Tag Archives: Burbank City Council

City Council Candidate Question #1 – Subject: Transportation and Traffic in Burbank

Editor’s Note: myBurbank sent eight questions out to the eight different candidates running for Burbank City Council. myBurbank will run a different question each day for eight days (except for weekends). We have in no way edited any of the responses that we have received and have come directly from the candidates. We gave them no limits to the amount of space they wanted to use for their answers and have rotated the order of the candidates each day so no one has an advantage. After reading these questions and answers, myBurbank hopes that the voters of Burbank will have an informed opinion before casting their votes. Remember, you can vote for two candidates and every vote is valuable!

Question 1 of 8:

Burbank has close to 110,000 in population and 250,000 people who commute into the City on any given workday for business-related activity. What solutions, if any, for the mounting traffic in Burbank and what can be done for mass transit such as the Burbank Bus?

Candidate Responses:

Linda Bessin:

There is no public transportation system in Burbank. Officials will say that one exists, but the Burbank Bus system is designed only for commuters who use Metro Rail or Metrolink to travel in and out of Burbank each day. Residents have no way to travel quickly and conveniently around the city. For Burbank to be considered a “World Class City”, a modern, efficient, accessible and reasonably-priced transportation system is a priority. I live in West Burbank and there is no way for me to conveniently travel to Downtown Burbank except for driving. There are many areas of Burbank that are completely ignored in discussions about transportation.

We must begin a discussion about transportation in Burbank that includes the creation of an environmentally responsible and convenient public transportation system for the entire city. Federal money is available for such a transportation system but our Burbank officials have never been interested in exploring this solution.

Konstantine Anthony:

As the current Chair of the Transportation Commission, I have worked for three years on traffic, transportation, and the commuting problems our city faces every day. Study after study have shown that the number-one way to reduce congestion is to lower the total vehicle miles traveled within our city. The two major solutions to that problem are housing and public transit.

If we simply build the affordable housing that the commuters in Burbank are looking for, they will relocate from outside the city to be closer to work. This would create a huge drop in average vehicle miles traveled and possibly even eliminate cars from the road – because invariably, a certain percentage of workers will relocate to within walking distance of their jobs.

To those workers who do not wish to relocate, we must offer reliable mass transit. This can easily be achieved by reducing wait times for bus and train service to 15 minutes or less. And, with the addition of the NoHo-to-Pasadena Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) and the upcoming Magnolia Park Circulator – which will connect downtown Burbank to the NoHo red line station – and the recently extended Pink Route that now reaches Universal City station, we will soon have a robust east-west transit corridor running through Burbank. As council member, I will push to create reliable north-south connections by streamlining our Green Route to serve Hollywood Way and Buena Vista Street. I will also continue my advocacy with LA Metro for an underground extension of the Red Line to reach Burbank Airport.

Aside from these solutions, many Burbank residents are demanding more walkable and bikeable streets. I am proud to have contributed policy guidance to the citywide Complete Our Streets Plan, the implementation of which has recently begun. In fact, our city council recently fast-tracked my proposal to close a section of San Fernando Boulevard to traffic, which has been a boon to local businesses in downtown Burbank. Making our streets much safer for active commuters would reduce the need to drive. I personally am not happy with the current offerings of scooter rentals, but I would like to see the city invest in bike share options. Lastly, we must expand first-mile/last-mile solutions to include microtransit like the city’s contract with Via, a municipal alternative to Uber and Lyft. I would like the BurbankBus Senior and Disabled Transit to employ a similar on-demand model rather than its current outdated reservation system.

Tamala Takahashi:

Growing traffic has been a concern in our community for some time, as it creates not only delays in moving around the city, but increased safety risks. During COVID, we can see the positive effects of having fewer cars on our streets, and that it’s clear that the best solutions to traffic is to reduce the number of cars on the road at any given time, and to provide alternative means of transportation. 

– 20 min cities – An innovative way that some cities are addressing traffic, among other issues, is to move toward 20 min cities. This means re-imagining cities so that regularly used services and commerce are within a 20 minute walk, bike, or bus of most residential areas. This is a long term solution, but over time, it creates more tight knit neighborhoods, supports small businesses, and encourages local travel. 

