Tag Archives: City of Burbank

San Fernando Blvd. to Remain Closed for Dining Through Mid January

Extending the success of outdoor dining on Burbank’s San Fernando Boulevard, City Manager, Justin Hess, issued a revised continuance of the Emergency Order that closes portions of San Fernando Boulevard in Downtown Burbank from Magnolia Boulevard to Angeleno Avenue until January 18, 2021, at 11:59 p.m.

“Closing sections of San Fernando has been hugely successful,” said Hess. “Our Downtown restaurants are able to offer outdoor dining in asaferCOVID environment that includes social distancing and fresh air.”

“PPP funding was running out, but outdoor dining allowed us to bring in more workers and now we are able to pay more of our bills.” Matt Kim, Kopan Ramen stated. Over/Under Public House said, “Outdoor dining is great, we are attracting a lot of customers from outside of Burbank.”

The Downtown Burbank Property-based Business Improvement District (PBID) was instrumental in making this happen. They advocated for the closure and provided funding for the barricades along with tables, chairs, umbrellas, and decor for open seating along the boulevard. “We were glad to help. The PBID is here to support the viability and growth of Downtown and this is something that we can partner with the City for both our businesses and residents,” said Michael Cusumano, Chair of the Downtown BID Board.

Revisions within this emergency order prohibit the use of tents and canopies and allow for the use of umbrellas and heaters.

The closure includes the following blocks of streets along San Fernando Boulevard. •    Angeleno Avenue to Olive Avenue

•    Olive Avenue to Orange Grove Avenue

•    Orange Grove Avenue to Magnolia Boulevard

Angeleno Avenue, Olive Avenue, Orange Grove Avenue and Magnolia Boulevard will remain open to vehicular traffic. The emergency order will be confirmed by the City Council at a future date.

Restaurants will still have to provide a plan and obtain a permit to use the City Right- of-Way for dining space. If a restaurant would like to apply for the permit, they should contact the Economic Development Team who will provide them assistance and answer questions at 818-238-5180. Businesses with current permits will automatically be extended.

Some of the restaurants currently open for outdoor dining include:

  • Don Cuco’s • Fantasia
  • Fuji Ya Sushi
  • Gordon Biersch • Granville
  • Gyu-Kaku
  • India’s Tandoori • Kabuki
  • Knight Restaurant • Kopan Ramen
  • Over/Under Public House •          Shake Shack
  • Story Tavern
  • The Great Grill
  • Toro Sushi and Poke • Urban Press Winery • Wild Carvery
  • Wockano
  •  YardHouse
  • Buffalo Wild Wings

City Council Candidate Question #6 – Defunding the Police and Race Relations

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 6 of 8:

Our country is grappling with a lot of issues including calls for defunding the police and race relations. How do you feel about defunding the police department? Do you think we need reforms? How can the City make everyone, of all races, feel they have a voice and are treated with respect?

Candidate Responses:

 

Michael Lee Gogin:

The idea of defunding the Police Department is a fraud! There are no Burbank police here chasing after any one to kill them. It is a political narrative that is FALSE. 

We can always have a better relationship with our Police Department by having more meet and greet, cultural events, coffee with the chief, etc. These get-togethers are good for the moral of the Community and PD.

Again, I do not support Defunding the Police or Fire Department Services.

Paul Herman:

I think it is imperative to have meaningful discussions about race relations in our country as part of a greater national narrative. With respect to the women and men of the Burbank Police Department, however, I see a department that sets the standard many other communities in our country are trying to emulate right now.  BPD has undergone a decade of police reform leading to professionalism, transparency, and oversight that is exactly what many other people around the nation are asking from their own police departments.  There are opportunities, though, to continuously improve and we must always ensure the proper allocation of resources.  I for one would like to see BPD’s Mental Health Evaluation Team (MHET) expanded in scope and size, and I’ve already mentioned that I’d like to expand P-BIDs in our City to help supplement BPD’s handling of nonemergency calls. 

How can the City make everyone, of all races, feel they have a voice and are treated with respect?  There two things that need to happen now:

  • Everyone needs a seat at the table. That means everyone must be represented.  I would like to see a diversity initiative instituted for of our City’s Boards and Commissions.  We need to encourage diversity in these leadership roles to benefit our present and our future.

  • We need to help foster more diversity in our City by creating more housing opportunities for everyone. Our police force is more diverse demographically than the population of our residents.  Wouldn’t it be great if these officers could afford to live where they work?

Nick Schultz:

We are fortunate to be served by the men and women in the Burbank Police Department. These dedicated public servants leave their families and go to work each day to ensure that our community remains safe. They put their lives on the line, if necessary, to safeguard our personal safety and well-being.

As a community, we are rightfully proud of our excellent public services including our police officers, fire fighters, and first responders. However, not every member of our community has had a positive experience. In light of recent national events it’s more important now than ever that we continue to push ourselves to re-imagine public safety. I think we need to make some smart structural changes when it comes to use of force, training, and recruitment standards.

I have spent my entire career in the service of protecting the public. I have worked with local, state, and federal law enforcement personnel to ensure that Californians remain safe from threats of fraud and violence. I know firsthand that the majority of our men and women in law enforcement, including the Burbank Police Department (BPD), are good and they go to work every day to protect the public. However, I have also personally witnessed an unfair and unequal criminal justice system in this country. We all have an obligation to organize, raise awareness to these issues, and cast our ballots for meaningful change.

It has become clear in recent months that too many Black Americans have lost their life as a result of police abuse and misconduct. Recent events, such as the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis, have highlighted the ongoing racial injustices in our country and further eroded confidence and trust in our nation’s law enforcement system. It should not be controversial to state the obvious: Black Lives Matter. We must stand for nothing less.

I am running, in part, because I have the knowledge, skill, and experience to help make meaningful changes to law enforcement in a manner that restores public confidence and trust in law enforcement. As a member of the Burbank City Council, I would:

  • Support the implementation of common-sense limits on the use of force including a ban on chokeholds and strangleholds.

  • Revise BPD’s use of force policy so that BPD officers are required to exhaust all non- and less-lethal force options before resorting to the use of deadly force. 

  • Adopt a use of force continuum that will also create clear policy guidance on when BPD officers can and should use particular weapons or tactics. 

  • Advocate for increased implicit bias training for all BPD officers and employees.

  • Look for creative ways to re-invest our public safety funds into non-punitive, preventative, and restorative programs that decrease and prevent crime.

  • Recruit and appoint more people of color to serve on all of our city’s boards and commissions.

Sharis Manokian:

While there aren’t major instances of police brutality the way we have seen in other states in Burbank, there are areas for improvement within the Burbank Police Department. For example, they had an independent audit done last year, and it claimed they could use more scrutiny when analyzing misconduct allegations. At Burbank’s recent BLM marches, our POC community voiced their concerns about this and said there are improvements to be made with regards towards everyday interactions between police and civilians. The number one thing we need to do moving forward is listen to our POC community, allow them to lead the way to change, and solve the problems together.

As a community, we need to look at the larger picture. Los Angeles and the surrounding areas are really looked up to around the country. We have a chance to set precedents for the rest of the nation. So while BPD itself may not need major overhaul, it would be a great example for other police departments if we started to focus on de-escalation tactics and mental health training. That’s the direction I want to see us go towards. 

Tim Murphy:

I think we have to listen to each other and be respectful of each other. The first thing we do is we need to be careful about our words and our attitudes. Just as Black lives matter so do the words we use. The “defund” word is a non-starter for lots of  older established folks in Burbank who love their police department. I would rather use the word “re-imagine” our police so we acknowledge that there will be some changes and that any change will save money and make Burbank better. I have a lot of faith in our Chief, the leadership and in our command staff. Having said that, I acknowledge that some folks have a different experience and a different point of view. Working in the criminal justice system, I have seen racism in police work in other cities, the County of Los Angeles and across the nation. But I also do not have the power to look at anyone and know he or she is a racist their actions and their words will reveal them eventually.

