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Burbank, the city council, and that disturbing water wasting video

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Photo: FLLewis/A Writer’s Groove — Burbank

Burbank officials have hammered residents with new water restrictions, penalties, and higher rates recently. We’re in a water crisis they insist. Well, you’d think if the shortage is as serious as they say, the first order of business would be to make the city as water efficient as possible. There are indications this has not been a high priority or the job was left incomplete.  Besides the repeated sprinkler problem/flooding at the Burbank jail mentioned in an earlier post on this blog, now the city has been caught on video wasting precious water in the downtown area.

The video was shot along a section of San Fernando Boulevard near Olive Avenue by concerned citizen Mike Nolan. The amateur video shows sprinklers drenching giant planters to the point that streams of water run down the sidewalk and into the street in the early morning hours. The same video was shown during the first public comment period at the Burbank City Council meeting, last Tuesday, September 8. Earlier that afternoon, the video was posted on Youtube and a link to it popped up in a comment section on this blog.

At times a certain council member has been arrogant, condescending, and down right rude when some citizens (including Burbank Police Commissioner James Etter at the September 1, 2009 council meeting)  have complained about the water restrictions or expressed doubts about a water shortage. There was none of that following the showing of the water wasting video, which was a relief. Council member Jess Talamantes thanked Nolan for the video saying it “…exposed a lot of waste….” Councilman Dave Golonski admitted it’s the city’s “…responsibility to conserve water…” and called for some kind of plan to be carried out to check the efficency of the public watering systems. Council member Anja Reinke suggested the city should be using drought-resistent plants.

No surprise, the city moved quickly to try to correct this public relations nightmare. Tuesday evening, Nolan says he took a stroll along San Fernando Boulevard and discovered the gushing sprinklers in those planters had been replaced with much smaller ones. Perhaps this will solve one public water wasting problem, but are there others around the city? On this controversial and sensitive issue, the city of Burbank should be out front leading the way on conservation and not be a water waster.

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25 Responses to Burbank, the city council, and that disturbing water wasting video

  1. Eddie Friday, September 11, 2009 at 4:17 pm #

    Dave Golonski maybe admitted the cities need to conserve water but he sure hasn’t done much about doing it so far.

    The best comment here is Anje Renke with her suggestion that the city should put in drought resistant plants and stop watering.

    Does Dave Golonski have a rock garden in his front yard or does he have a lush turf ?

  2. Pissed Off Friday, September 11, 2009 at 6:19 pm #

    Council member Anja Reinke suggested the city should be using drought-resistent plants.

    That is a really good idea, what to you want to bet Golonski will never let that happen ?

  3. Reese Friday, September 11, 2009 at 6:36 pm #

    I watched Mike Nolan and the video he made during the City Council Meeting live on television.

    Week after week Mr Nolan has brought up the sprinklers and everyweek they get this arrogant attitue and act like he is a loon. Ok so he went and made a film and proved who the liars and loons really are.

    These people are so busy thinking of ways to punish residents and arrest citizens they don’t have time to fix what they are responsible for.

    Mayor Bric and all his vandalism by vandals excuses are bull. If you watch that video it looks like those sprinklers work just fine the problem is some bumblehead put them into a flower pot like an idiot.

    Forget water shortage and all that who puts sprinklers into flower pots ? I dpn’t remember those pots being there that long I think they are very new so who was responsible for flower pots with sprinklers as if that’s a great idea anyway ? I am so sure it brings lots of shoppers who just love to walk by flower pots full of water right ? Dumb, Dumb and Dumber.

  4. stretch Friday, September 11, 2009 at 6:55 pm #

    Isn’t it going to be “El Nino” this year? I keep hearing on the news about rainy season headed our way. What’s all the fuss…fall is upon us shortly.

    Golonski is proving to be not the sharpest tool in the shed.

  5. Tim Friday, September 11, 2009 at 7:31 pm #

    Stretch it’s more like Golonski is the crayon in the box with the broken tip.

    Who is taking the bets that if we get tons of rain and flooding this winter Golosnki will never declare his shortage over and roll back those rates and all tghe restrictions ?

  6. Jim Carlile Friday, September 11, 2009 at 11:29 pm #

    I hope Mike didn’t use a tripod.

  7. Jim Carlile Friday, September 11, 2009 at 11:49 pm #

    It doesn’t surprise me at all that cops make this kind of overtime money, because it’s about the going rate. And in the labor world this kind of OT assignment is indeed considered to be featherbedding, because most of the time the cops stand around the catering truck munching carrot sticks and Fritos and ogling the Extras.

    That’s nice work if you can get it. Most cities let civilians handle their film permit process, not the guys who personally benefit from the required assignments, and I’m wondering how anyone can defend Burbank’s practice here.

  8. Fronnie Saturday, September 12, 2009 at 2:58 am #


    No shortage of controversies in Burbank. Another biggie is the modification of the film permit ordinance. This process has been going on for a while and clearly there is a great need for input from the local film/production community. You’re right Jim, the way the city of Burbank is handling the drafting of the new ordinance is troubling.

    It has been suggested that the city council set of a film advisory committee to provide knowledgeable information on stuff like cameras and tripods for things like the film permit.

    Also, the film permit should be focused on what is safe and not what is a commerical or non-commerical project. Also, the permit price is too high, over 300 bucks. It should be free or somewhere around $50. Burbank is the Media Capital of the World. It should be filmmaker friendly.

  9. Red Ant Saturday, September 12, 2009 at 12:10 pm #

    The way the city is handling the film law is not troubling its manipulative.

    Free the tripods!