– A hybrid approach to public transportation – Our city has many types of travelers: for example, commuters who need to get to and from work, our local residents who generally travel within the city to services and commerce, our students who go back and forth from school and activities, and our seniors and disabled population who use assisted travel. 

Therefore, a hybrid approach to transportation would address our needs better than a one-size-fits all approach. A combination of fixed-route busses, flexible route busses, publicly run ride share (Uber-like), micro transit (public bikes), and a senior/student pickup service can provide small-scale, targeted public transportation within our city to serve the various needs of our community. In order for this to work, we would need an integrated public transportation system, which takes time to build. A good place to start would be to extend our current VIA program, which already serves our city with free ride share to the MetroLink station and essential services (https://www.metro.net/projects/mod/), and to advocate to make this a permanent service in our city after COVID. 

– Leverage remote working and staggered shifts – It’s difficult to predict how our work habits will change after COVID, but if we can continue to encourage remote work and non-traditional hours, we can reduce commuter traffic as well as minimize rush hour traffic surges. 

– Recognize the impact of commercial and delivery vehicles in the city – Not only do we have residents and commuters, we also have a growing number of commercial vehicles in the form of delivery and transportation services. These vehicles often do not have space to stop during delivery and block the road. Or as in the case near the airport, ride share cars can create bottlenecks and other issues while waiting for their next pick up. It’s important to continue to investigate not only ways that residential traffic is increasing, but commercial traffic as well, especially for non-parking curb usage, so that we can be adaptable to our city’s changing traffic patterns. 

Michael Lee Gogin:

I think we need different strategies for example, I’ve been exploring the idea of dumping the bus system and adopting a monorail system that does not clutter the streets with traffic. Then the question is, does this way of transportation become cost effective? Maybe it can be with rotating commercials on side panels of the monorail. How do we pay for this change of service. We can look at every grant possibility, again advertising, discounts & promotions from the manufacturer. If this system becomes used often and is efficient then eventually, the system will pay for itself. The major streets to think about are Chandler, Hollywood Way & Buena Vista for starters.

Paul Herman:

Burbank currently has a job to housing ratio of 3:1. That is 3 jobs for every 1 housing unit in the City. Our daytime population pre-COVID (200,000 people) is nearly double our nighttime population (107,000 people), and that is the number one factor impacting our traffic.  It may seem counter-intuitive to some, but one way of addressing this traffic congestion is to encourage people who work in Burbank to be able to live in Burbank (especially our police, fire, and city employees).  The only way we will be able to accomplish this is by creating better neighborhoods and housing opportunities through smart, measured growth in areas like Downtown Burbank and the Golden State area near the airport.  The City is already working to update the specific plans for these areas, and we need to ensure the resulting plans are comprehensive, innovative, and the right fit for Burbank. 

Burbank currently has 3 Metrolink Stations and an airport, which is a good start, but our mass transit needs to be supplemented to create greater regional interconnectivity.  I would encourage the following projects be fast tracked:

  • Extension of the Metro Orange Rapid Bus Line.
  • Extension of the Metro Red Subway Line to the Hollywood Burbank Airport.
  • California High Speed Rail terminus station at the Hollywood Burbank Airport coupled with a regional interconnector to the Orange/Red/Metrolink stations.

Nick Schultz:

One of Burbank’s most charming qualities is that it feels like a “little town in the big city.” Our city has over 100,000 residents. But we have many daily visitors who work at our studios and service industry businesses. We are a tourist hub with thousands of daily visitors passing through the Bob Hope Airport. All of this means increased traffic and congestion. The solution to this problem is an increased investment in our transportation infrastructure.

As Burbank continues to grow in terms of housing and job opportunities, we will need a significant investment to ensure that our transportation infrastructure is equipped to handle the growth. We need to further invest in mass transit options, protected bike lanes, and improved walkability to reduce traffic congestion and to create additional opportunities to get around Burbank. We also need to improve transit options that connect Burbank to the rest of the region. As your elected representative I would work to:

  • Invest in transportation and mobility projects in accordance with the City of Burbank’s “Complete Our Streets” plan.
  • Fund projects that will improve mobility for pedestrians, bicyclists, and non-motorists so that it is both safe and convenient to walk and bike throughout the City of Burbank.
  • Adopt a Vision Zero plan to eliminate pedestrian and cyclist fatalities.
  • Support further expansion of the Burbank Bus, such as the recent Pink Line addition, as well as other mass transit options.
  • Advocate to bring the Los Angeles Metro Rail to Burbank so that we are better connected with the City of Los Angeles and the San Fernando Valley.
  • Prioritize road repair projects and invest in timed traffic lights to prevent traffic accidents.
  • Expanding the Chandler Bike Path so that it connects to the City of Los Angeles.

