Burbank’s General Election 2011 is history, but it will be talked about for some time. I joined a small group of election watchers in the lobby of City Hall last night, to wait for the returns to come in. It was a long wait!
The deadline for turning in those controversial mail-in ballots was 7 p.m. Despite this early deadline the first return numbers were not posted until after 9 p.m.
Measure U sailed to an easy victory with 5, 264 Yes votes against 2, 555 No votes. A City Hall press release says:” Measure U will update the telecommunications language in Burbank’s Utility Users Tax to match current technology, without any change in the tax rate. It will ensure that everyone is treated equally regardless of the telecommunication service or device they choose.”
The real nail biter was the contest between candidates Bob Frutos and Emily Gabel-Luddy for the remaining one open seat on the city council. Throughout the evening, the candidates traded places leading the returns. By 10:30 p.m. it was over and Gabel-Luddy had the most votes in the preliminary count.
Emily Gabel-Luddy 4,400 votes
Bob Frutos 4,314 votes
Gabel-Luddy won a squeaker by a mere 86 votes. Today Frutos, Chair of the Police Commission, indicated he is not quite ready to concede. He issued this statement about the results: “I certainly respect the will of the Burbank voters. Because the election is yet to be certified, I will await the final results.”
Burbank City Clerk, Margarita Campos, is expected to announce the final election results this Friday. Campos told me a week ago, four thousand General Election ballots had been received at City Hall. In the last few days, the ballots came pouring in. Last night, Campos said, “… a lot came in today…” It was not a big turnout, 8, 853 ballots. Still, that’s several hundred more than the 8,073 ballots returned for the February 22 Primary Election. There are around 56,000 registered voters in Burbank.