Tag Archives: elections 2013

Councilman David Gordon Speaks about His Plans for the Burbank Council

Following his victory in the Burbank City Council elections, myBurbank caught up with Councilman David Gordon at the Burbank City Hall.  Never soft-spoken, Councilman Gordon was very candid and direct with his priorities, and for establishing his vision for Burbank.

myBurbank: Now that you have been re-elected to the council, what are your priorities?

Dr-David-Gordan

Dr. David Gordan

Councilman Gordon:  Well, there are several priorities.  For example, we need to address the police issues.  Where we are headed, the current leadership.  The current chief and the police department.  We have to get to the bottom of the police issues.  We can’t keep going on and on and on over the issue.  We have to get to the bottom of it, and I intend to get to it as aggressively as possible, and soon.

We definitely have to go through the process of identifying and retaining a new city manager.  That’s very important for the future of the city.

We need to tackle the budget that is coming up.  I think there is going to be a new approach, and new emphasis with the budget where we’ll have to cut some things, and make sure we don’t cut other things.

I will say one thing very strongly, that I really do not embrace the concept of outsourcing our employees.  We need to keep the employees of our city whom are here.  They do an outstanding job, we depend on those services, we rely on them and depend on them, and we trust our employees.

myBurbank:  Are the utilities we have in Burbank adequate to push us into the next generation of our city?

Councilman Gordon:  I think we have an incredible set of utilities in the city.  Burbank Water and Power is one of the top utilities in the state, if not the country, and I think we’re well-positioned for the future.  But at the same time we have to address the issues and challenges of renewable energy and the effectiveness of those resources.  We have to take a look on how we may effectively move forward in providing energy and water, and other utility-like resources to the cty.

myBurbank:  And the roads?

Councilman Gordon:  Absolutely a priority.  The roads need to be fixed in an incremental fashion, we just don’t have the wherewithal to overnight fix them all given the hundreds of miles of roads we have in the city.  But we do need to identify those in urgent need of the greatest repair and get those done as quickly as possible.

myBurbank:  At least in the media we see the entertainment industry is starting to relocate or look outside of Burbank.  Are you going to go and get them back into Burbank?

Councilman Gordon:  I don’t know if I personally can go and get then back into Burbank, but I do everything I can to go against the so-called runaway production we’ve heard about.  I really think it’s critically important that we enhance and retain our entertainment industry and the many facets of it that are here in Burbank.

It is a great center not only for film production, but there is music, there are all sorts of technologies, such as animation, so Burbank remains a very big center for all that, and we also have a great resource of talent for all that.

So I’m going to do everything I can, on the council to make sure that the industry stays and we continue to be attractive.

myBurbank:  As far as transportation, high-speed rail, development of the Burbank Airport, perhaps attracting parts of the aviation industry back to Burbank, are those a priority target for you and the council?

Councilman Gordon:  Foe what I have seen and understand about high-speed rail, I’m not prepared to embrace it at this time.  It is a fabulously expensive program, and I’m not impressed at all with the concept of having infrastructure done overseas, the rail, the car, the railroad engines,…  I’m sorry, I don’t like that at all.

I’m ready to make American jobs, support American industry, that is what we need to do.  So as far as high-speed rail maybe it has a place, but right now from what I see I have a lot of skepticism about it.

myBurbank:  How about the Burbank Airport, does that expand, contract, do we try to attract more of the industry to Burbank?

Councilman Gordon:  Well, I have not proposed expanding Burbank Airport.  I can see modernizing Burbank Airport, I don’t see expansion in the future of the airport.  I think it is a relatively small airport, in a relatively confined area.  It is a tremendous asset for the city.

Some of the carriers have left, and we can attract more.  We can modernize, and I expect there will be a rebound after the economic downturn with the airport.  But I am not proposing to expand the airport.