Making these investments will boost our local economy by making Burbank the preferred destination to travel through the Los Angeles area. This will, in turn, provide a huge benefit to our local businesses. Making this investment now, at a crucial time when our local economy is suffering, will allow us to build a future version of Burbank that is accessible through alternative modes of transportation: walking, bicycling, bus, and rail.

As our population inevitably expands, each day that we waste to make this investment will lead to greater strain on our existing infrastructure and have increased hardship on our residents, business owners, and visitors.

Sharis Manokian:

The greatest problems regarding transportation and traffic in Burbank are connectivity and a dependence on cars as the main form of transportation. For example, the Chandler Bike Path would better serve cyclists if it connected to other paths and bike lanes around the city. This in turn would encourage residents to bike as opposed to drive. The “Complete Our Streets” project attempts to address these issues, and I am a huge proponent of that plan. It promotes safer paths for pedestrians, extended and separate bike lanes, and improvement of intersections with high vehicle collision rates.

Regarding public transportation, we must improve accessibility and convenience in order to increase ridership. This involves increasing the frequency of stops, adding stops in areas where residents would use the bus system, and connecting bus routes through major hubs. Making public transportation more convenient than driving will encourage residents to use the busses which will help with traffic and pollution.

Tim Murphy:

Burbank just completed its complete streets plan which is a roadmap to 2035 for our city.  It covers walking, biking and our streets. We have to create express bus routes and put together cleaning and social distancing protocols for buses and trains, so that folks will trust and take them again. We have to make our city more walkable and bikeable and consider other modes of transportation like skates, skateboards, and scooters for 1st mile/last mile connectivity.  Some businesses need lockers and showers for their workers, or we could do public/private partnerships to accommodate this need.  In Berkeley they have bike shops with storage and restrooms in transportation stations.  We have to figure out how scooters and other personal mobility devices fit into our masterplan.  We could create transportation cooperatives like Universal Studios has done which incentivizes workers with a rewards program for using carpools and using mass transit. We are also offering rebates and incentives to get residents to buy electric vehicles. We are working on a plan to electrify our highways in the tri-city area as a joint project as another good option. Our blue bus needs to be revamped so it carries a more appropriate passenger load. Maybe try a trolly, and people movers in dense districts and push for a monorail as a joint regional project above the center divider on our freeways to create excitement as well.  Make housing more affordable with incentives to developers to build more affordable units, and low-cost loans to first time homebuyers. This would allow us to have more of our essential workforce live here.

For mass transit we must build trust to start and demonstrate that it is safe such as new cleaning protocols, security, social distancing, mask requirements. Similar incentive programs and routes and stops with shelters that make sense so that commuters feel valued and want to use the system.

Council Adopts Citywide Complete Streets Plan – Approves First Phase

After a public hearing held on June 16, the Burbank City Council adopted the Burbank Citywide Complete Streets Plan and approved staff to start to hire a consultant and start construction on First Street.

Approved by the Council is the vacation of N. Bonnywood Place between First Street and the Freeway that will improve pedestrian safety, install high-visibility crosswalks, and construct pedestrian curb ramps. The Council also approved a bike lane project on First Street from Verdugo to San Fernando for an In-street, protected Class IV bikeway with bollards and bus boarding islands.

Bonnywood Place will be closed to improved Pedestrian Safety (City of Burbank photo)

Closing Bonnywood Place to traffic would eliminate the shortcut taken by motorists who enter the I-5 Freeway northbound at the Orange Grove on-ramp and would force all vehicles to enter the freeway via Orange Grove and First Street.

One of the crosswalk improvements at Olive and First would be flashing lights in the crosswalks as brought up by Councilman Jess Talamantes in discussion and confirmed by staff.

Both items are being constructed to improve bicyclist and pedestrian safety, enhance first/last-mile connectivity through Downtown and the Downtown Metrolink Station, and provide transit amenities according to the report presented to the Council.