I also acknowledge that there are or might be impediments to minorities that are systematic. For us to have an intelligent and fruitful discussion they have to study the problem like I have and acknowledge that what works in LA is not going to automatically work for Burbank. For those who want to engage, they need to understand the following facts:  Burbank is a department that has been in reform mode for the last 10 years. We hired a chief from outside our department and gave him a mandate to reform the department. We now do all new recruiting, all new hiring, all new training.  Our department is fully and totally committed to being transparent. Go to the City’s website and review all of the policies on every aspect of the department including the use of force it is there for anyone to study. Our department is more diverse than our city, which is important. We have an independent company called OIR that focuses on different aspects of our department and presents a written report which is shown and discussed for all to see at our city council meeting. The public can watch and participate. We have an independent police commission that reports to the city council. They meet once a month in public and people can watch their meeting and participate. I recently asked that the Police Commission be expanded to two additional members and personally want to see two minority candidates in those seats.  I think that this diversity will give the public more confidence in any future findings. I am not saying that our current commission is inadequate.  Rather,  I am looking towards the future and think that more diversity is key to an inclusive and collaborative city.

Now the next step, the point of “defunding” is to save money and reallocate resources. For this to occur the critics have to know what they are talking about and do some research on Burbank. For example, get rid of the SROs. First, the schools want the SROs, the teachers want the SROs, most of the students want the SROs.  Most of us think if there is an active shooter it would be a good idea to have an armed officer who knows the school, the layout and the students.  If we pulled the SROs it would not save money for us or the schools. The officer would not be fired but reassigned to other police work. Where is the savings? There is none. Next example, decouple the animal shelter. We have one police person involved with the shelter and that is a part time supervisor – a captain. If we took that captain away from the animal shelter, he would pick up some other duty somewhere else, therefore, no savings! Lastly, decouple the MHET program from the police. This is a police program which helps them with mental health calls. Our entire force has been fully trained to handle mental health encounters. In MHET a trained psychiatric social worker responds with the officers to a mental health call. In other encounters she responds to officers in the field who have a mental health call that wasn’t clearly that when assigned. This is a police program that saves lives and it probably should be expanded. Police departments come from all over the country to see this program in action and try to figure out how to recreate it back home. These are just a few examples.  Burbank is in pretty good shape and most other departments would like to be where we are. Finally, we have had about 25 protests in town since Mr. Floyd was murdered. We have not had one incident resulting from the protests nor have we had curfew or protest related arrests.  We received no complaints about our officers – only praise for their attitude and professionalism. Our department knows that citizens have rights and they welcome us expressing ourselves.

We ordered body worn cameras in 2018 and they seem to be working great.

We are already moving to examine all of our institutions in cooperation with the Burbank Human Relations Council to find and root out hate and systematic racism if it exists. It will take some time for us to find out and institute reforms if necessary. We will need a diverse spectrum of people, races and cultures to participate and some experts to help us. Please keep your eyes open and volunteer if you can because we are all in this together. I doubt this will happen quickly because lots of people will need to be involved and it won’t be efficient but we can do it together! We have to have the will and the energy to do this and be a shining example for other cities.

Linda Bessin:

It is a fact that neighbor disputes, mental health crises, and other situations that do not involve public safety have been thrown onto the long list of responsibilities given to Police Departments over many years. Police officers are often ill-equipped and not trained to handle situations that require patient, diagnostic problem-solving as opposed to protecting the public. Let’s move these responsibilities to those who are experts in those fields such as de-escalation rather than criminalize these situations and at the same time, move funding from Police Departments to those experts. This is what is meant by “defund the police”. It is not abolishing Police; it is shifting resources to help the community at large.

Many say that people should go through the Police Community Academy, go to Coffee with a Cop, and participate in the BPD outreach programs. But in these turbulent times, BPD needs to connect with the entire community, not just those who are available at the convenience of BPD. Outreach means “to surpass in reach”. A true outreach program involves reaching out, listening, and having regular conversations with our neighbors who are now beginning to speak about their experiences. One option is regular public town halls at times and places convenient for the different sections of our community. The emphasis should be residents’ experiences and what they think about policing in Burbank. We need to see BPD learn about us and from us, and then real, productive and lasting dialogue and a beneficial rebuilding of trust can begin. Until members of our police department take responsibility for their role in the climate of our community, they will not view themselves – or be viewed – as trustworthy stakeholders in our city.

Konstantine Anthony:

Just last year, our local police force received high marks for their use-of-force policies and misconduct investigations. But historically, this has not always been true. Less than a decade ago, the department had been investigated for racism, sexism, and gross misconduct.

As council member, I will support the implementation of common-sense limits on police, including the eight policy recommendations from the Police Use of Force Project. Currently, the Burbank Police Department policy only includes four.

I will not vote for a city budget that funds military surplus equipment for our patrol officers. Residents should not have to see officers walking the streets outfitted like SWAT. We must defund the militarization of our local police force to foster goodwill.

I am against all forms of predictive policing and qualified immunity for government agencies, as these systems are known to be biased against people of color. As council member, I will use my voice and influence to help enact the Ending Qualified Immunity Act. We must also decouple our Burbank Mental Health Evaluation team from our police department, in an effort to end the criminalization of the mentally ill and unhoused. Facial recognition software should not be used by police departments, so I will also push to permanently shelve California Assembly Bill 2261 (“Facial Recognition Regulation Bill”).

The best way Burbank can foster a feeling of empowerment and respect is to address the issues of inequity head-on, with clear policy positions. For instance, I would like to update our police department’s policies to identify known slurs against all protected classes in order to designate and report hate crimes. Aside from that, the city has much to address in the areas of diversity, equity, and inclusion, including the way our police department records and reports its data, the presence of resource officers in our schools, the way we hire city employees, and our approach to language justice.

Tamala Takahashi:

Black lives matter. 

I currently serve on the Burbank Unified School District Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion committee. This committee is doing amazing ground work to create a policy against racism, and an anti-racist cultural shift. I believe this work can be brought into our general community moving forward, in partnership with the city.

I am advocating to create a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) City Commission or coalition. This group would have the responsibility to work with city staff to review practices and policies, and identify where we can better serve our entire community to reduce institutional racism and inequity, to ensure that everyone feels safe and welcome, and has equal access to services. This commission would work in partnership with other commissions, especially those for departments such as police, parks and recreation, water and power, and civil service, and would serve as an advisory board to the council.  

Our city has a rich medley of culture that deserves to be recognized and celebrated. I will work to find ways that we can bring us all together to share our histories, our cultures, and our experiences. It is also imperative that we work to create more diversity on our city commissions to truly reflect our community. I will also work to find a way to create a multicultural center with intentional space for cultural events and cross cultural experiences. 

Ultimately, Burbank must be a city that is welcoming, inclusive and accessible to everyone. Equity is when everyone has access to the opportunities necessary to satisfy their essential needs, advance their well-being, and achieve their full potential, without fear of unfair treatment.

I support using this unique opportunity to reevaluate our police department’s relationship with all of the community. We are fortunate to have a police department that has already started the work to be community focused with the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing. Our Mental Health Evaluation Team has improved police response to include mental health staff, and our Streets Plus program has created another layer of contact with our unhoused population. Moving forward, as Chief LaChasse has said many times, there is always room for improvement, no matter where we’re at. I agree with him. While appreciating the progress of the past, it’s time to look at how we can improve. This starts with conversation, with the long promised set of community meetings, and with a renewed commitment to community protection and service. I believe this will lead us to an observable anti-racism policy city-wide, including in the police department. 

City Council Candidate Question #5 – Subject: Businesses 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 5 of 8:

How would you support the small businesses located in Burbank? – Downtown Burbank benefits from a P-Bid while Magnolia Park businesses do not. Do you feel the City should do more for Magnolia Park and other small businesses?

Candidate Responses:

 

Paul Herman:

Once again it is about getting small businesses the resources, they need to keep their doors open and generate revenue. Whether that be through outreach and education of City, County, State, and Federal business recovery programs, providing adaptive and creative and streamlined solutions to serving customers in a safe and healthy manner, or advocating to our County, State, and Federal representatives to provide greater assistance to our struggling businesses.  With respect to the P-BID question please visit my website at votepaulherman.com to see that I have been advocating for P-BIDs in the Magnolia Park area and Media District as a way to promote economic growth and community safety.

Nick Schultz:

There are significant barriers to starting a business, including the financial costs and paperwork required for proper licensing and registrations with the City of Burbank. I would like to explore ways to make it easier to do business in our city so that we have new home-grown employers ready to offer new good-paying jobs for our workforce.