 

Armenian National Committee of Burbank Announces Endorsements

The last ballots for Burbank’s all-mail General Election were mailed on Thursday, March 21, according to the City Clerk’s office.  This means voters should receive their ballots by Saturday, or at the latest Monday.  Watch for this big white envelope, if you live in the city, advises the ANCA-Burbank.

“Everyone is watching our community since our votes put two candidates over the top, getting them elected in the primary.  That doesn’t usually happen in Burbank,” said Gaidzag Shabazian, Armenian national Committee of America—Burbank Electoral/Political Chair.  “Our votes also helped put two City council candidates into the lead positions going into the April 9 all-mail election.”

Burbank adopted the mail-in ballot system a decade ago.  This makes voters’ lives much easier because they don’t have to go to a polling place on Election Day, which is Tuesday, April 9.  All ballots must be RECEIVED in the City Clerk’s office by 7:00 pm that day.  Otherwise they will not be counted.  A postmark with that date is not valid.

The Burbank ANCA’s endorsed candidates are:

City Council: David Gordon and Jess Talamantes

Board of Education: Larry Applebaum and Steve Ferguson

Voting is easy.  Just fill in the bubbles next to the names of the candidates endorsed by the ANCA. (See the accompanying picture of the completed, two sided, ballot).  Then, tear off the top stub of the ballot and insert the ballot in the secrecy sleeve.  Next, put the ballot/secrecy sleeve in the yellow envelope provided.  Sign the envelope.  Drop it in the mail.  This year, for the first time, the envelope is postage-paid, so voters don’t have to put a stamp on it.

See the accompanying picture of the envelope in which the ballot and voter pamphlet were mailed for the February, so you know what to expect.

“Our Burbank voting system is easy because we all vote from the comfort of home,” said Hagop Hergelian, ANCA-B activist.  “Please be very alert and watch for your ballot.  But, voters often mistake the large white ballot envelope for junk mail and throw it out.  Then, they have to get a replacement, wasting time and effort.”

Participation by the Armenian community is very important.  It demonstrates the concern everyone shares for improving Burbank and gets people elected to office who are most sensitive to the Armenian community’s needs.

If you have any questions, please call the Burbank ANCA at 818/562-1918 or e-mail at: Info@ancaburbank.org

Two Elections Down, One to Go – But Do You Really Care?

It’s election season here in Burbank.  In February, we went through our Primary, March saw us vote on a school bond and April will see us finally fill the two remaining seats on the City Council and two open School Board seats.

In most cities this is an exciting time, in Burbank just a handful of people really seem to get excited.

Let’s examine some issues.

First is this all mail election that we have instituted here in Burbank.  Of course, the thinking is that people are just too busy to leave their house on election day and actually go and vote for something that will effect their daily lives.  Now of course, we are far ahead of the thinking in Washington that still makes people travel to a polling place on a certain day and actually physically cast their vote.

But wait, they also have this thing called an absentee ballot, so that the truly lazy (and maybe some who actually are not available election day) can fill out a ballot and be counted from the comfort of their sofa at home.

In Burbank during the Primary, 9,869 voters actually took the time to fill out a ballot – or about 16% of the 61,170 eligible voters (including my father who passed away over a year ago who still received his ballot).   That was up from the Primary two years ago when only 8,106 voters out of 56,239 (including my father who was alive and did vote) equaled only 14%.  So are we now excited that 16% cast votes?

Let’s break it down even farther.

This past election, voters put Bob Frutos onto the council.  From people I talked to, the real issue was the current direction of the council, the money spent on the police litigation, and there were many who really just did not like the way Frutos was treated after the last election, when losing by just 86 votes, was then removed for no apparent reason from the police commission with the person who defeated him, Emily Gabel-Luddy, along with two of the three incumbent challengers (Dave Golonski and Jess Talamantes) both voting to remove him.  Losing by just 86 votes gave him a strong power base that did not go away, but even grew larger.

With that all said, while Frutos received over 50% of the votes cast, he only actually received only a little over 8% of eligible voters.  In other words, just 8% decided our next city councilman, which is just 5% of the population of Burbank (103,340 per the 2010 census).

