The ballots for the April 14, 2015 Burbank General Municipal Election have begun arriving in the mailboxes and mail slots of the city’s registered voters. In the city council race there’s a run-off involving incumbent Emily Gabel-Luddy, Will Rogers, Juan Guillen, and Chris Rizzotti.
Development is still the hot topic as we head into the final weeks of the campaign. Recently, the long simmering controversy surrounding overbuilt homes or McMansions came to a head at City Hall. Residents showed up in force at two city council meetings to support the hire of an architectural firm to come up with a set of design guidelines for single family homes and a temporary moratorium on mansionization. No surprise, among those speaking in support of both measures, city council candidate Juan Guillen.
All of the 2015 city council candidates answered this question on Media City Groove: “What are the biggest concerns of residents? What do you think the city council should do to alleviate those concerns?”
Guillen said: “While resident concerns may change from day-to-day, at the heart of the concern is always the quality of life in our community. Traffic, street repair, mansionization, overdevelopment, and other issues should be approached proactively with effective outreach to residents that ensures that their voices are heard and they are actively included in the solutions.”
Guillen doesn’t just talk the talk — he takes action. You gotta wonder where were Rogers and Rizzotti during the public debate over McMansions at city council meetings on March 3 and March 10. One City Hall watcher suggested they were hiding out somewhere waiting to see which way the political winds were blowing.
It takes courage and leadership to stand-up on a controversial issue. Guillen has demonstrated this ability on numerous occasions. The Burbank Leader endorsed a council candidate with an “arrogant demeanor” and who is likely to fight with a “blowtorch or pickax” for what he believes. Guillen has more finesse. Also, Guillen is not a pompous candidate enthralled with the sound of his own voice. Instead, he’s a passionate and relentless fighter for the interests and rights of residents.
Burbank City Council race — Two open seats
1. Juan Guillen gets the endorsement of Media City Groove in the general election.
2. No endorsement for a second candidate on the city council, however, a recommendation for Emily Gabel-Luddy
In the past few weeks, council member Gabel-Luddy appears to have finally heard voters’ outrage about overdevelopment and the need to protect neighborhoods. Recently, Gabel-Luddy voted “yes”on the new single-family home design standards as well as for the IDCO — Interim Development Control Ordinance .
Those who did not vote for Gabel-Luddy in the primary because of her pro-development views should give her a second look before marking their general ballots. She’s a better choice than Rizzotti or Rogers.
Burbank School Board race: One open seat
Dr. Armond Aghakhanian is a dedicated educator who has been involved in the community for a very long time. This kind of experience will be an asset to the Burbank School Board. Media City Groove endorses Aghakhanian over his less experienced opponent, Greg Sousa, who touts himself as a parent and district outsider.