Tag Archives: Letter to the Editor

Letter to the Editor: Councilman Wishes Burbank Happy Holidays

Letter to the Editor:

Neighbors and Friends,

“I’m truly grateful, Happy Holidays”

The holidays give us an opportunity to be thankful for what we have.  I am truly grateful for all my blessings. Let us remember those who are less fortunate and reach out to help someone in need.

I am honored to continue to serve you and I am thankful for the many residents and businesses who truly care about our community.  I am also thankful for all our dedicated city employees and our police and fire departments for your hard work.  It is because of you, Burbank is a great city!

My wife, Laura and I want to take this opportunity to wish you and your families Peace and Joy this holiday season.

Bob Frutos

Letter to the Editor: Former School Board Member Urges Yes Vote on Measure QS

Letter to the Editor:

As a longtime Burbank resident and a former School Board Member, I wholeheartedly support Measure QS. Nobody likes taxes, but everyone knows that having quality schools ensures a quality community. Our schools are some of the best schools in the State. Unfortunately, 95% of the school district’s budget comes from Sacramento and they are not allocating enough money to our schools.

Measure QS funding will stay in Burbank so that it can only be used support our local children. Measure QS even has a provision where property owners over 65 can opt out of the tax. However, I encourage everyone to not opt out, if they can’t afford the $.10 per square foot of improved property. For a Burbank resident with a home that is 1700 square feet, it comes out to around $14/month. I really hope you will join me in voting Yes on QS!

Peter McGrath
Burbank

Letter to the Editor: League of Women Voters Speaks Out About Candidate Forum

Letter to the Editor:

Some of your readers may have attended our forum held on Wednesday, October 24th at City Hall. Others may have heard that several audience members seemed intent on disrupting the forum. Their interruptions delayed the forum and caused us to eliminate a number of good questions that we didn’t have time to ask. 

Civil discourse requires humility because we cannot learn if we are 100% certain that we have all the answers. Being open-minded and being willing to listen to someone with whom you disagree could build trust, which is sorely needed is our world today.

Unfortunately, both humility and trust were in short supply in the audience at the Candidates Forum held in the Burbank City Council Chambers and moderated by the League of Women Voters of Glendale/Burbank, this past Wednesday, Oct. 24, 2018. Supporters of challengers in the race for the House of Representatives 28th and 30th Districts, were so convinced that their candidate is better, or that the “other” guy is so much worse, that they felt entitled to yell and jeer at the incumbents – despite pleas from the League members to stop interrupting the forum. By their own actions, the angry audience members prevented their candidates from engaging in the most fundamental need of a democratic society – civil discourse and debate by candidates for public office.

Many audience members who wanted to listen to the candidates were so upset by the rude and obnoxious behavior they left the forum frustrated by the lack of decorum. League members urged the crowd to let the forum proceed without interruptions. We were not as successful as we would like but appreciate support of Burbank police officers who attended the forum. Our heartfelt thanks and appreciation to Rita Zwern, Burbank resident, who moderated the forum with grace and conviction to the process.

The League of Women Voters has been educating its members for nearly 100 years and has seen a lot worse, but it is still shocking when adults are unable to control their emotions in a public forum. We can assure the community that it only doubles the motivation of League members to continue our work of voter education. We want people to be passionate about politics but we also want the community to have an opportunity to hear the positions and qualifications of the candidates and to debate important public policy issues.

The forum will be replayed on Burbank Channel 6 (Charter Spectrum cable) and is available on demand on Burbank’s YouTube Channel:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hcA4SeTAxqU&t=360s  

If you see a snippet in your news feed, we urge you reserve judgment until you watch the entire forum. It is awkward because of the interruptions but you have the right to hear the candidates before you vote. And please do vote!

As we discussed improvements for future forums with the Burbank Police, a League member expressed hope for the future.  She said, “maybe in 2020 we’ll be able to come together and discuss the issues facing our community.”  We hope she is right, but in any event, we pledge to be there with her, trying to make that happen.

 

Mary L. Dickson, President

Joan Hardie, Board Member & Forum Organizer

League of Women Voters of Glendale/Burbank

Letter to the Editor: BUSD Parent Wants No Vote on Measure QS

Letter to the Editor:

VOTE NO ON MEASURE QS (Property Parcel TAX)

I’m a Parent of a Burbank High Jr and was part of the successful YES On Measure S campaign. It might surprise you to know that I am Voting NO on Measure QS, as are many other Parents, Property Owners & Measure S Supporters. Here’s just a few reasons why we can’t support this Property Tax increase at this time:

  1. This Tax is not needed at this time; The BUSD Budget is Balanced for the next 3 Years.
  2. The Tax places an unfair burden on Burbank Property Owners & Renters who are still paying for previous School Bonds (until 2032), while approx 1300 Students who live outside the district pay nothing. Businesses with larger footprints are also disproportionally hit with larger bills.
  3. This Tax will exist in Perpetuity, highly unusual for Parcel Taxes, which typically have Sunset clauses and need to be reconsidered by Voters every 4-7 years.
  4. The Tax does not address future Maintenance needs or extra Classrooms needed to accommodate anticipated demand from Planned Development requiring yet another Bond in a few years.
  5. Significant funds will be used to augment Salaries/Benefits. Having $9M/year that can be re-assigned to any Goal “pot” will lead to more demands for Salary/benefit increases, resulting in less money available for Student programs over time.
  6. Obscures the real problem – mandatory Pension obligations imposed by the State. Unlike our City, BUSD has always paid its share of Pension contributions. But because of poor management by the State, our contribution to fund Pensions is increasing to 19-26¢ per Dollar of Payroll; taking money from current students to pay past obligations. Cost-of-Living-adjustments that previously provided money for modest Salary increases are now being used entirely to Fund Pensions.

In conclusion, the proposed Parcel Tax is a band-aid approach to a STATE issue. Political pressure must be brought to bear at the STATE level to either provide More Funding or Relax the onerous Mandatory Pension payments.  #NOonQS 

Eric Michael Cap
Burbank Resident & BUSD Parent

Letter to the Editor: Retired Educator Supports Measure QS

Letter to the Editor:

Over 40 years ago, I purchased my home in Burbank for the very same reasons that many people purchase homes in Burbank today—excellent city services and outstanding schools. My three children attended and graduated from Burbank schools and I have recently retired from BUSD as a teacher and administrator. I can speak as a parent, community member, and a former BUSD employee, and I can vouch for the top-tier education that our schools provide and the incredible preparation my children received for life beyond high school.

Funding for public education from the state alone does not provide the level of education and multitude of opportunities for our kids that we have come to expect in Burbank. To help close the funding gap, I support Measure QS on the November ballot in order to continue the excellent programs in our schools and retain and recruit excellent staff.  Key features of Measure QS include an opt-out for seniors (65 years of age and older) as well as oversight by an independent committee. 

As a property owner in Burbank, my property value benefits from outstanding schools and city services.  A Yes vote on Measure QS will add approximately $170 to my tax bill each year. I am certain that the investment I make in the Burbank Schools by voting Yes Measure QS will continue to bring a strong value for my home as well as a continuation of the legacy of excellence in education that we know in Burbank! Won’t you join me in voting Yes on QS?

 

Anita Schackmann
Retired BUSD Teacher/Administrator
Parent, Community Member

Letter to the Editor: No Vote Recommended on Measure P Sales Tax Hike

Letter to the Editor:

Just months after pleading with Voters to Pass Measure T: “To maintain essential City services/infrastructure like police, fire, parks, libraries…”, Burbank wants to increase our Sales Tax by a massive 0.75¢ to 10.25¢, to essentially do the exact same thing.

An honest Ballot statement would read: “To pay for our Unfunded Pensions because previous Council’s took a Pension Holiday (now Illegal) and did not contribute what they should have for 6 consecutive years; and our highly paid City Staff Salaries + generous Benefits; future Infrastructure Maintenance needs because we don’t make Developers Pay their Fair Share in Fees like Glendale ($2k Unit vs $18k); shall Burbank Taxpayers Bailout the City (again), even though we just passed Measure T, by raising our Sales Tax 0.75¢ Forever (no Sunset), giving Burbank the dubious honor of having the Co-Highest Sales Tax in the USA”?

What about Pay Cuts? What about Living Within Your Means like the rest of us? What about getting back to focusing on providing the best Municipal & Public Safety Services instead of wasting time on non-essentials like banning Columbus Day!

This $20M Measure is 2x what the City actually needs to balance future Budget deficits, creating an $11M annual Cash Pot. It’s also Bad For Business, esp. those selling higher-ticket items.  

I love Burbank and want to see our City prosper, but this Taxpayer Bailout only encourages More Spending & Waste. I urge my fellow Burbank residents to Vote NO in November and send our elected Leaders a loud message: Trim The Fat, Cut Spending & Live Within Your Means! #iLuvBurbank

Eric Michael Cap
Burbank

Letter to the Editor: Residents Support Measure QS

Letter to the Editor:

We are voting yes on Measure QS and you should too.  One of the things that makes Burbank such a great city and a wonderful community is the public school system. In addition to our own utility and Fire and Police Departments, my wife and I bought a home here over thirteen years ago because of Burbank’s  schools.  Burbank Unified students, including ours, enjoy access to lower class sizes, fantastic teachers, a robust arts program, wellness programs, and STEM and GATE programs.  The state is only funding the  local school systems at the 2008 level, and without our passage of this measure, some, if not all, of these attributes will be deeply impacted.