In many ways, I believe that the steps taken in the City of Glendale offer a roadmap for how we can assist our small businesses in recovering from this difficult period. For example, we could offer further concierge-level customer service in which any business, including locally owned small businesses, could obtain one-on-one assistance from a seasoned project manager in the City of Burbank. This concierge service model could provide a significant competitive advantage in generating and attracting new businesses in Burbank.

As discussed above, the centerpiece of my economic recovery plan is the creation of the Burbank Economic Recovery Taskforce (BERT). One of the BERT’s primary roles will be to examine and develop recommendations for enhancing small business formation and retention in Burbank, especially in Magnolia Park, with a particular emphasis on further investments in minority and women-owned businesses. If elected, I would like to see a record number of minority and women-owned small businesses in the City of Burbank by the end of my term.

Sharis Manokian:

Our small businesses are the heart and soul of our community, and we must do more to facilitate small business growth. With regards to Magnolia Park, there is a huge concentration of locally owned restaurants and shops that need our support and attention. This begins with promoting these businesses through community events. Closing off parts of Magnolia every so often to hold small fairs, for example, would allow businesses to gain exposure and new customers. The number one problem for our small businesses is high rent. I would advocate for implementing some form of rent control on commercial properties to ensure diversification of our economy.

Tim Murphy:

They deserve as much support as we can give them. Every business takes a risk and the city should help them and appreciate that risk in every way that we can. Magnolia Park has been offered a BPID and does not want one yet. I think they had one in the past. and disbanded it. We have talked about a trolley, a town hall meeting in Magnolia park, a PBID all of which has not resulted in anything thus far. I have had many conversations with individuals from Magnolia Park as I shop and used to live in Magnolia Park. We work together on many successful events there. We want to do more but have had trouble finding the true voice of the merchants and the property owners and who often have differing points of view. There has been turnover in who represents the voice of Magnolia Park.  Our community development department has offered services to the merchants which were not accepted. I believe we are in the process of working on a survey of their concerns right now.  I know from candidate forums that another candidate has some ties to Magnolia Park and she might be the key to helping us bridge the divide. I will reach out to her about that soon, see if together we can start a new and fruitful conversation. Vice Mayor Bob Frutos, who is a great colleague, would like to see the “Burbank On Parade” take place in Magnolia Park, which to me has a huge appeal and potential. It would be a win/win as an economic boon to Magnolia Park hopefully attracting more customers and by the same token, make the folks who love the parade very happy.  Bob has also talked about a trolley to move customers around the area. which also sounds like a fun thing for shoppers and good advertising for the merchants. Hopefully it could be electric or run on a green fuel. So, these are the type of things we can do and should do to help. We are also working on two community gardens in the area which will attract people and hopefully they will do their shopping and eating near the community gardens. 

Linda Bessin:

There has been tremendous attention given to the re-development of Downtown. There has been little attention given to Magnolia Park and no attention paid to areas like Burbank Boulevard, Olive Avenue and other shopping districts that directly contribute to and affect Burbank’s economy. We need to look at the City as a whole, and then each business district individually to find out the City can help with the needs, goals, strengths and diversity of these businesses. If we develop Burbank Boulevard, that will cause less traffic as fewer people will need to leave their neighborhoods for dining, shopping and recreation. When every time a new coffee place opens in a new area, for instance, this allows those who live nearby to now enjoy the local business as opposed to driving elsewhere. We have to think about these areas as part of the City and part of their neighborhoods in order to help them prosper.

Konstantine Anthony:

Burbank’s Magnolia Park clearly represents the failures of a city that ignores its small businesses. If we do nothing, Magnolia Boulevard will go the way of the Sunset Strip and Melrose Avenue, which have lost their local charm and are now full of national chains. We must utilize a new, comprehensive economic strategy to help our small businesses compete with national franchises. I hosted the Save Magnolia Park town hall in 2018, where we proposed several strategies and well over 50 volunteers signed up to pursue them via subcommittees.

First and foremost, our 2018 sales tax increase (Measure P) hurt small businesses the most, and we must rebalance the scales back toward our local shops. I propose that we refund 80% of this sales tax increase on all receipts up to a million dollars to locally incorporated businesses with fewer than 10 employees, excluding franchises and chains. This could mean up to $6,000 in yearly rebates for qualifying businesses.

In the upcoming election, Proposition 15, also known as Schools & Communities First, will appear on the ballot, which proposes to equalize large business’ property tax rates to 2020 levels. This will increase the city’s property tax revenue and give our general fund a

much-needed boost. Let’s put this money to good use and channel it back into the community with property tax credits for qualified small businesses. If this ballot measure passes, I would like to refund 33% of our local share of property tax revenue back to the small businesses who own their properties and qualify for the above-mentioned sales tax rebate.

One of the major reasons small businesses like those in Magnolia Park fail is due to the volatile market of commercial rents. The businesses we see thriving are the ones that own their own property, and we must do all we can to encourage local ownership. To that end, I propose a commercial parcel-splitting policy for large properties that rent space to multiple small businesses. We must break up the large corporate ownership of entire blocks of real estate in our commercial corridors. In addition, we must guarantee a small business’s right to the first opportunity to purchase their lot when it goes on the market.

To help make property ownership more accessible to small businesses, I propose making use of the recent California public banking law. This would allow the City of Burbank to offer

low-interest loans to qualified small businesses and help them realize their dreams of true ownership.

Tamala Takahashi:

Small businesses are the backbone of our city, and they are what create our unique local character. As a member of Magnolia Park Merchant Association, I’ve been working with the board and members to support our local small business before and during COVID. 

For Magnolia Park specifically, there are several ways we’ve made progress to improve the area, and some next steps that would help it even more. 

First, we’ve expanded the scope of the Magnolia Park Merchant Association. Originally, its main responsibility was to put on events and bring more business to the area. We have changed the mission to also include improvements to the area as well as working together on collective negotiations with city departments. We also included the residents and general community into our mission. This new approach has brought the neighborhood together, and we were making strides before COVID to build an expanded and cohesive network. 

During COVID, it’s been a challenge, so we’ve shifted focus on providing resources and information for the businesses as they adjust to the new rules of COVID, connecting them with city staff when necessary, increasing our social media presence, and providing a communication network for the business owners.

In this, we’ve created a light form of a business district already. 

As we move forward, and continue to expand our membership, we will have to look at how we can better pool our resources to work with each other and with the city. Whichever form this takes, it’s essential that the unique feel of Magnolia Park is preserved, and that there will always be representation and a collective voice for the small businesses. This might be a formal property based business district or it might take the form of a larger and more robust non profit, closer to the model of a hyper-local chamber of commerce. The most important thing is that the end result is a strong partnership with each other and with the city, so that the area gets the attention it deserves. This is near and dear to my heart, and regardless of the outcome of this election, I will continue to dedicate my time to the Magnolia Park area.

For small businesses in general in Burbank, I’ve learned a lot during this process with our small businesses in Magnolia Park during COVID. Based on our experiences with helping our local business owners with finding resources and getting the assistance they need, it’s clear that a business district might help downtown and Magnolia Park, but there are small business all over the city, and they all have the same needs of support, and they can’t rely on a PBID to help them. There needs to be a city-wide small business support system that is reliable and consistent.  

For that reason, I am advocating for a small business portal that would be available on our city website, with clear and easy to find resources for our small and micro businesses from end to end. Our city has a reputation for being “business friendly” when it comes to the larger companies. It’s not always the case for our small businesses. It’s important that the city makes it easier to start a business, easier to find resources and know who to contact for help, and easier for our businesses to be integrated into the community. On this portal, businesses can also make sure that the city has their contact information, so that important information is sent to them during emergencies. This was more than evident during the pandemic and during the protests for example, that many of our businesses were not notified of the curfews, because they were not Burbank residents. These kinds of things can be rectified fairly easily, but they do take attention to get done, and will go a long way to helping our small businesses thrive. 

Michael Lee Gogin:

Reducing regulations helps all small businesses. I have no problem with Magnolia Park or any other part of our City having a P-Bid.