Design of new bikeway along First Street (City of Burbank photo)

Now that it is approved, staff would complete the final engineering design for the pedestrian improvements and prepare a bid package for advertisement to procure a construction contractor. The project would return to Council at a later date for the award of the construction contract at a later time. The projects have already been funded in the City’s budget. Construction would start in middle to late 2021.

If you would like to see the entire Burbank Citywide Complete Streets Plan, CLICK HERE for the full 281-page report.

New bikeway location (City of Burbank photo)

 

 

Council Directs Burbank Police Commission to Meet Monthly Through December

Burbank’s City Council on Tuesday passed a ‘request (for) the Police Commission to meet once a month through the end of the year and direct the Police Department to develop a roadmap for community engagement with input from Council and the Commission at their Joint meeting on July 14, 2020.’

This was asked for the week prior by Council Member Gabel Luddy who requested a report to discuss convening monthly Police Commission meetings in light of the current tension in the country.

Burbank’s Police Commission has been watered down through the years since its inception in the early 1950’s when it was formed because of a wave of corruption of both the police department and elected officials. While the commission restored the department and the city, which gave the citizens stability and accountability, it started to lose its authority over the years and has been watered down.

In 2019, the Burbank Police Commission, which had seven members and met monthly, was scaled back to five members, and meetings were cut to quarterly by the Burbank City Council. Over the years the Commission has asked the Council for a greater role and increased power. Those members are no longer serving on the Commission.

All the Commission does at this point is receives reports from the Police Department and may ask questions. They have no decision making authority about personal, training, or equipment. They may only present recommendations.

On July 14, the Council and the Police Commission were already scheduled to have a joint meeting. One of the topics was going to be a report by the OIL Group, headed by Michael Gennaco, is an independent audit company that was brought in by Police Chief Scott LaChasse as part of the reforms he instituted in the department during his 10 years at the helm. The OIL Group is one of the most respected in the country. Ther most recent report can be seen HERE.

Under Chief LaChasse, the Burbank Police Department has worked hard to maintain accountability and full transparency to the public. Every aspect of the department’s training, its manual, and Strategic Plan can all be seen HERE.

According to a Staff Report presented to Council Members, it was suggested:

…a detailed review and discussion of the Department’s Use of Force Policy; the Department’s  training curriculum specific to high risk incidents; the Department Discipline procedure/processes; review of departmental contemporary policies established over the past 10 years; community engagement, including town hall meetings and reaching out to different populations such as high school students, to help focus the dialogue, to suggest a few. Depending on the topics to be discussed, a representative from the City Attorney’s Office will be present. Following the meetings and outreach, the Commission could present a report with recommendations to the Council for review and consideration.

While the Council voted 5-0 to approve the monthly meetings for the remainder of the year, they have still given the Commission no new authority to act except to give the Council recommendations.

 

Burbank City Council Actions This Week, Including Buying Salvation Army Site

On Tuesday, May 19, the Burbank City Council decided the following including the purchase of the old Salvation Army site at Angeleno and Third Street.

1. The Council granted an easement of 2.5 feet for the properties at 733 Priscilla Lane and 528 S. Griffith Park Drive for resident improvements after a public hearing by a 5-0 vote.

2. City Council introduced an Ordinance to amend Burbank Municipal Code (BMC) Section 10-1-1114 (Art in Public Places). This is a first reading of the proposed ordinance.

The proposed Zone Text Amendment is intended to provide updates to the City’s Art in Public Places Ordinance that would eliminate outdated definitions and language in the current Ordinance. In addition, the revisions are intended to clarify which development projects are exempt, the quality of public art projects, and maintenance procedures for owners to maintain installed art pieces in a state of good repair.

The Council questioned the one year period of replacement and any obstacles to affordable housing developers in regard to placing art. After deliberation they voted for the ordinance to continue by a 5-0 vote.

3. The Council also listened and approved the 2020 Investment Policy and reviewed the City Treasurer’s Investment Portfolio Report for March 31, 2020.

4. The Council discussed the City of Burbank’s Economic Recovery Plan Goal and Policies.

There was a discussion about how the City can help Burbank residents and businesses during the COVID-19 crisis that has hit the country. According to the Council Agenda, these were the following areas discussed by the Community Development Department.

