Finally, after eight years of being on the Burbank City Council, Dr. David Gordon, was selected as mayor during the council reorganization meeting this morning. Even though the mayoral position is pretty much a ceremonial one, there are perks that go along with the job. Maybe that explains why certain council members fight like heck to keep the position among a few of their favorite colleagues. When you think of the backroom shenanigans, sniping, conniving, whining, petty allegations, and so on that have gone on over the years to block Gordon from being included in the annual mayor rotation — oh yeah, there is definitely something special about that position.
This change did not come easy for this city council. The orchestrator of most of the backbiting and undercutting of Gordon, former city council member, Dave Golonski, lost his position in the last election. However, Golonski’s presence was felt.
Bric nominated Gordon for mayor. Councilman, Bob Frutos, made the second. Councilman Jess Talamantes gave a speech about “playing as a team.” Thus, suggesting that’s the problem with Gordon. Not a team player. If so, get over it Jess. More independent thinkers like Gordon, who ask tough questions and don’t rely on the city staff to spoon feed them information, are needed on the council. If the city council had asked more hard probing questions a while back, the city may have avoided the costly and damaging lawsuits and human casualties of the police department mess.
Then it was outgoing mayor, Emily Gabel-Luddy’s, turn to take a shot at Gordon. Earlier, she had been praised for her year of work as mayor. Frequently the word “grace” was used. Luddy’s swipe at Gordon was anything but gracious — in fact, it had a certain Golonski-ring about it.
“I haven’t seen evidence that you have the time. However, I’m going to withhold judgement on that. And abstain from this vote,” Luddy said. Hmm. She complained that Gordon brings information to the council meeting that the others have not had a chance to review. The same complaint has been made by Talamantes, Bric, and ex-council member Golonski. Dr. Gordon finds the time to research and gather this extra information, while running his practice as an optometrist. No doubt, he can find time to handle the job of mayor as well.
By the way, Bric was mayor in 2009, while running a restaurant business full-time. Luddy’s mentor, Golonski, was mayor four times. He has numerous real estate interests in the town. Bric and Golonski seemed to have been able to juggle mayoral duties and their business responsibilities without an issue. So, why would Dr. Gordon be any different?
Gordon was selected as mayor, by a 4-0 vote. He received a standing ovation from the audience. Ironically, it was Gordon who was gracious in his comments: ” I’d like to thank council member Gabel-Luddy for service as mayor this past year. The city has come through many challenges. And I believe she tried her best to captain the ship. I’m humbled and honored, that our system of mayor selection will now allow me the opportunity to try doing my best to serve in this capacity. ”
Councilman, Bob Frutos, was elected vice-mayor with a 5-0 vote. During his first year on the council, Frutos has proven time and time again, that he does a complete study of the materials and comes to council meetings prepared to ask smart questions and make thoughtful suggestions and conclusions. Frutos works full time for the LAPD. Also, Frutos is a strong advocate for change.
“..We need to change the way we are serving the people.The people elected me for change,” Frutos told the council during the meeting. That message may have been missed by certain members of the council. I suspect it was heard loud and clear by potential council candidates sitting in the audience. Both Luddy and Bric are up for reelection next year.