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.