Here are some more numbers for you as to why it is important to have your voice heard.

We just voted for a $110 million school bond in March.  While the money is needed for modernization, according to the final numbers supplied by the City of Los Angeles, Measure S won by capturing 61.45% of the yes votes, or 4,053 votes out of 6,595 votes cast out of 61,153 registered voters. (Funny how the County says we have 61,153 registered voters and the City of Burbank says we have 61,170 voters – but my dead father did not receive a Measure S ballot, he did receive a City of Burbank ballot).

Break that down and while 61% of voters that day approved it, only 6.6% of the registered voters approved it.  So 6.6% of voters decided to raise taxes on 93.4% of the voters.  For those who did not vote, you can see the results on an upcoming Property Tax bill – coming soon!

Let’s go back to 2011.  We all voted on this great little thing called Measure U.  At that time it passed 5,270 to 2,562 votes cast out of 56,239 voters, or about a little over 9% of the registered voters.  How did that work out and directly affect you?  Take a look at your cell phone bill.  See that nice new item on there called “Burbank City Utility Tax”?  That amount ($3.27 on my current bill) is a direct result of 9% deciding the fate of an entire city.

Make sure you smile when you write your check!

The bottom line is that Burbank people just do not get excited for elections.  Are you upset that so far the City Council has spent over $7.1 million on outside litigation for the police mess (and how much has been spent by our own payed City Attorneys as part of their work day that should also count).  Does it matter that your cell phone bill increased by $3 a month because you did not vote?

I feel that the all-mail elections are a part of the problem.  Even though you were suppose to mail in ballots, the count was held up for hours on election night because they had to verify signatures on about 1,500 ballots received on the day of the election.

With all mail ballots, candidates don’t know where to campaign. If they go door to door, are they wasting their time because the person has already voted?

Another problem is today’s digital social media.  Candidates think the best way to get to voters is on things such as Twitter and Facebook.  They lose the personalization of the campaign process and the human touch and feel of a race.

Whatever happened to good ol’ fashioned campaign rallies.

“So and so will be speaking at a rally today at the park!  Come and listen to him”.  People would get riled up and go home and talk to their neighbors and friends and dialog would start and issues would be discussed.

Now I am not saying we should get on the back of a train and ride the rails like old presidential candidates, but how public really are our campaigns?  They all seem to be small meet and greets with neighbors and nothing big that would create a buzz.

Now they just hoped to be ‘retweeted’ or ‘liked’ by people.

I also miss everyone showing up at City Hall after an election and watching election results come in.  Yes, they used to use an old overhead projector and a grease pen to post results.  Now it is all done over the City’s Channel 6 that you MUST pay for cable TV to get or you can always come down to City Hall and join the few of us (and a couple of candidates) who still believe in the tradition – except now they wheel out a TV and we watch it like others.

BurbankNBeyond was considering endorsing candidates.  After all, we are the ONLY news service that operates on a daily basis that is owned and operated by Burbank people (who DO vote in Buirbank) and have an interest in the election and it’s results (like our cell phone bills) compared to those that do not live in the City or have no financial interest in the City but wants their advertising dollars.  Sounds like an agenda?

Instead, we will send out questionnaires to the candidates and give you their entire answers.  After all, as you have found by this never ending column, the internet is endless and we can give you as much as there is to give.

The bottom line is get off your butt and vote.

I will leave you this to think about:

Everyone goes out of their way to say how much they support our troops (and rightly so).  But what is it our troops, and the troops of many generations have fought for?  It’s our right to be free and hold free elections.  So if you really do support our troops, then get out and vote, that is one direct way that you can thank them, and in most case your fathers or grandfathers, for the sacrifices they made to make this a great country.

Come on Burbank, you can do better.

