A chance to make a change in Burbank
Burbank city officials are out to appease voters now that the Primary Nomination Election is coming up soon. Last week, the Burbank City Council gave final approval to that election set for February 22, 2011 and the General Muncipal Election on April 12, 2011. There is a countdown running on this blog, in the far right column, that gives the exact number of days, hours, minutes, and seconds until the Burbank Primary Nomination Election. Yes, I think it’s that important.
Burbank city insiders see the 2011 elections as significant as well, and with good reason. Some of those crooks, flakes, and opportunists in Bell would have gotten the boot long ago, if residents had voted them out of office. There is power in the vote. That’s why City Hall officials are taking steps to schmooze the voters, to lull them into thinking things aren’t so bad in Burbank and that they have a real voice in city government.
Did you get your copy of the new city hall publication, “Burbank USA?” In his welcome message on the front of the newsletter, Burbank City Manager, Mike Flad, stated: “We strive to be open, accessible and transparent in all aspects of City government and look forward to sharing valuable information through this newsletter.” Hmm, all of a sudden city officials want to share and be transparent.
I suggest you take a close look at the newsletter, which Flad says will be sent out monthly along with our utility bills. All of it’s fluff: items like free green home house call, city approves regional transit center at the Bob Hope Airport, and the upcoming “Holiday in the Park.” Nothing in the newsletter about the Burbank Police Department scandal/investigation/lawsuits and the millions of dollars being spent for lawyers that city officials are refusing to give the public details on.
There’s a community calendar, but no mention of the November filing date and deadline for candidates interested in running in the city’s February primary. Three seats on the Burbank Unified School District Board of Education and two on the Burbank City Council will be on the ballot. A major note, up for re-election, Mayor/Council member Anja Reinke and Former Mayor/Council member Gary Bric.
The bottom line, changing the make-up of the city council, would be a giant step toward changing what’s wrong in Burbank. Mayor Reinke and Councilman Bric rubber stamped the recent hike in utility fees for residents and then voted hefty raises for the Burbank Water and Power executives. Despite their claims of being fiscally responsible, Reinke and Bric repeatedly voted outrageous raises for selected Burbank staff in recent weeks. It’s time for a change.
The Burbank City Council needs TWO new members who will actively put the interests of residents first. It’s up to the voters. If the same decision makers remain on the city council, there is little doubt, the city will continue its bumpy journey on a path very similar to the one taken by the city of Bell under the guidance of those self-serving officials.
The Leader’s “cozy” and questionable relationship with the BPD
For a long time, The Burbank Leader has been criticized, no slammed, for allegedly being what many consider a cheerleader or mouthpiece for city government. So you’d think the Leader staff would make an extra effort to deflect this criticism and try to build a reputation of journalistic integrity. Well, maybe not.
Over the weekend in the newspaper and on its website, Editor Dan Evans boasted of a new arrangement with the Burbank Police. Apparently the BPD is going to be feeding certain stories to the Leader. Here’s the link to Evan’s comments (in the middle section of his “Start the Presses” column).
The Leader deal got plenty of negative reaction from some Burbank news sites, including this stinging response from BurbankNBeyond Editor, Craig Sherwood, in an opinion piece called, “Outsourcing Burbank Journalism.”
I think this kind of arrangement with one newspaper sends a bad message to ALL media. I guess you can’t fault the Leader editor for asking for special privileges, but Police Chief Scott LaChasse should have had the smarts to say “no.’
Bees buzzing the flowers in October
During the warm three-day Columbus Day weekend, I noticed quite a few bees fluttering from flower to flower in my Burbank garden. The bees paid special attention to the colorful geraniums. Another nice reminder of how lovely fall can be in SoCal.