 

 

Burbank to Bask in Red Light for ‘Light the Night for Fallen Firefighters’ Campaign

From September 28th – September 30th, The City of Burbank will participate in the National Firefighters Foundation’s Light the Night for Fallen Firefighters campaign, commemorating the 103 firefighters that have passed away on the job this year and job-related diseases nationwide. In support of this initiative, as dusk turns to night, various City buildings and landmarks will be lit in red, including Burbank City Hall, Burbank Water and Power, all Fire Stations, Warner Brothers Studio, Nickelodeon, and Disney.

This annual event hosted by the National Firefighters Foundation pays tribute to the firefighters who have made the ultimate sacrifice and serves as a beacon of hope for the affected families that our nation’s heroes will always be honored and remembered.

For more information about the National Firefighters Foundation, visit www.firehero.org.

Weekly Burbank Police Log: September 13 – September 18

Note: All suspects arrested are presumed innocent until found guilty by a court of law. The following are official public records being redistributed by myBurbank.com Inc. and is protected by constitutional, publishing, and other legal rights. These official records were collected in 2020. The person(s) named in these listings have only been arrested on suspicion of the crime indicated and are presumed innocent. Original Police Logs can be found on the Burbank Police Department’s website where this information was obtained from.

myBurbank.com will be glad to redact your name upon request. Please click HERE. You MUST include your name as it appears and the exact date that it appeared. Give us 1 to 5 days to redact.

Trying to keep crime under control, the Burbank police department arrested a number of people on Friday, September 18, including unemployed Los Angeles resident Jermaine Donelson, who was taken into custody at 00:30 a.m.

It occurred at 250 South Glenoaks Blvd. The charges are giving false representation to a police officer and 484 (A).

Billy Ray Brown lives in Burbank, is unemployed and was handcuffed at 9:15 a.m. It happened at 2859 Keystone St. and the charge is violating a temporary restraining order.

North Hills resident Steve Rodriguez is employed in quality control and was apprehended at the Burbank jail lobby after driving while under the influence. It happened at 10:00 a.m.

Colleen Lawler lives in Calabasas and was arrested at 2:40 p.m. It occurred at 1133 North Hollywood Way and the charge is disorderly conduct.

Pedro Perez is a North Hollywood resident and a construction worker. Perez was arrested at 9:00 p.m. and the site was 1900 Empire Ave. The charge is being in possession of a controlled substance.

Daniel Delaveaux was nabbed at the same site and it happened at 11:40 p.m. The charge is being under the influence of a controlled substance.

Jesus Alberto Gusman resides in Los Angeles and is a delivery driver. Gusman was taken into custody at Linden Ave. and Flower St. The charges are 4463 (A), 14601.1 (A) and 470 (B) and the time was 11:40 p.m.

Christopher Gayton Nunez lives in Los Angeles and was nabbed at the same site and at the same time. The charge is being in possession of stolen property.

Painter and Sun Valley resident Abraham Espinoza Velasco was arrested San Fernando Blvd. and the 15 off ramp.

The time was 11:41 p.m. and the charges are DUI, being in possession of burglary tools and being in possession of drugs.

On Thursday, September 17, Francisco Gonzales of Burbank and a CS specialist was arrested at 1102 North Lake. It happened at 00:30 a.m. because of a Glendale warrant.

Long Beach construction worker Enrique Arturo Esparza was handcuffed at 8:44 a.m. It occurred at West Alameda Ave. and Victory Blvd. and the charges are being in possession of drug paraphernalia and being in possession of a controlled substance.

Justin Terrance Troung of Temecula is a mechanic and was nabbed at the Extended Stay at 9:40 a.m.

The charges are outstanding warrants, possession of drug paraphernalia, 463 (C), grand theft, possession of drug paraphernalia, 484 (A) and trespassing.

Magda Azucena Escobar Chavez of Los Angeles works in housekeeping and was arrested at 10:49 a.m.

It happened at Alameda Ave. and Bruce Lane and the charges are being in possession of drug paraphernalia and 148.9 (A).

Kyle Lee Johnston resides in Chatsworth and was handcuffed at 10:50 a.m. The charges are of being in possession of drug paraphernalia and 484 (A). It happened at Alameda Ave. and Bruce Lane.

Unemployed El Monte resident Nathaniel Santiago Reyes was taken into custody at the same address and the charges are grand theft and 3455 (A). The time was 10:49 a.m.

Roberto Garduno of Los Angeles is a restaurant owner and was apprehended at 11:30 a.m. It happened at 7625 South Hoover St. and the charges are 10851 (A), grand theft and being in possession of stolen property.

Garrett Brauck Helstrom lives in Bradbury, is a window cleaner and was cuffed at 3:10 p.m. The charges are being in possession of a controlled substance, being in possession of heroin/cocaine, 11375 (B) HS and 484 (A) and it happened at Flower St. and Alameda Ave.

Michael Anthony Lujan is unemployed and resides in Pacoima. Lujan was nabbed at Hollywood Way and Valhalla Drive and the charges are being in possession of a controlled substance, being in possession of heroin/cocaine and being in possession of drug paraphernalia.

Car trader and North Hollywood resident Jorge Marroquin Baltazar was arrested at 2234 North Fairview St.. The time was 8:21 p.m. and the charges are hit and run and DUI.

On Wednesday, September 16, Mission Hills resident and cashier Kassandra Lopez was arrested.

Lopez, who is on probation for burglary, was in possession of a methamphetamine pipe and methamphetamines and it occurred at Victory Blvd. and Lima St. and at 00:05 a.m.

Eva Marie Ray, a Los Angeles resident and student, was taken into custody at 2:00 a.m. The charges are being in possession of stolen property and grand theft.

Vendor and Los Angeles resident Loreno Castillo was also arrested at 2:00 and on the same charges.

Alejandro Beltran of Los Angeles is a landscaper and was handcuffed at 2:00 a.m. The charges are being in possession of stolen property, being in possession of drug paraphernalia, domestic battery and grand theft.

Miguel Rodriguez is a Los Angeles resident and a vendor. Rodriguez was also nabbed at 2:00 a.m.

The charges are being in possession of stolen property, grand theft, possession of drug paraphernalia and possession of a controlled substance.

Artist and Calabasas resident Colleen Bridget Lawler was handcuffed at 7:40 a.m. It occurred at 2301 Peyton Ave. on an outstanding warrant.

Ian Robert Trepante lives in Los Angeles and is a retail manager. Trepante was arrested on identity theft and being in possession of narcotics. It happened at 9:40 a.m. and at Victory Blvd. and Lake St.

Lancaster resident Brandon Sanchez is a dishwasher and was nabbed at 1111 West Olive Ave. The charges are being in possession of heroin/cocaine and giving a false representation to a police officer.

North Hollywood resident Jamie Garcia Lopez was taken into custody at 2906 Thornton St. It occurred at 3:15 p.m. and the charges are having an outstanding LAPD warrant and 136.1 (B) (1).

Cassandra Gomez Tamayo lives in Los Angeles and works for Big Bus Tour. Tamayo was arrested at 1419 North San Fernando Road. The charges are DUI and 381 (B).

Arriana Celeste Valles resides in Los Angeles and is a bartender. Valles was handcuffed at 1419 North San Fernando Road and the charges are 381 (B) and 23152 (B). The time was 5:10 p.m.

Victor Carrillo lives in Burbank and works in sales. Carrillo was arrested at 5:10 p.m. at 1419 North San Fernando Road. The charge is 381 (B).

Hollywood resident Catherine Pacas works in cosmetics and was arrested at 5:15 p.m. It occurred at 1419 North San Fernando Road. The charges are 23152 (F) and 381 (B).

Michael Chaney Jr. resides in Tujunga, is employed in maintenance and was apprehended at Cohasset St. and Ontario St.

The charges are being in possession of drug paraphernalia and 23152 (F). The time was 10:34 p.m.

On Tuesday, September 15, Sun Valley secretary Micaela Shermaine Lopez was taken into custody at San Fernando Road and Buena Vista St.

It happened at 1:50 a.m. and the charges are being in possession of a controlled substance and giving false representation to a police officer.

Covina resident and construction worker Gerald David Medley was nabbed at Olive Ave. and Lake St.
The charges are being in possession of a controlled substance and being in possession of drug paraphernalia. It happened at 4:45 a.m.