Burbank Voters Say YES to Measure S for Schools

Toasting an Ice Tea City Treasure and Former School Board member Debbie Kukta and Anita Shackman are all smiles with the results looking good for Measure S. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Toasting an Ice Tea City Treasure and Former School Board member Debbie Kukta and Anita Schackman are all smiles with the results looking good for Measure S. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

By John Savageau
BurbankNBeyond

At approximately 9:30 p.m. Marsha Ramos, former Burbank Mayor and Chair, Friends of Burbank Schools, declared victory on passing Measure S.  Flanked by supporters, including Councilman-Elect Bob Frutos, Councilman Jesse Talamantes, Vice Mayor Emily Gabel-Luddy, Ramos described the near impossible job of getting Measure S passed exclaiming “we did it on March 5th when nobody said it could be done.”

Measure S, a general obligation bond, will bring $110 million into the Burbank Unified School District for infrastructure upgrades, technology upgrades, and security improvements.  Councilman Talamantes commented the bond measure was important for the city, and simply the “right thing.”

While a growing election party crowd continued to fill the patio at Gordon Biersch, Measure S staff continued to monitor results as posted and available.

Measure S supporters L/R Roberta Reynolds, President Larry Applebaum, Measure S Chairman Marsha Ramos, Audrey Hanson, and Dr. David Carletta.share some happiness following the election. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Measure S supporters L/R Roberta Reynolds, President Larry Applebaum, Measure S Chairman Marsha Ramos, Audrey Hanson, and Dr. David Carletta.share some happiness following the election. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Larry Applebaum, President of the Burbank School Board expressed great satisfaction at the apparent success of Measure S.  Hugging his young daughter, Applebaum beamed that “it is all about them, the children.  This is for them.”

Others in the crowd indicated with better schools their property value would probably appreciate, however most were simply relieved the measure would pass and the quality of education would improve.

Checking the results on a I-Phone Measure S supporters L/R Suzanne Weerts, Paula Trubisky, School Board Member Roberta Reynolds, Former School Board  Member Audry Hanson, and Chairman Marsha Ramos it's all thumbs up. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Checking the results on a I-Phone Measure S supporters L/R Suzanne Weerts, Paula Trubisky, School Board Member Roberta Reynolds, Former School Board Member Audrey Hanson, and Chair Marsha Ramos it’s all thumbs up. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Ramos continued thanking individuals and groups by name for their great support, personally greeting each in the crowd and saying a few kind words as the voting results continued to show victory.

Final results had the Yes vote at 4,053 (61.45%) and the No vote at 2,542 (38.54%).  It needed 55% of the Yes vote to pass.  There were 6,595 votes cast out of 61,153 registered voters in Burbank who were eligible to vote, which is 10.78% of the voters.

With this Measure S election in the books, Burbank will hold the city General Municipal Election for city council and school board members along with another Measure S (this time for Sewer and Refuse assistance) on 9 April.  This will be an all mail election like the primary.

 

Ballot Order for General Election Announced

BURBANK, Calif. (March 1, 2013) – The City Clerk of the City of Burbank issued the following notice:

NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that a random drawing was conducted at the Office of the City Clerk on Friday, March 1, 2013, to select the following Ballot Order for candidates for the 2013
General Municipal Election. The election will be conducted on Tuesday, April 9, 2013, to fill two City Council and two School Board seats.

City Council Candidates (2 Seats)

1. Dave Golonski
2. David Gordon
3. Jess A. Talamantes
4. David Nos

School Board Candidates (2 Seats)
1. Charlene Tabet
2. David Dobson
3. Larry Applebaum
4. Steve Ferguson

Burbank City Councilman-Elect Bob Frutos Endorses Ferguson for School Board

Elected overwhelmingly to the City Council in February, Councilmember-Elect Bob Frutos has endorsed Steve Ferguson’s candidacy for the Burbank School Board.

“Steve Ferguson will fight for the very best education for our students and he will always put students first. I am proud to support him for School Board,” said Councilman-Elect Frutos in a statement Saturday.