  • Accessing and sharing information about recovery efforts and funding for residents, business owners, and employees while collaborating with our governmental, non-profit, and business partners.

  • Promoting businesses within the City to residents, visitors, and other businesses.

  • Assisting the most vulnerable members of the community with financial support through the use of Eviction Orders, grants, Federal funding, and partnership with service organizations.

  • Implementing the use of online tools for streamlined project review and permit processing. 

  • Updating regulations and policies to enable business success and home improvements in the most efficient and cost-effective manner.

  • Helping Burbank’s tourism industry recover by promoting and marketing our hotels, restaurants, the Hollywood Burbank Airport, and other local destinations.

  • Collaborating with our government representatives at the County, State and Federal levels to promote economic recovery while directly supporting our businesses and residents. 

Council discussed ways that they were possibly able to help local businesses, workers who may now work from home, and even closing streets for social distancing rules. There was a real concern for restaurants and also how to get help to businesses.

 Patrick Prescott from the City of Burbank says that they are already looking at making some adjustments to the Downtown area to help the businesses. As Council Member Emily Gabel-Luddy said at the end of the presentation “This will be a work in progress”

The Council voted 5-0 to accept the presentation. You may read the Staff report HERE 

5. The Council discussed using block grant money from the CARES Act funding to be used under CDBG funding as support to both renters and small businesses.

The Council voted 5-0 to approve the City to set up both Business and Renter/Landlord assistance programs through the grant money. They expect to have a program in place in early June. A program rollout will be announced at that time.

6. The Council passed 5-0 a proposal to use Community Block Grant Funds to purchase the old Salvation Army site at 300 E. Angeleno. The funding that was originally to be used to build the Boys and Girls new clubhouse a Providencia Elementary School will now be used to purchase the building that the Salvation put on the market earlier this year.

7. The Council also dealt with the Employee Pensions. With the passage of Measure P by the voters, the Council reported that the groups have now held up their share of the pension programs.

Burbank City Council to Reconsider Decision Whether to Extend Expired Eviction Moratorium Tonight

Burbank’s City Council will reconsider a decision made April 21 to let their Eviction Moratorium expire at the end of April. When it expired on April 30, an Order by the County of Los Angeles Board of Supervisors which included incorporated cities took effect.

According to a staff report prepared for tonight’s meeting, an earlier Urgency Ordinance entitled “An Uncodified Urgency Ordinance of the Council of the City Of Burbank Prohibiting the Eviction of Residential and Commercial Tenants for Non-Payment of Rent Caused by the Coronavirus” passed on March 17 and was due to expire on April 30.

According to the report, “The Urgency Eviction Ordinance prohibited a landlord from evicting a residential or commercial tenant for failure to pay their rent due to a documented loss of income caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, or by any local, state, or federal government response to COVID-19. The Urgency Eviction Ordinance did not forgive the payment of rent, but rather acknowledged the tenant was still obligated to pay the rent and deferred payment. Lastly, language was added in the Ordinance to afford the tenant with protections that could be used as an affirmative defense in an eviction proceeding.”

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors took the unusual move to amend their own eviction moratorium order to have it apply to incorporated cities who did not have an eviction moratorium. Since Burbank had one in effect until April 30, theirs took precedence over the County’s.

At Burbank’s meeting April the Council voted not to extend theirs and let the County take over. The vote was 4 to 1 with Mayor Sharon Springer casting the dissenting vote.

At last week’s meeting, the Council decided they wanted to revisit their decision and take up the moratorium again. At the tie they voted the first time, Burbank’s staff had supplied the Council with the following memo:

The City’s eviction moratorium is set to expire on April 30, and under the terms of the County Order, the Order’s prohibitions would apply in Burbank starting May 1, 2020. Staff recommends the Council allow its eviction moratorium to expire, as explained in the Staff Report. If Council follows staff’s recommendation, then arguably the County’s moratorium applies in the City. Ultimately, whether this is true will be decided in the courts, once evictions may be processed again. A court will need to determine which ordinance or order applies in the particular circumstance.

If the Council decides to reinstate their expired moratorium, it will be an extension of the Urgency Eviction Ordinance to May 31, 2020, retroactive to May 1, 2020 with a modification that tenants must give the landlord notice of their inability to pay rent as provided in the ordinance.This ordinance applies the eviction moratorium to both residential and commercial tenants.

