It was the changing of the guard and possibly a changing of an era on Monday as three newly elected members of the Burbank City Council were sworn in.
It is what is generally a ceremonial meeting with no City business discussed. The three new members, Nikki Perez, Tamala Takahashi, and Zizette Mullins, took their seats as they replaced Bob Frutos and Jess Talamantes, who did not seek reelection, and Sharon Springer, who finished fourth in the November election. Both Springer and Frutos did not attend the meeting.
Talamantes presided over the Council for the last time after being elected 13 years ago and was elected on three occasions. He presented City staff members with gifts of his appreciation for his work. He was also presented with proclamations from different State and Federal politicians for his years of service to the community.
Newly elected City Clerk Kimberely Clark swore in the three members after being sworn in by outgoing City Clerk Mullins, who was then, in turn, sworn into the Council by Clark.
Afterward, the only two votes of the day were for Mayor and Vice Mayor. Vice Mayor Konstantine Anthony won the vote by a 4 to 1 margin, with Mullins casting the dissenting vote. She had earlier nominated Council Member Nick Schultz for the position but did not receive a second from any other council member.
Schultz was elected to the Vice Mayor position by a 5 to 0 vote.
In a release, Anthony said, “It’s a privilege to serve as Burbank’s Mayor, and I appreciate the City Council’s confidence in me,” stated Mayor Anthony. “Burbank is a wonderful city with a rich history and many opportunities for growth. I’m committed to bringing our community together for a more sustainable and equitable Burbank for generations to come.”
He also said after being elected that he was officially diagnosed with Autism in August and is the first person to serve as a Mayor of a city with Autism.
In the release of his background from the city, it said Anthony grew up in the small suburban town of Castro Valley, just outside of Oakland, California. He pursued a degree in film from San Francisco State University, where he was immersed in a diverse network of students from all over the world. He’s been a member of the Screen Actors Guild American Federation of Television and Radio Artists since 2006, and the Service Employees International Union since 2019.
Anthony has a passion for social justice and became the first council member to be elected with a record-setting total of 17,529 votes. Being one of the first openly elected officials with autism, he proudly supports human rights groups, champions for equity among people with disabilities, and advocates for the LGBTQ+ community. He is a member of the Domestic Violence Task Force, has served with the Burbank Advisory Council on Disabilities since 2018, the executive board of Burbank PFLAG since 2019, and with the Burbank Transportation Commission from 2017 – 2020 until he took his position on City Council.
Both the Mayor and Vice Mayor serve in basically a ceremonial role, with the only real responsibility being chairing the council meetings. They can not make any unilateral decisions unless a majority vote of the council takes place. They basically attend functions as the face of the city.
Both will serve in their positions for one year when once again, the council will meet at the end of 2023 and select a new Mayor and Vice Mayor.