Councilman-Elect Frutos joins a growing list of local leaders who have endorsed Steve Ferguson’s campaign for the Board of Education, including U.S. Congressman Brad Sherman, School Board Member Dr. Roberta Reynolds, Councilmember Dr. David Gordon and former Mayors Mary Lou Howard, Marsha Ramos and Vince Stefano. Jr.

Burbank 2013 Primary Nominating Election Results Now Official

Burbank City Clerk, Zizette Mullins, has announced that final results are in for Burbank’s Primary Nominating Election held Tuesday, February 26, 2013.

Of the 61,170 eligible voters, 9,869 ballots were cast (8,106 ballots were cast in the 2011 Primary), representing a 16.1 percent return rate. With all ballots verified and counted, the results remain consistent with those announced last Tuesday evening, although these numbers now include ballots that were pending verification by the Los Angeles County Registrar/Recorder’s Office.

There were six candidates who qualified for the ballot for the three City Council seats (in ballot order): David Nos (3,165 votes), Robert “Bob” Frutos (5,262 votes), Dave Golonski (4,113 votes), Jess A. Talamantes (4,341 votes), David Gordon (4,705 votes); and, Juan J. Guillen Jr. (2,498 votes).

Robert “Bob” Frutos received a majority of the votes cast and therefore is duly elected to office for a full term of four years, ending April 30, 2017. Since no other candidates received a majority of votes cast in the Election, two seats on the City Council will be filled at the General Municipal Election to be held on April 9, 2013, by two of the following four candidates: David Nos, Dave Golonski, Jess A. Talamantes; or, David Gordon.

There were five candidates who qualified for the ballot for the two Board of Education seats (in ballot order): Larry Applebaum (4,473 votes), Steve Ferguson (3,013 votes), Charlene “Char” Tabet (3,026 votes), David Dobson (2,854 votes); and, Armond Aghakhanian (2,749 votes). There being no candidates receiving a majority of votes cast in the Election, two seats on the Board of Education will be filled at the General Municipal Election to be held on April 9, 2013, by two of the following four candidates: Larry Applebaum, Steve Ferguson, Charlene “Char” Tabet, and David Dobson.

There were three candidates who qualified for the ballot for the City Clerk seat (in ballot order): Gloria G. Salas (2,683 votes); Nonna von Sonn (1,680 votes); and, Zizette Mullins (4,437 votes). Zizette Mullins received the majority of the votes cast for the seat and therefore is duly elected to office for a full term of four years, ending April 30, 2017.

There was one candidate who qualified for the ballot for the City Treasurer seat (in ballot order): Debbie Merta Kukta (6,993 votes); and, therefore is duly elected to the office for a full term of four years, ending April 30, 2017.

Detailed results by precinct can be obtained by visiting the City’s Website at www.Burbankca.gov.

City Clerk Candidate Reports Endorsement

City Clerk candidate Gloria Salas’ campaign has reported that she has been endorsed by the powerful Burbank City Employees Association.

Salas, who has a BA in Legal studies and over 15 years as a Legal Administrator, was interviewed with the other two candidates and chosen as the most qualified.

“I interviewed before the Burbank City Employees Association endorsement group and have received its stamp of approval.  I’m very proud of the endorsement and humbled by it as I am a non-city employee and, yet, met its qualifications for endorsement.” said Salas

“This is particularly impressive and interesting in that she is the only candidate from the private sector and NOT a Burbank City employee like the other two candidates.” said a campaign spokesman.

Frutos Adds Endorsements, New Video From Nos

With the campaign coming down to the final days, candidates continue to receive endorsements.  Campaigning still is hot and heavy with David Nos releasing a new campaign video.