Kyle Christopher Paren is a salesman who lives in Burbank. Paren was arrested at 4:00 p.m. and it occurred at Magnolia Blvd. and Burbank Blvd. The charges are disorderly conduct and 381 (B).

Actor and Burbank resident Alan McDermott was arrested at Alameda Ave. and California St. The time was 5:08 p.m. and the charges are disorderly conduct and vandalism.

Harbor City resident and cook Nicholas Hallan was handcuffed at Beachwood Drive and Burbank Blvd.
The charges are narcotics and a warrant and it happened at 8:40 p.m.

Kachef Bermudez lives in Los Angeles, is an apprentice and was arrested after being in possession of drug paraphernalia and DUI. It happened at San Fernando Blvd. and Buena Vista St. and the time was 11:59 p.m.

On Monday, September 14, Los Angeles resident and nurse, Juanito Laureano Guinhawa, was arrested on the charge of sexual abuse and the time was 00:20 a.m.

Dmitry Gendler of North Hollywood is a welder and was nabbed at Empire Ave. and Naomi St.

It occurred at 10:30 a.m. and the charges are being in possession of heroin/cocaine, possession of a controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia and 1203.2.

Chatsworth resident Heather Eckhoff was arrested at 12:00 p.m. and the charge is domestic battery.

Russell Hollis of Burbank was taken into custody at Belmare and Harvard Road. The time was 4:00 p.m. The charge is 3455 (B) 1.

Rockville resident and stocker Evin Von Shaw was arrested at 9:15 p.m. The charge is 243 (E) (1).

On Sunday, September 13, North Hollywood resident and appliance installer, Volodymyr Dzoba, was handcuffed at 1501 North Victory Place.

The charges are being in possession of a modified firearm, possession of methamphetamines and drug paraphernalia.

Nicole Victoria Castellanos of Arleta is an administrative assistant and was arrested at 00:32 a.m. The charges are 23152 (A) and spousal abuse.

City Council Candidate Question #4 – Subject: Burbank’s COVID-19 Response and Actions

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 4 of 8:

How do you feel the City has handled the response to COVID-19? Do you feel they are doing enough for businesses and trying to keep the public safe? What do you see for the recovery of Burbank moving forward?

Candidate Responses:

Nick Schultz:

We are in an unprecedented moment with challenges we have never seen in our lifetimes. I feel the current council has taken some good measures, but that they have not taken enough action. I believe our response needs to be resolute and proactive.

If elected I will immediately work to develop a plan to safely restart and restore our local economy. Within my first 100 days in office, I would work to create the Burbank Economic Recovery Taskforce (BERT) to ensure that we are bringing jobs to Burbank that provide a livable wage and benefits to our workforce. I believe that it is crucial that we bring all experts and stakeholders to the table to inform the Burbank City Council on the best strategies for economic recovery. Accordingly, I would like to see BERT be comprised of leaders from the entertainment industry, small business owners, entrepreneurs, retailers, organized labor, community leaders, and representatives from the food & beverage and hospitality industries.

This task force would be directed by the Burbank City Council to develop and execute a comprehensive economic recovery plan for Burbank that balances the need to ensure the protection of employees and the public with our mutual interest in ensuring the economic livelihood of our community. From there we can explore tools at our city’s disposal including tax incentives, infrastructure investments, and creative solutions such as establishing flagship events and converting certain business districts into pedestrian-friendly areas. We need to put everything on the table and have our businesses, residents, workers, advocates, and experts work together to find solutions on how to navigate and recover economically from this pandemic.

Sharis Manokian:

Compared to our neighboring cities, Burbank has done a good job at keeping residents safe and the number of cases and deaths low. As a community, we need to continue to wear masks in public, comply with social distancing rules, and make smart choices to protect our neighbors.

Closing San Fernando Road to allow for more outdoor dining space was a great step towards stimulating our local economy. I would like to see a similar closure in the Magnolia Park area as well given the number of small businesses that need our help. Encouraging residents, through social media or publicly, to support our local businesses is something the City can do to help those owners. Recovering from the Pandemic is a community effort, and the small business owners in our community need our help to stay open.

Moving forward, we need to outline a safe re-opening plan. This would entail the continued use of masks and social distancing in public places and a gradual increase in capacity for businesses operating indoors. For places able to operate outdoors, the City should ensure there are no impediments to business through road closures and similar measures. Again, this recovery is a community effort, so every resident should take the necessary steps to ensure safety.

Tim Murphy:

I think we are doing an excellent job on the virus. Burbank is doing the best it can considering that we are bound to follow the health officers in the state and the county since we do not have a health officer of our own. That is the law which a lot of folks do not understand. I have asked to agendize the costs and procedural rules if we hire our own health officer in the future. We will be discussing that soon, I hope. In the meantime, our disaster coordinator is doing a fantastic job of communicating with the health officers at both the state and county level. He also is doing a great job of relaying the information to us and our community.

We are doing everything we can for businesses under the rules of the emergency declaration. Once an emergency is declared the city council loses some of its authority and our city manager gains more authority.  Burbank is a Charter City and a City Manager form of government.  This gives the City Manager the ability to respond more quickly than a 5-member council can in light of the Brown Act.  The Brown Act requires us to post notices before we meet and discuss plans in public before we can implement a plan. A perfect example of that is our mask policy which will finally be discussed on 9/15/20. If we think the county/state is wrong we can lobby them and ask for changes and adjustments – sometimes we win and sometimes we lose.

Look at the outdoor dining and how we closed San Fernando Road from Magnolia to Angeleno pretty quickly when indoor dining was closed. We were able to help lots of businesses and also quickly expanded it to other areas as well. This is just one example. We have to re-open very carefully with cleaning protocols we have never used before and with social distancing and masks. If Costco can do it, so can we. I formed a sub-committee a few months ago to assist small business owners.  We do this by meeting and listening to them and also working with them. Through the city we have been lobbying both the county and the state. I again publicly thank my sub-committee of Vice Mayor Bob Frutos, Chamber CEO Tom Flavin, Council candidate Paul Herman and Jeff Wright, all who contributed their time, energy and ideas to help our city get back on its feet economically. We have to be careful but optimistic and remember that there will be other epidemics and we must prepare for those and stockpile a reasonable amount of supplies and make sure it stays fresh. We also have to stay apprised of science and medical experts and stay in touch with them and listen to them.

Linda Bessin:

When COVID-19 came to Burbank, our City Council said it’s not our responsibility, it’s all up to the City Manager, and then they didn’t meet for over a month. During that time, we had to find out where to shop, where to get medical care and what we could and couldn’t do. There was no leadership from our elected officials. There was no sense that they even tried to connect with and help our residents.

Currently there is no information from the City as to what is happening with our local businesses. We have no data regarding how many businesses have closed and how many are closed permanently. We don’t know if the Federal assistance reached our city and helped us in the way it was meant to help. We are, in essence, flying blind. We need to see an effort to get current data on what is happening in Burbank for our small local businesses, and then promptly and efficiently identify a plan of action. There are still untapped State and Federal resources that our City Council could utilize to give a lifeline to these businesses in the most needed way.

No one is talking about how much City revenues have decreased since March. We have still not received any confirmed figures from the City Manager’s staff. This factor will affect all efforts at recovery. As long as residents are doing what needs to be done to keep the virus under control, we can explore reopening more businesses and seeing what activities can be done safely until an effective vaccine is available for all of us.

Konstantine Anthony:

Though COVID-19 has put many states to the test, California has responded well, through safer-at-home guidelines and keeping our community informed and free from preventable outbreaks.

COVID-19 has had a tremendous impact on all aspects of life in Burbank, especially for working families. This summer, I joined a coalition of other parents in the district to demand our schools implement full distance learning education, and we were successful in this effort. I’m currently signed on to a petition for the city to enforce a mask mandate for all businesses and public spaces, which our current city council is refusing to implement. COVID-19 is real, and it is deadly, and we must protect our residents. All of these measures are designed to keep the number of COVID-19 cases down, which is the most effective way to reduce the dangers and stress on our frontline healthcare workers.

To prepare to get back to business when the state of emergency is lifted, we must implement a worker retention ordinance that includes a right of recall for all workers to be rehired at their previous pay and benefits.