Tonight’s meeting starts at 6 pm and can be viewed on Cable Channel 6 or their YouTube Channel.

Burbank City Council Elects Sharon Springer as New Mayor

(L to R Standing) Council Members Jess Talamantes, Vice Mayor Bob Frutos, Tim Murphy and former Mayor Emily Gabel-Luddy all surround new Mayor Sharon Springer (sitting) after the Council Reorganization Ceremony held Monday morning. (Photo By Ross A. Benson)

What had been a May tradition is now becoming a new December tradition as the Burbank City Council held their reorganization meeting Monday, December 16 in the Council Chambers at City Hall.

Vice mayor Sharon Springer was selected by her fellow council members to serve as Mayor for the next year with Council Member Bob Frutos tabbed as the Vice Mayor.

The one year term is mostly a ceremonial position that is rotated every year by a vote of the council members. All five council members are elected by the public to serve four year terms. While the Mayor has no real power over other council members, she will chair the meetings as well as appear at many events to represent the City.

According to press release issued by the City, Springer worked as a commercial real estate appraiser and earned the Member of Appraisal Institute (MAI) designation. She later started her own business and developed and marketed five patents that she designed. She also worked in nonprofit administration establishing programs in senior communities. She earned a B.S. in Geography and a M.S. Degree in City and Regional Planning.

Springer was first elected to the Council in 2017 after spending time on the Sustainable Burbank Commission and in 2015 moved to the Burbank Water and Power Board and served as a liaison back to the Sustainable Burbank Commission until her election to city council. She’s is also the Burbank Farmers Market Board and was recently appointed to the California Senior Legislator.

She is a Certified Master Gardener with the University of California Cooperative Extension and is at the Burbank Farmers Market the first Saturday of every month with other Master Gardeners helping residents grow fruits and vegetables.

City Manager Ron Davis Set to Retire September 30

It has been 20 years since Ron Davis left the private sector to become the General Manager of the Burbank Water and Power Department. He remained in that role until June of 2016 when the Burbank City Council chose him to become City Manager.

Burbank Manager Ron Davis will step down September 30

September 30 Davis will call it a career.

Burbank’s City Manager is responsible for the day in and day out operation of the City. He only answers to the City Council and has authority on who to promote and which department heads are selected.

According to his bio on the City’s website, during the his 17 years with the BWP,  it evolved into a model organization recognized internationally for innovation and dependability, while delivering some of the lowest water and electricity rates in all of Southern California.

He is married and has two sons.

Davis has appointed Assistant City Manager Justin Hess to work full time as the Acting City Manager while Park and Recreation Director Judie Wilke has been appointed as the Assistant City Manager. An acting Park and Recreation Director will be named later.

 

Downtown Burbank’s “The Rink” Officially Opens at Ribbon Cutting

On Friday, December 14, the City of Burbank hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the popular seasonal ice rink known as “The Rink,” located behind City Hall at 275 E. Olive Ave.

(Photo Courtesy Scott Talamantes)

The outdoor ice skating rink is 4,100 square-foot and can hold up to 165 skaters per session. For the next six weeks, it will be open for everyone to enjoy, with fundraising events, scheduled performances, and public skating.

Mayor Emily Gabel-Luddy cut the ribbon after giving a short speech, stating that she hopes Burbank residents skate into the new year.

During the ceremony, young talented figure skaters from Pickwick Ice performed on the rink, skating to songs such as Christmastime, It’s Not Christmas, Winter Dreams, and a track from The Adams Family.

Among the skaters was Aubrey Ignaco who recently competed in the Pacific Coast Sectionals and won first place for the novice level. She will be advancing to compete in nationals this January.

“Hopefully she’ll go from there to the Olympics. At this point she can be invited to compete internationally,” said her father proudly.

(Photo by Tim Mably)

Shoko Tokuda, whose son skated as a part of an “Adams Family themed” trio, is excited to return to The Rink throughout the rest of December.

Conveniently located near the recently remodeled Burbank Town Center, locals have a festive activity to look forward to after buying presents.

For interested skaters, costs include $12 unlimited skating with no re-entry. Skate rentals are also provided for $5, and skating aids are $8.