New Video from David Nos

 

Bob Frutos, Candidate for Burbank City Council has received the endorsement of the two Professional Law Enforcement Associations and additional endorsements including Burbank Community Leaders:

The Burbank, Glendale, Pasadena Airport Authority Police Officer Association (BGPAAPOA)

California Reserve Peace Officers Association

“As a 26 year law enforcement professional you will ensure public safety remains a top priority in Burbank. Your strong leadership on issues in the community will promote innovative approaches and solutions to solve the current and future issues facing the City of Burbank. The Burbank, Glendale, Pasadena Airport Authority Police Officer Association (BGPAAPOA) Board of Directors and its members proudly endorse your candidacy to the Burbank City Council. Sincerely, Jolene Dolan, President BGPAAPOA.”

“Dear Mr. Frutos: It is a pleasure to inform you that the California Reserve Peace Officers Association enthusiastically endorses your candidacy to the Burbank City Council. Your support of law enforcement and victim’s rights is to be commended. Sincerely, James C. Lombardi, President CRPOA”

“I am honored these two Professional Law Enforcement Organization have enthusiastically joined other Burbank Leaders in supporting me with their endorsement. I am also thankful to receive the following recent endorsements:” -Bob Frutos

Bob Bowne, Former Burbank Mayor and his wife, Dinanne Bowne,

Burbank City Employees Association (BCEA),

LA County Federation of Labor AFL-CIO,

Armenian National Committee of America, Burbank,

Jackie Waltman, Civil Service Board Member

Ferguson Admits to Campaign Worker Stealing Lawn Signs

After the BurbankNBeyond exclusive report of campaign signs being stolen from a business on Magnolia, an email was sent to BurbankNBeyond by Burbank School Board candidate Steve Ferguson taking responsibility for a campaign worker who can be seen in the video removing signs for fellow candidate Charlene Tabet.

video of signs being removed sign theft video

While Ferguson admits to the person working on his campaign, the candidate says he had no knowledge of his actions and does not condone the action in any way.  Attempts to contact Ferguson were not returned and the person allegedly involved was not identified.

The letter sent to Talbot from Ferguson is below.

Dear Charlene,

It has recently come to my attention on Burbank ‘N’ Beyond that some of your signs were taken from some of your supporters. After reviewing the tape, I immediately recognized the individual as one of my own campaign volunteers.
I cannot express how sorry I am for this incident. Please know that I honestly did not ask for or condone this action as I too have had signs taken and know of both the personal pain and frustration that comes with missing signs.
I take full responsibility for my volunteer’s action and I would like to ask for you to send me a list of all the  properties with missing signs. Not only will I replace them but I will also personally apologize for the conduct of my volunteer to every household impacted.
This is not what my campaign is about and I certainly know this is not what your campaign is about either. I have asked that this volunteer mail you an apology and I can only hope that we continue to move forward as we discuss the future of education in this community that both you and I cherish.
Sincerely,
Steve Ferguson
UPDATED Feb 14 – 3:30 pm
Steve Ferguson was reached by phone to reiterate that the worker, who is a volunteer, had no authorization for his actions and he was willing to replace any sign that the worker had taken.  As for the workers status, Ferguson replied that his role has been greatly diminished and that he will be closely watched in all further campaign activities from this point forward.  He also commented on the fact that many of his signs have been taken in the past – not as an excuse for this incident – and that the entire campaign sign handling day in and day out ‘has been a real headache’ .
Charlene Tabet has also issued a statement that was sent to BurbankNBeyond and it is listed below:
Steven,

Thank you for your letter in regards to the person or persons involved with stealing my campaign signs at the business property on Magnolia Blvd.

I appreciate you taking responsibility for the person involved with your campaign regarding the theft of my signage.  I would like to ask how involved this person is with your campaign?   Is he simply a campaign volunteer or a close friend as well?  I am asking because it has been reported by several community leaders that this individual has been seen with you on numerous occasions and at several city and campaign related events.  It is also reported that this individual should have known better due to the fact that this individual has many mutual friends on Facebook who are involved in politics in the community and beyond

I would greatly appreciate you returning my signs that are in your campaigns possession in addition to any that have previously been stolen.

Thank you again,

Char