One of the largest uncertainties weighing on residents’ minds is whether or not they can afford to pay their back-due rents and mortgages. I will work with state and federal leaders to cancel all rents and allow forbearance on qualifying mortgage payments for renters, homeowners, and small businesses.

In addition, I believe Burbank during this trying time would be in a prime position to implement the kind of local universal basic income (UBI) pilot program seen in Stockton, California. We are a city with a large income gap between rich and poor, so as a council member I will push the city to explore UBI in the form of a small pilot program.

Tamala Takahashi:

COVID has been a difficult and confusing time for everyone. Now that we’ve been in this journey for many months, it’s extremely clear how cities need to be adaptable, clear in their communications, and thoughtful in decision making. While there have been many difficulties during this time, some of the hardest parts of this process have been when there is not clear or conflicting information, the information changes rapidly, or decisions are made suddenly. 

But overall, I am incredibly proud and inspired by the immense amount of support and care that we’ve given one another in our city during this time. Everything from helping each other find toilet paper, to delivering meals, to checking in on neighbors, to sewing masks, to donating to charities. We have Project Hope, BTAC, our school lunch program, Family Promise, Burbank Housing Corporation, YMCA, Boys and Girls club, and so many other social services and partnerships with the city that have provided a wide net for so many of our residents. We can do this, because we are a tight knit, high quality community. 

Moving forward, we need to continue supporting these programs, and continue to improve support for small businesses, workers, residents, and our unhoused, to make sure that we stay flexible and adaptable to the changing needs of our community. And as we continue to serve, to clearly communicate safety protocols, how to get assistance, and any changes in laws or ordinances. 

We also have to keep a close eye on a few important issues that may arise as we recover from COVID – renter evictions, mortgage defaults, and small businesses going bankrupt due to low income and having to pay back PPP loans. The city may not be able to directly address these issues, but we need to make sure that the city is aggressively partnering with services and programs that can help. 

The city had a good start at the beginning of the pandemic with the COVID hotline and web page. Now is the perfect time to update that into a COVID portal, that can be easily accessed and used to direct those affected to the right resources. In particular our landlord/tenant commission for renters and landlords, and a dedicated personnel in the Economic Development Department to help small businesses with their challenges. 

Economically, most cities will be very challenged with recovering from COVID, and we as a city will face at least a $20 Million deficit. We need to be creative to weather the storm, and find efficiencies and innovative ways to do more with less, together. It won’t be easy, and there will be some hard decisions to be made. This is why we need council members with experience dealing with budgets, who are thoughtful and careful in their deliberations, and who have a history of building partnerships, to be ready for anything in this unprecedented time in our city. 

Michael Lee Gogin:

I actually think that the county has made a big mistake in the way we have been asked to follow their Covid-19 agenda. I do think that social distancing is good for us to follow however, I do not think that closing any or all businesses was a smart move. Besides, our tax revenues were crushed by the inactivity. It is as if the politicians were purposely bankrupting our city. For sure, many businesses had to shut down along with a lot of life long hopes of having a successful thriving business. 

Small Mom & Pop size businesses will take awhile to get to a normal level of business. Reopening will be hard and take a long time to recover if at all.

Paul Herman:

I feel that the City of Burbank did about as well as could be expected in the handling of its response to COVID-19. Hindsight is 20-20 and we all like to play Monday morning quarterback, but none of us could have foreseen the scope and scale of this pandemic.  To me what matters more is not what we have done but what we need to do!  The City needs to continue to be nimble, creative, and adaptive in its approach to allowing businesses to open and operate in a safe and healthy manner to the public.  Our economic response must be two-fold:

  • Manage our City finances through this looming economic crisis by using all the tools in our toolkit to keep our budgets whole without sacrificing jobs, essential city services, and the quality of life we enjoy here in Burbank.

  • Kickstart our local economy by providing our local small and medium sized businesses here in the City the resources they need to survive and thrive, such as cutting red tape and streamlining the permitting processes for our local businesses.

 

 

City Council Candidate Question #3 – Subject: Hollywood Burbank Airport

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 3 of 8:

With news about the airport possibly pushing back the new terminal back at least five years, how do feel about the relationship between the Hollywood Burbank Airport and the City of Burbank? What to see in the future about development on the Airport’s property?

 

Candidate Responses:

Sharis Manokian

The relationship between the Airport and the City is great, however, the relationship with residents in the area can be vastly improved. The biggest problem residents face is the noise pollution. I would like to see a more open relationship where this issue can be discussed and we can begin to see changes such as mandatory curfews and changing flight paths so that aircrafts are not flying so low. 

Based on the current plan, it seems as though the City is going to go through with the planned renovations. We will likely see increased development and traffic in in the future. If elected, I plan to bring residents and their concerns to the table. It’s possible to have a small, functioning airport that is convenient for residents and fliers.

Tim Murphy:

I think the relationship between us and the airport is solid. Most folks want and like the airport. There are some folks who have some valid concerns about a new airport terminal that might be a lot bigger than the current one. We all want a safer new building with more and new amenities. Everyone would like a quieter airport with an enforced curfew. Burbank recently participated with other areas on a task force. The FAA just responded to our recommendations a few days ago. It is a much more complicated situation than we all thought. I did not know how much our flights were affected by and controlled by other airport towers both at takeoff and once they are in the air. Today, I read response number 1 and 2 and I can see it will take me a little while to get through all of it. I would like to see a smaller new terminal than contemplated that has some attractive amenities for the travelling public. I, as well as many family and friends, prefer flying out of Burbank. I would like it to be safer and quieter.  I want the total number of flights to stay the same with an enforceable curfew. I want all of Burbank to put themselves in the shoes of folks who live near the airport and be sympathetic and empathetic. They have a right to be concerned about the noise and bad air. It is not a fair argument to say you bought near the airport so don’t complain. These residents have a legitimate concern about a much larger expansion of the airport combined with Avion, the Golden State Specific Plan, the bullet train and a long history of distrust with the airport. I think Mr. Miller is doing everything in his power to earn our trust and to be transparent with our residents.  We have a capable and competent group of Airport Commissioners who have my respect and confidence as well.

The only thing that will be developed on the airport property is the airport terminal and airport uses. If you are asking about the property around the airport, as I mentioned previously, we have just filed a Golden State Specific Plan which discusses new locations for housing and low-rise businesses, hopefully a lot of creative space business as well.  I am also hoping for some park and open space. It would be wonderful if we could buy the armory property and use the building for a gym and programming and build a new park for that area.

 Linda Bessin:

Having lived in Burbank for decades, I have seen so many discussions, decisions, failures and plans regarding our airport. One of the reasons I bought my house in Burbank was that I frequently travelled on business and used the airport several times a month. It adds value to our community in many ways. But with the FAA mandated Next Generation Air Transportation System, or NextGen, the problem of noise in our community has increased. We must continue working with Federal officials to pressure them to readjust the flight paths away from the area south of the airport.

The empty land around the airport is a wasted resource for our community. It can be developed without taxing City resources and adding traffic if we are innovative and look for new ways to help our businesses and residents.

 Konstantine Anthony:

I believe the promises of Measure B, passed in 2016, have not been met by the city. We must do more to ensure the airport serves the surrounding community. First and foremost, curfew violations must be enforced with fines, and the airport authority must be completely transparent with the implementation of the NextGen system and its effect on flight patterns. With the upcoming high-speed rail project, short-haul commuter flights to the Bay Area and Sacramento will be reduced. This poses an excellent opportunity for the airport to streamline its flights to these areas, which will reduce air pollution and fossil fuel usage.

Regarding development on the airport property, as council member I will ensure that the terminal exceeds ADA accessibility minimums and the construction is completed with union labor at the local prevailing wage.

 Tamala Takahashi:

The long standing relationship between the City of Burbank and the Airport is an important one. As one of the best airports in the country, according to Fodor’s Travel Guide, it is an integral transportation hub for Los Angeles and our local surrounding businesses and neighborhoods. It is crucial to continue to have an ongoing relationship with the Airport Authority in its current capacity, as well as when the new terminal is built, to ensure that we work together for mutual benefit.