Having a great school system benefits all of us. As property owners, it increases the value of our homes and makes them more desirable to potential buyers or renters. Businesses want to be located in a vibrant city and great schools motivate employees to want to live and work in the same community.  In addition, our senior neighbors will not be negatively impacted.  All they have to do is submit an exemption request. An adequately funded school system provides the instruction and programs that prepare today’s students to be tomorrow’s leaders, the next generation of Burbank doctors, lawyers, police officers, firefighters, community activists, teachers, business owners, etc. We need to join together as a community to support our schools and vote to provide the additional funding that this measure will provide.  For us it’s about $14 per month and we know it’s well worth the investment. A vote for QS is a vote for quality schools, a vote for stronger community.

Sincerely, Cindi and Brian Smith

Letter To The Editor: Save Magnolia Park!

Letter to the Editor:

City of Burbank government officials and Burbank residents, we are now in danger of losing a local treasure – Magnolia Park.

The charm and success of Magnolia Boulevard in Magnolia Park is due to the local “Mom and Pop” shops that form the Magnolia Boulevard Merchants Association. Since 2012, they’ve worked hard to make Magnolia Park a destination to shop, eat, and play. They created a neighborhood marketing campaign and hold events like “Ladies and Gents Night Out” and “Holiday in the Park” – all paid for from their own profits.  

However, when you speak with the owners of these locally owned shops you’ll learn that over the next year or two we will face a mass exodus. It’s already started –for instance, we’ve just lost Creature Features. Why? The landlords see this success and are now astronomically raising rents – sometimes in the thousands a month – and these independent shops can’t afford such an increase.

These are the same landlords who voted to disband their own Magnolia Park Partnership in 2011 just to stop paying an up to $0.17 cents per square foot fee toward marketing and events. They now want to reap the fruits of others labor.  

Don’t these landlords know they are killing the goose that laid the golden egg?  Is there something we can do, either legislative or just as a community, to help keep these shops from having to move and stop Magnolia Boulevard going the way of Melrose Avenue?  

SAVE MAGNOLIA PARK!

Jamie O’Brien Moore
Burbank

Letter: Councilman Wishes All a Happy Holiday Season

Letter to the Editor:

“Happy Thanksgiving and Happy Holidays.” 

“It is time to reflect on all of the blessings for which I am thankful.  

I am thankful for another good year of health for myself and my family.  I am continually honored and blessed to serve as your council member of our great city.   I am also thankful for so many residents who care for our community and get involved in our local government.  It is because of your love and dedication that makes this a great community.  

I am thankful for the dedicated employees that work hard, especially our Police and Fire Departments for keeping our city safe.   I am thankful for the men and women who sacrifice so much to keep us free.  

I wish you and your family a Happy Thanksgiving and a Happy and safe Holiday Season.

Bob Frutos “

 

Letter: Council Member Springer Explains Rancho Vote

Letter to the Editor:

The following is in response to questions regarding my Tuesday night City Council vote.  I was opposed to the 34 lot proposed development on Mariposa because I believed it to be too dense and incompatible with the surrounding residential area in the Rancho.  Actually, an appropriate density might be about half that, if residential use were to ever be approved.  Of this I am sure: each member of City Council wants what’s best for the Rancho and all our neighborhoods. I believe each City Council member believed their vote was for an acceptable resolution and outcome.   

Before I reviewed our City Council packet, I thought we would be voting on a 34 lot subdivision, when in fact, the following is what City Council was considering: “whether an application can be submitted to study changing the General Plan land use for 814 S. Mariposa from commercial to residential.”  The following provides further clarification:  “The authorization to proceed does not suggest Council supports the proposed Planned Development, the number of units or the layout of the project. The number of units and layout could change as the project proceeds through the entitlement process as required by the Burbank Municipal Code.”  We were not voting on a certain zoning change; in the end, the zoning could have been unchanged from M1.  Nor were we voting on a 34 lot development, although that’s what the developer would like to have had approved.  These facts were confirmed multiple times during and after the City Council meeting with Patrick Prescott, Community Development Director and City Manager, Ron Davis.

Although there are many in the Rancho who want the zoning to remain M1; there are also residents who support very low density R1H horse keeping residential, consistent with what’s on Morningside and Dincara. They believe large lot R1H residential use to be more stable, safer for equestrians using Mariposa, and that residential use would preserve property values and is value enhancing, versus the potential negative impacts to existing homes proximate and adjacent to commercial or industrial uses.  It’s daunting for many residents to speak publicly, especially when they face jeering and heckling at Rancho Review Board and City Council meetings.  I applaud the courage of the brave young soul who spoke up affirmatively on Tuesday night.  The R1H zone, with appropriate lot size requirements, could be approved to run with the land, whether or not this developer stayed in the game.  I felt the proposed application process to study changing the General Plan land use would be fair to everybody and in the end, the Rancho Review Board and City Council would vote on any proposed land use change.  The site would remain M1, or be very low density residential.   

Just like all of our neighborhoods, I believe the Rancho is a treasure and should be protected.  Not many cities in the world have a Rancho and I feel like it should be protected from being “chipped away.”
Sharon Springer
Burbank City Council
SSpringer@BurbankCA.gov