The Rink is open from Monday to Friday from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Friday to Saturday from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. It will continue to stay open to the public until Sunday, January 6, 2019.

Emily Gabel-Luddy Chosen as Burbank’s New Mayor

City Manager Ron Davis presents the photo album of Will Rogers term to his wife Nancie (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

After the death of Mayor Will Rogers in April, Vice-Mayor Emily Gabel-Luddy stepped in to finish the term.  On Tuesday, May 1, at the annual Council Reorganization meeting, she was voted in unanimously by her fellow Council members as Mayor for the coming year.

New Mayor Emily Gabel-Luddy hugs incoming Vice-Mayor Sharon Springer (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Sharon Springer was nominated by Jess Talamantes to assume the roll of Vice-Mayor and was also voted in unanimously. 

This is the first time that two woman have been named to the top two spots at the same time.

Burbank’s Mayor is a position rotated to different Council Members each year when they meet on May 1 to reorganize.  The position of Mayor is mostly just ceremonial and is basically the face of the council at community functions and chairs council meetings.  The Mayor will, however, set the tone at those meetings.

Gabel-Luddy was first elected to the council in 2011.

According to her bio by the City of Burbank, she “was born in Los Angeles and raised in the communities of El Sereno and Glassell Park where she attended public schools. A graduate of Occidental College, she earned a Masters in Landscape Architecture from the University of Massachusetts.

She began her career working for local government as a landscape professional designing small parks. After two years, she joined the Planning Department in the City of Los Angeles where she gained more than 30 years practical experience working with diverse communities to address a full range of planning and land use issues.

Emily Gabel-Luddy gives Nancie Rogers the gavel from her husbands term as Mayor (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Her service to Burbank began a decade ago when she was appointed to the Planning Board. During that time, she also served the community as a member of the Blue Ribbon Task Force for Affordable Housing and the Sustainable Burbank Commission.”

During the meeting, former Mayor Will Rogers, who lost his battle to cancer a few weeks ago, was remembered by the Council, staff, and representatives of different elected officials who came to speak. The meeting was adjourned in Roger name.

First up for the Council will be to name a new member to take over for Rogers remaining term that will end in 2019 and what may be a very contentious budget battle.

Sharon Springer is shown her new seat on the Coucil after being chosen as Vice-Mayor (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

The City Council Reorgnzation CARD 1
(Photo by © Ross A Benson)

Process Announced to Fill Vacant Seat on Burbank City Council

Press release from City of Burbank:

On April 24, the Burbank City Council established the process to fill the City Council seat vacated by the recent passing of Mayor Will Rogers. The vacated term currently expires on May 1, 2019. Under the City Charter, the Council has 30 days from the occurrence of the vacancy to fill the Council seat.

The following dates were established by the City Council to execute the appointment process.

  • Monday, May 7, Noon: Applications must be received by the City Clerk’s Office by noon via email, mail or personal delivery. (No Postmark and No Exceptions for late submittals)
  • Thursday, May 10, 5:00 p.m.: Special Council Meeting – Interviews of the candidates by the Council in City Council Chamber
  • Monday, May 14, 5:00 p.m.: Special Council Meeting – Continuation of interviews if needed; selection of new Council Member in City Council Chamber
  • Tuesday, May 22, 6:00 p.m.: Formal seating of the new Council Member

Qualifications for Candidates:

  1. Must be a Burbank resident for at least 29 days prior to applying for position.
  2. Must be a registered voter within the City of Burbank at the time the application is issued.

Applications will be available online at www.burbankca.gov/vacancy and in the City Clerk’s Office located in City Hall at 275 E. Olive Avenue, First Floor.

Beginning at the Special Meeting scheduled for Thursday, May 10 at 5:00 p.m., each qualified applicant will be asked to make a three-minute presentation to the City Council. The applicants may then be asked to respond to questions from the Council regarding their presentation or application. Should additional time be needed to complete the interviews, the City Council may elect to continue the interviews on Monday, May 14 beginning at 5:00 p.m.

The order in which the applicants will make their presentations will be determined by a random draw of the applicants’ names prior to the meeting.

The position is part-time with compensation of $1,289.99 per month, plus benefits. Those applying are encouraged to set up individuals meetings with existing Councilmembers by calling (818) 238­5751. For additional information and questions, please contact the City Clerk’s Office at (818) 238-5851.