Letter to the Editor:
As President of Elevate Burbank, I experienced how City Staff creates obstacles for community organizations who want to have events in Burbank. Unfortunately this whole problem is happening again.
Towards the beginning of this year, Elevate Burbank Board members joined the Burbank Pride Committee to help plan and organize the first ever Burbank Pride Festival. Because the City makes it so onerous to get approval to have events in City parks, we asked other organizations to partner with us to avoid that process.
Magnolia Park Merchants Association is sponsoring and promoting the event. UMe Credit Union immediately and enthusiastically agreed to have the event in their parking lot. We have been contacted by dozens of vendors, sponsors, volunteers, entertainers and Burbank residents who are thrilled that Burbank will finally have a Pride and want to be a part of this groundbreaking day.
We are all set to have a fantastic event on the evening of September 30th. But then the Burbank Grinch showed up.
The Burbank Parks & Rec Department contacted the Burbank Pride Committee two weeks before our event to notify us that we owe them money. We asked, why would we owe money as the event is on private property? We were told that it doesn’t matter and that they can charge us for having the event. Why did they contact us now? Because “everyone is now hearing about the event.”
Based on this, for example, if you hire a caterer to serve food at a party at your house and someone tells the City, the Burbank Grinch can show up at your door and say you owe them money.
We have requested the portion of the City code that says the City can charge anyone for an event that they have on private property. We are grateful for all the donors and sponsors who contributed to make Pride a fantastic evening and are doing our best to keep our costs as low as possible. We don’t want to have to cancel any part of all that we have planned for Burbank in order to pay the Grinch.
Please let City Council know that they need to stop the Burbank Grinch from ruining Burbank Pride.
President of Elevate Burbank
As the elected president of Burbank pride, “Family Pride in the Park” event and longtime board member of Magnolia Park Merchants Association, I am saddened by this letter that was written by a former committee member, in which she was asked to retract due to the blatant disregard of the facts. I know this firsthand because it is my words that have been slandered, even though I was not mentioned by name, I want to set the record straight. The city reached out to us with the great concern we might need a permit but wasn’t 100% sure. All they wanted to do was help us have a successful event. I am forever grateful for this. They have been such a great help on follow ups and information that I won’t let the city of Burbank be disrespected. WE have had so many people show up for us and thank us for bringing this to Burbank’s backyard. WE are all committed to this event and even staff of the city wants to make sure we get all our i’s dotted, and t’s crossed. It was also stated in this letter that Magnolia Park Merchants Assoc was sponsoring this event. As the Treasure of MPMA, I can with complete accuracy say that this is completely incorrect. Burbank Pride approached MPMA wanting to sponsor the event and create a co-event together.
I want to again clarify that when it states “WE” in this letter, it should have been an “I” statement. I personal want to apologize to the city of Burbank and more importantly to the Burbank Parks & Rec Department who has gone out of their way to help guide us to have a successful event.
*The views of Linda Bessin do not represent the views and feelings of Burbank Pride “Family Pride in the Park” committee or Magnolia Park Merchants Association.
President & Marketing/Social Media/Branding Chair of Burbank Pride
“Family Pride in the Park”
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