Letter to the Editor: Rancho Residents Should Invest Their Money Instead of Depending on the City’s Tax Dollars


Letter to the Editor:

Last month Burbank City Council passed the City Budget for fiscal 2022-23. This budget is a balanced budget which is amazing considering the financial instability and deficits for the City of the past two years. Staff also projects a balanced budget for the next five years for which they and Council deserve praise.

Unfortunately, there is a certain neighborhood in our City that has made clear that they think that the City’s revenues are meant to be spent primarily for their benefit. Their sense of entitlement is now posed to push Burbank into a precarious financial deficit that would impact all residents.

I agree with Council’s vote to deny the development of the Pickwick property. Frankly, they were in a “dammed if we do and damned if we don’t” situation where the City would be sued by either the Rancho residents or the developer, and Council decided to side with the residents. It was a decision that would allow a judge as a neutral arbitrator to make the final assessment regarding this impasse.

But due to the rejection of State law that was implicit in that vote, there was always the potential of a lawsuit against the City by the State Attorney General’s office. Now it has been reported that this possibility will soon become a reality.

As Former Mayor Michael Hastings stated in his letter to Council, the financial impact of a lawsuit by the AG could be a devastating blow to our City just as we are finally reaching financial stability. The millions sucked out of our budget to fight an AG action and pay the fines that would result could potentially impact all our city services. We are barely making ends meet right now.

In addition, Rancho residents expect the City to buy the stables at Mariposa to stop a planned development. Again, they presume that millions of dollars of City money will be used to appease their demands. The stables were for sale for two years, during which time these residents could have found a way to buy the stables themselves. But no, why should they invest their own money when they can demand that Burbank taxpayers pay the bill. A Rancho realtor told the Burbank Leader, “We haven’t lost a fight yet”. Clearly they fully expect the City to dump as much money as they want into whatever battles they have whenever they say so.

As an almost 30 year resident of Burbank, I call upon our elected leaders to put the needs of all residents and the financial stability of our city first and foremost in their decision-making. We need to finally reach the point where the necessities of a city of 100,000 will not be shoved aside for desires of a neighborhood of 15,000.

Linda Bessin


    1. Thank you for your letter. Cities have no money, they spend taxpayers’ money. An important distinction. For recreational land use, special interests for the benefits of a relatively small group of people we have already set aside vast areas of Burbank. Clearly you cannot set aside that much land taken off the market without having the price of the other land rise and having that rise reflected in rents and mortgage costs all across the City. Of course the government can come to the rescue with projects and subsidies but of course these don’t begin to add up to what you have lost by the vast give away to a handful of affluent people one of the great coups of the whole environmental movement is to avoid talking about people’ trade-offs. You would never dream that there are people who have alternative demands for the same resource by what we hear about protecting the environment, protecting fragile areas. You would never dream that what that means is that one group of people will use the power of the government to put those vast resources at their disposal far below cost and keep them out of the hands of other people who have other uses for them the recreational land that’s set aside is land from which you do not build homes.

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