vote. I am proud of the campaign that my team and I ran. I love Burbank, and it would be an honor to serve the residents as your next City Clerk.”

Garzon, while disappointed, still took a positive approach to the results, “Ms. Clark, Mr. El-Amin, and I did a great job running positive campaigns. We should all be very proud of our dedication and hard work to connect with residents. There is no doubt the three of us love this community. It has been a great experience and we are all stronger because of it. In the race for Burbank City Clerk, there can only be one winner and I look forward to receiving the final results from Los Angeles County. I also want to take the opportunity to thank everyone who voted and participated in this election.”

Note: Jamal El-Amin did not respond to an email for comment.