There’s a lot of talk around B-town about the city council candidates’ forum, at the Burbank Central Library over on Glenoaks Boulevard, last Thursday. Less than 50 people were in the audience to see some highs and lows of the campaign for the remaining two seats on the Burbank City Council.
The candidates: newcomer David Nos, and incumbents, Dr. David Gordon, Jess Talamantes, and Mayor Dave Golonski were in top form. Too bad this event, hosted by the Burbank Association of Realtors was not televised. That would have been a huge negative for the mayor — but let’s start with who shined at the forum.
David Nos grabbed the most attention in this forum. After a timid and uncertain performance at the League of Women Voters forum last January, Nos showed himself to be a confident, articulate candidate willing to take a stand on some controversial issues. Apparently this is the Nos who has being winning over voters during the campaign.
At a recent city council meeting, during public comments, Nos defended the right of the majority of Burbank residents on a stretch of Screenland Drive to say “No” to sidewalks. Nos even offered the council some suggestions on where the money could be better spent.
During this forum, Nos repeated his support for these residents. Also, Nos criticized the present council majority for “isolating” Dr. Gordon by refusing to allow him to serve as vice-mayor or mayor. It’s unfair and has caused friction on the panel. The council members should be working together to solve the city’s problems — not plotting against each other. Nos gets that and had the courage to speak out about it.
On a variety of other subjects such as pension reform, balancing the budget, and term limits for council members — Nos held his own against the the incumbents. He delivered strong opinions, with a professional and polite demeanor — a sharp contrast to the final comments from Mayor Golonski. I will get to that a little later.
Dr. Gordon offered up some persuasive arguments for his bid to quote “… serve the community.” Gordon is known as a fighter for the “little guy” from senior citizens, to small business owners, to homeowners and renters.
Gordon came across at the forum the way he does at city council meetings– at times tough, but always passionate about what he believes is his job as an elected council member. Gordon expressed mixed feelings about term limits — but suggested the tenure of a certain council member might be reason to consider it.
Councilman Jess Talamantes said it really should be up to “the voters to decide” when to tell an official “it’s time to go.” Also, Talamantes had one of the best lines of the evening, in dealing with the city’s issues and problems, officials need to “think outside the box .. or make the box bigger.” Now, Talamantes is good with a quick line, but can he really follow up his words with actions? On the city council, he has been more of a follower than a leader.
Councilman/Mayor Golonski, began the forum in control and calm, which is his usual persona. Golonski, a 20-year veteran of the council, agreed with Talamantes: “… leave up to the voters” to determine when an official should step aside. As is the case at city council meetings, Golonski traded verbal punches with Gordon over a number of issues including outsourcing and the city’s future 20-35 plan.
Golonski must have felt his fellow council member was up on points, because he let loose with an ugly rant against Gordon in his final statement. Golonski admitted he had never voted for Gordon for mayor because of what he described as “outrageous” positions taken by Gordon.
In this rant, we saw a disturbing picture of a powerful, overly confident councilman who thinks his opinion trumps that of everyone else and who went so far as to declared “I don’t lie.” I guess we should consider every word out of Golonski’s mouth as being some kind of holy gospel. I don’t think so.. unless perhaps, the mayor can walk on water.