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A close finish in the Burbank City Council race

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Photo: FLLewis/A Writers Groove

I dropped by Burbank City Hall last night to see the returns come in for the General Municipal Election. The only names on the ballot were the six candidates running for three seats on the powerful Burbank City Council. Around 10 p.m. when the numbers were in for all of the city’s 42 precincts and the winners elected, I felt like I’d just watched a nail-biting horse race at Santa Anita racetrack. I guess it was only fitting that a hard fought campaign would end in a neck-and-neck race for at least two of the council seats.

Incumbent and Mayor Dave Golonski shot out of the gate as the front runner and remained so to the finish line. The real horse race occurred for second and third among Incumbent David Gordon, long-time community activist Jess Talamantes, and young upstart Kimberly Jo.

As many campaign observers had expected, Jo waged a tough battle and even led councilman Gordon until the last few precinct ballots were counted. In the end experience won out; Incumbents Golonski and Gordon will be joined on the council by Talamantes, a retired Burbank firefighter. Still, one must applaud Jo for spearheading a campaign based on fresh ideas and a new kind of energy, which fired up many voters.

Here’s the final count:

Elise Stearns-Niesen —— 3838

Garen Yegparian———- 3126

David Gordon———— 5235            ELECTED

Kimberly Jo————– 5031

Jess Talamantes———- 5353         ELECTED

Dave Golonski————5698           ELECTED

 Ballots:  11, 852                           42 out of 42 precincts

Dr. Gordon watched the returns come in at city hall. He admitted it had been a stressful night and was clearly relieved when it was over: “I look forward to doing an even better job in my second term.”  Also, Gordon says he wants to continue to “… keep my position of putting the people first.”

Mayor Golonski stopped by city hall once victory was imminent and he savored it: “I’m excited … I feel good, we worked hard…” Golonski admits the recession and the struggling economy mean 2009 is shaping up to be a rough year, but he believes there will be “…opportunities with those challenges.”

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