  10. Red Ant Saturday, September 12, 2009 at 5:12 pm #

    This video is so good I had to post the link for it again, hope it’s ok this story is also about water. This video should get an academy award.

  11. Jeff Saturday, September 12, 2009 at 5:17 pm #

    The film ordinance is just insane. The councilmembers do not understand it, no way can the public understand it and the police have no film experience to undersatand it. The film ordinance should be sent off to the shreader.

    I support freedom for tripods

  12. E.R.G. Sunday, September 13, 2009 at 12:05 pm #

    If only 1/10th of this is true and factual we really need a new city attorney.

  13. Manny Ramirez Sunday, September 13, 2009 at 2:47 pm #

    Once again, Jim Carlile is not getting his facts straight. It would be nice if him and Stretch could once give some truth to the matter. You obviously have no clue to the overtime policy for the Burbank Police Department. You think cops should be paid the regular rate after working their 40 hours per week? What job anywhere gets paid the regular rate to work overtime? Also, its pretty funny how you think the police department “manufactures” their own overtime.

  14. Fronnie Sunday, September 13, 2009 at 9:58 pm #

    Interesting new job posting by the city of Burbank.

    Apparently Burbank is looking for someone to help sell its energy and water conservation programs to the public.

    The city has placed a job ad on the Burbank Leader website and in the print edition for a Customer Program Assistant “… to create & implement marketing & educational outreach energy & water conservation programs for residential and commercial customers.”

    Here’s the link

  15. Eileen C Monday, September 14, 2009 at 11:22 am #

    Burbank advertises for someone to sell it’s energy and conservation ideas ?

    Watch for more increases on the water bill to pay for this expert to tell us we should pay more.

    Maybe they should hire an expert that can fiz all their sprinklers !

  16. Johnny Monday, September 14, 2009 at 11:26 am #

    My reading of both Jim Carlile and Stretch is that they are saying the Burbank Police come up with rules that require them to be hired at offtime overtime to enforce.

    If I read them correctly this film ordinance is a case in point where the guy who gets the most overtime out of the film ordinance is revisi9ng it to get even more overtime.

    I never read them say cops or anyone else should get paid straight time for working over 40 hours a week.

    However Manny made me think of something. Say I have a full time job Monday through Friday. I get a second job on weekends working fotr say Bob’s Big Boy. I already worked my 40 hours a week for someone else so does that mean Bob’s Big Boy should pay me at the overtime rate ? Don’t forget I didn’t work 40 hours for Bob’s Big Boy yet.

    That is something to think about if the officers are actually off duty and wsorking for Bob’s Big Boy I think.

  17. stretch Monday, September 14, 2009 at 2:36 pm #


    The way it works is the studios (largest provider of overtime) and other smaller ventures must pay a flat overtime rate to the city when events require police presence. Police are required for certain permits to be issued, so it is mandatory that the budget for these private events have money to pay for the police.

    Officers sign up for these events. If a Lieutenant works the event, then the city makes way less of the flat rate that they charged Bob’s Big Boy.

    So in a nutshell, the officers are not working for Bob’s they are still working privately for the city. The officers still use city vehicles, city radios, back-up, city facitlies, and insurance. All off duty work is in full uniform. The pay just comes out of a different budget, privately funded.

  18. Danny Monday, September 14, 2009 at 3:07 pm #


    In all honesty this is sounding more and more like a shake down of businesses.

    The city requires the permit. To get the permit you must hire Burbank Police.

    Because you hire the police they are on overtime ?

    You don’t pay the police you pay the city but what makes me call this a shake down is when you said
    “If a Lieutenant works the event, then the city makes way less of the flat rate that they charged Bob’s Big Boy.”

    That tells me that the city doesn’t charge the actual cost even, the city uses the permits to make a profit. I think that is sooo wrong. In the end the business pays these inflated costs so the city can make a profit by charging customers more. When they charge customers more to pay the city that makes the total higher which makes the sales tax higher and the city gets part of the higher sales tax too. How is this not a shake down ?

  19. Stretch Monday, September 14, 2009 at 7:25 pm #


    It is not so bad for the city and its residents if it is run correctly. Remember, these events like movie filming, need cops or the traffic and onlookers would get nutty. There have even been some incidents at Bob’s (very few because of cops).

    The city makes a pretty penny on the over time using the police as a money maker. The businesses have no problem because they want cops, not security guards.

    The problem is the same as always. Money! In the end the profits that are made by the city go into the fund, which is getting raped by the costly lawsuits and frivolous spending projects the council and Flad cook up.

    Mis-management is the biggest problem right now in the city mangers office and police department. The fish always stinks from the head.

  20. Reese Tuesday, September 15, 2009 at 4:09 pm #

    Well because money and greed become a problem there needs to be oversight. It looks more and more like we lack real oversight on almost everything.

  21. Arman Tuesday, September 15, 2009 at 5:29 pm #

    From the more corruption files, the Senate votes yesterday to rip away funding from Acorn for corruption inlcuding prostitution of minors.

  22. Arman Tuesday, September 15, 2009 at 5:30 pm #

    President Obama calls Kanye West a ‘jackass’ after stunt he pulled at the MTV video awards

  23. Arman Tuesday, September 15, 2009 at 5:32 pm #

    Audio tape of President Obama calling out Kanye West

  24. Mr. Burbank Thursday, September 24, 2009 at 7:10 pm #

    Visit! FOr all the latest and greatest on Burbank

  25. Fronnie Friday, September 25, 2009 at 10:19 am #

    Mr. Burbank,

    Tried to click over to your blog, but according to Blogger it could not be found. If you want to join the discussion on this blog, okay. However, this is not a place to just post random or unrelated links to other sites and blogs.

Comments are closed.