Currently, some of the important ongoing discussions are the flight paths and schedules that have a noise impact on residential areas, the potential addition of a high speed rail station under the airport, the impact of the Avion project on surrounding traffic, Uber and Lyft traffic in nearby neighborhoods, and environmental and sustainability goals for the current and future airport. 

Because Burbank does not have jurisdiction over the airport, the relationships between the city, Airport Authority, and the FAA are crucial to ensuring that Burbank’s interests are advocated for. 

 Michael Lee Gogin:

I think for the most part the relationship with our airport and city are good. What is important is that we do collect sales taxes and hotel taxes. What would be favorable is to build an international terminal for smaller jets. All are good sources of more revenue for our city.

 Paul Herman:

I am concerned with the news that construction of a new Airport terminal could be delayed. I am worried both about the safety concerns for the public and the likely budget busting cost increases a delay will cause.  I understand the debilitating effects COVID-19 has had on the travel industry in the near term, but this terminal project is being built as long-term investment in our City and our region.  As to the relationship between the City and the Airport, I believe it has improved markedly over the years culminating in the overwhelming passage of Measure B. 

 Nick Schultz:

The Hollywood Burbank Airport is an icon of our city. It is the preferred path of travel for many residents and countless tourists visiting the greater Los Angeles area, especially those visiting or seeking to do business with the entertainment and production studios in our backyard. Its success is crucial to the success and stability of our local economy.

Making the investment to update and upgrade our airport has the potential to significantly 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 at a crucial time when our local economy is suffering.

There has been much discussion in recent years about the presence of high-speed rail in Southern California, with most plans designating Burbank as the primary gateway to Los Angeles. In the event that a high-speed rail project is built in California, I would absolutely support a high-speed rail Burbank station to be built. This which would provide an efficient and seamless transfer to the Hollywood Burbank Airport, along with continued improvement in mass transit options to more easily connect travelers to the airport without the need to drive and park a car.

 

City Council Candidate Question #2 – Subject: Housing 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 2 of 8:

How do you feel about the ballot Measure RC concerning housing and rent controls in Burbank? Also, how do you feel about future growth in Burbank and how the housing demands are being met?

 

Candidate Responses:

Tim Murphy:

Measure RC is a poorly written mess and something we don’t need because we already have rent control for all of Burbank and the state through AB 1482 which became law 1/1/20. Take a look at it with the same exact title only simpler and well thought out. We haven’t had the time to see if we need to even make any changes in AB1482 yet.  Measure RC will rob the general fund of $24 million that may never be recouped, closing important programs for seniors and our youth population.  It violates many parts of our city charter, so it is not even legal.  Apparently little research was done on the basic fact that Burbank is a charter city.  In order to change our charter you have to clearly state you are going to do that and inform the signers in advance that your petition seeks charter amendments.  They did not do that and to amend the charter 9,300 signatures are required and not the 6,000+ that were obtained. If someone wants to make changes to the charter you have to follow the rules.  It’s like a house was built without a foundation! It is and will be a disaster for Burbank and keep investors out for many years. The small landlords have been crushed by the pandemic and now they will have to sell at a loss because of Measure RC. Corporate landlords will buy their property and tear it down and make the new properties market rate (because new properties are not subject to rent control) which will reduce the available affordable housing and thus hurt our tenants.  The drafters of the measure try to mislead the voters saying rents had gone up 50% in a certain nine year time period. I researched that statement with a well respected independent statistical firm called Col-Star which showed rents in Burbank for those years had only risen 26% – only about half.  The Col-Star report also showed our rents were less than Pasadena and Glendale and homelessness was much less in Burbank as well. Comparing Burbank to the cities where this poor system (like RC) is used both our rents and homelessness were way below their rates as well. Poorly written, not needed, and based on false arguments. Bad for Burbank, crushes small landlords, and bad for tenants over the long haul.  Why are outside interests pouring outside money into this measure telling Burbank what they think we need?  Voters need to read the independent 9212 report on Burbank’s website which lays out the huge costs that our taxpayers will incur if they vote for this measure.

Burbank has filed a plan which has been approved by the state to build 12,000 new units over the next 15 years. We have finally been able to fully staff our planning department and we are ready to continue a controlled, planned growth. We have just filed a Golden State Specific Plan that clearly outlines where we think new housing can be located. We are looking to place new units near transportation hubs and to build in tenant amenities in mixed use projects to reduce traffic and allow workers to work at home. We are also doing this downtown. I feel that these are reasonable and realistic plans which fit into our complete streets plan discussed in answer #1 above.

Linda Bessin:

We currently have rent control in Burbank and I support rent control. If this measure was only focused on creating more stringent rent control in Burbank, we could have a fact-based discussion on whether that is needed. But this is not a measure about rent control. Its objective is to create a new structure of power in our City government. It aims to give five unelected individuals unchecked control over our local economy, our housing supply and ultimately the future of Burbank.

There is a tremendous need for more affordable housing in Burbank. This measure does not create that. We have severe economic challenges now and will continue to have those challenges in the years ahead. This measure adds avoidable burdens on top of those challenges.

We live with the consequences of the severe affordable housing shortage in Burbank. Traffic, housing costs, evictions, and the cost of living overall are impacted significantly and the problem gets worse each year.

The lack of housing in Burbank was clear years ago and our elected officials failed to act. There are those who declare that there should be “local control of housing.” Sacramento stepped in and dictated a solution because Burbank City Council preferred to ignore the problem. Had direct, decisive action been taken earlier, our situation would not be so dire today. It is foolish to think that we can ignore the state laws that mandate affordable housing.

We need to empower Burbank residents to create new housing and push aside the complicated and inconsistent guidelines set forth by the City Permit Department. Building Accessory Dwelling Units is one alternative that would allow rent paid by Burbank residents to go to Burbank residents rather than outside developers. Let’s keep that money in the Burbank economy so that it benefits our entire city.

Burbank will have to keep our city modern and vibrant in order to survive the current economic upheaval. We can grow as a city to bring jobs and economic opportunity to help us through these difficult times. Investment in Burbank must continue. Our city’s economy depends on responsible and thoughtful progress for both our businesses and our residents.

Konstantine Anthony:

I am a renter here in Burbank, and I am also a co-author on Measure RC. I previously worked as a property manager for five and a half years, and my parents have owned single-family home rental properties for most of my life. I grew up knowing the value of mom-and-pop landlords, and I made sure to include that knowledge in the text of Measure RC. While crafting this ordinance, we spent a lot of time speaking with Burbank residents through outreach and public town halls. For its inclusion on the ballot, I personally collected over 3,000 voters’ signatures and my campaign manager Margo Rowder collected 2,000. These signers spoke with us, some in great length, about the importance of this measure and how it would help them personally.

Renters make up 60% of Burbank’s population. Our jobs-to-housing ratio is 3:1, and the vacancy rate of rentals is a precipitously low 1.5%. We created Measure RC because our city council refused to provide what our 24,000 renting households need: stabilized rents and stronger eviction protections. Our team included lawyers from the community development practice area of Public Counsel, who are experts with decades of experience in this discipline. Over the course of 10 months, we worked together to craft the measure to be compatible with Burbank’s city charter. Based on best practices from 13 other California cities, Measure RC is the best way to stabilize our community while protecting mom-and-pop landlords with local control.

The measure’s administrative expenses would be paid through small fees charged only to landlords and tenants, just like any rent board in the state. Measure RC has already won two challenges in the Superior Court of California. Despite all the hand-wringing from large, corporate landlords and their lobbyists, this measure is no different from rent regulation measures implemented across California in the last 10-20 years, which is why it is endorsed by the Los Angeles County Democratic Party, Pilipino American Los Angeles Democrats, and San Fernando Valley Young Democrats.

Regulating rents is only one part of the housing puzzle. We still need to construct new affordable units to bring bloated housing prices down. That’s why I’m in favor of adding more affordable housing instead of the current trend of rubber-stamping luxury apartments. One alternative is to allow homeowners the freedom to build ADUs on their own property, and another is to finally approve the mixed-use development standards that were created with community input and have been seemingly ignored by our city council ever since.

In addition, our home sales are skyrocketing, and young families with good jobs and down payments for their first homes are being priced out of the market. They can’t compete with the corporate real estate purchasers and out-of-state cash buyers who care nothing for the community of our city and only seek to gain capital investment. To combat this, we must ensure that large-scale residential developments require a 10% minimum of for-sale housing and a 20% minimum of affordable rentals, deed-restricted for 55 years.

In addition, California’s new public banking law allows for Burbank to utilize the city’s general fund to offer low-interest-rate loans to those who need a competitive edge against large corporate buyers. This will not cost the city any money, and in fact could increase revenue on the small-interest loans it provides. The general fund could also be used to aid a building’s tenants in purchasing said building in order to convert it into a housing co-op. To assist in this, city council should enact a right of first refusal on all non-owner-occupied rental properties.

Tamala Takahashi:

We have a very high demand for housing in our city. With a 3/1 jobs to housing ratio our vacancy rates are low, around 1%. This drives up housing costs, as many of those who want to live in Burbank are willing to pay the high costs. Scarcity plus demand drives up cost. 

If we want to see housing costs go down, we either have to increase availability, or reduce demand. 

Creating more housing is the solution that most cities are adopting, and is required by the state to meet the demand for housing statewide. It’s important that as we build new housing to ease up the high costs, that we don’t lose our high quality city services and neighborhood feel. It’s also important that we abide by the state law to build more housing so that we maintain local control for where and how we can build. If we do not build housing, we may be forced to rezone single family neighborhoods into high density. 

To this end, I support a combination of “gentle density” for our single family home (R1) neighborhoods, and more traditional density in public transportation corridors. 

Gentle density is the peppering of small-scale additions of housing spread out around the city in the form of ADUs, micro housing, duplexes and triplexes, and small mixed use buildings. 

Workforce housing is also desperately needed in our city, and one of the most difficult kinds of housing to build. Partnering with non-profits and businesses, especially the large businesses, is a possible way to address the issue of workforce housing demand that the city cannot do alone, and will not likely be created by traditional development interests. 

We can also decrease demand for housing in Burbank, by leveraging the potential likelihood of remote working after COVID, and considering incentivizing non-traditional workers that don’t need to drive into Burbank every day of the week. 

In regards to Measure RC – I do not support Measure RC and will be voting “no”. 

The discussion around RC has mistakenly been about rent control. The issues that the public needs to look at for this measure is not about whether or not Burbank needs stricter rent control that we already have as mandated by the state. That discussion is definitely worth having in general, but it distracts from the most important part of the measure we are voting on. 

The one change that this measure brings about, that cannot be done in any other way except by the ballot process, is the creation of a completely separate governing body in the city government. Once it’s implemented, it will have no accountability to council or the city manager, and has full access to staff and money in the budget without oversight. This portion of the measure is what we’re really voting on, because a measure on the ballot is the only way that this kind of governing body can be created. 

The questions I have are whether it’s good use of our very limited city funding, what other city services we should give up to fund this, whether we want a governing body in our city that is of equal power as our city manager and city council, and is the inflexible nature of the measure acceptable in a time when Burbank needs to more adaptable than ever.

Before COVID, our city was recovering financially. But when COVID hit, it reduced our city funds significantly. Currently, we are looking at a $20 Million deficit. If this measure passes, it will add another $9 Million bill to our already strained budget. Further, the city council and the city manager will not be able to adjust or change that portion of the budget, due to the power that this new governing body will have. If the new committee asks for $9 Million, they get it. So, my question is, as someone who has had to make this kind of hard decision on the Infrastructure Oversight Board, since we will already be tightening the apron strings for the $20 million that we have no control over, where in the budget will we cut out $9 million more, to cover this new governing body’s budget? 

This committee will also be of equal power as the city council and the city manager. It will be able to hire staff, pull resources from the city attorney’s office, and create its own budget, without approval or process outside of the committee. The one possible oversight that is available is that council can remove members of the committee. However, this can only be done if a member of the committee has done something illegal or has been derelict in their duties. Council cannot remove a member because they are bad at budgeting or ask for too many hours from the staff. If the committee decides they need $15 Million, they get it. And the city council can’t remove members for taking too much from the budget. So, in reality, there is no oversight. 

Lastly, and one of the most important parts of this measure, is that it’s immutable. If it’s voted in, and the court challenge against it fails, it will change the city charter permanently, and it cannot be modified or updated again until there is another ballot measure put forward. Therefore, in order to change the stipulations of this measure, or to change the power of the new governing body, a resident or group of residents would have to gather 7,000+ signatures and go through the effort of putting up an amendment to vote. Or, the city would have to create a charter amendment committee to create a ballot measure to change it. Not only are both of these expensive scenarios, but they are slow. And while it’s happening, whatever problem has been found with the committee will not be able to be addressed during the petition process. If we vote this committee in, we’re changing the charter, and it’s permanent. 

No matter what any other part of the measure says, or what the merits are, is changing our charter to create an immutable separate governing body the right thing to do, during COVID, when we need local adaptability more than ever? I don’t believe so, so I am voting no. 

Michael Lee Gogin:

I am opposed to rent control. The basic math of 7% times the rent today within 10 years the rent will double. For the fixed or low income person would create homelessness for those including people with disabilities & elderly. There is also the possibility that if a landlord or property owner does not want to wait out the 10 years, they would put the property into a trust to change the name of the owner. This then would allow the NEW Named Owner to bring the property price up and maybe even become cost prohibitive for low income / fixed income or disabled. Again, will cause Homelessness.

Paul Herman:

I am very much opposed to Measure RC because it will reduce the housing supply, greatly increase market rents over time, diminish the quality of available housing, create an unaccountable rent control board, drive a stake through the heart of our City Charter, and cost the City millions of dollars to implement. The most expensive places to live in this country (New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Santa Monica, etc.…) all have rent restrictive rent control laws.  If rent control works so well why is the average cost of a one-bedroom apartment in San Francisco about $5,000 per month (San Francisco has had rent control for decades)?  Besides, we already have statewide rent control legislation (AB1482) that was passed last year and went into effect Jan. 1 of this year, so why are special interest groups outside of Burbank trying pass this initiative?  Because they do not have Burbank’s best interests at heart, which is why if Measure RC passes Burbank’s current housing needs will never be met.  If Measure RC passes Burbank will become less affordable for all but the few who win today’s rent control lottery and do so to the detriment of our kids and grandkids. 

I will answer your question about how the housing demands are being met in Burbank on Nov. 4th.

Nick Schultz:

The lack of affordable housing is not just a problem for those who live in Burbank. It is also a problem for our teachers, firefighters, police, studio workers, and service industry workers who have to commute from far distances to work in Burbank. All of this commuting has collateral consequences for our community such as increased traffic and air pollution. Too many of our neighbors are suffering under the burden of housing costs. 

Adding to our stock of affordable housing over the next four years is of absolute necessity. To that end, I will prioritize the addition of more affordable housing for low income families, for those new to the workforce, and for seniors on fixed incomes, as well as housing for people who work in jobs critical to the well-being of our community. I believe that the Golden State District presents a natural home for the new affordable housing options that Burbank desperately needs. If elected, I will work with my colleagues and city staff to re-assess existing barriers to developers seeking to add affordable housing units to Burbank.

Our city is made up predominantly of renters and they cannot afford to wait for the addition of more affordable housing to get relief.

As a lawyer, I have spent a considerable amount of time going through the language of Measure RC and its potential impacts. On one hand, I am supportive of common-sense rent control measures, including rent stabilization and renter protections. However, I have concerns about the cost of this proposal and the scope of the powers that would be vested in the Landlord-Tenant Commission. In researching this issue further, I believe that Assembly Bill 1482 already provides a framework that allows for the protection of our renters, including rent stabilization. As a councilmember, keeping tenants housed would be my absolute top priority, and I believe we can accomplish this with current state law.

Sharis Manokian:

I am an advocate for both Measure RC and the state-wide rent control law passed earlier this year. No one should have to live with the fear that they could lose their home and be forced to live on the streets. Furthermore, increasing rents are driving out the diversity from our city, and contributing to LA’s housing crisis. We’ve seen rent control work in cities all across the United States, and there is no reason it can’t work here.

I’m optimistic about the future growth of Burbank. Along with rent control, I would like to see us build more affordable housing and dedicate more existing units to lower-income families. It is clear that many residents are concerned about the housing crisis, and rent control and increasing the supply of housing are just two steps we can take to meet demand.

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.