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City Buzz: Voters have spoken, change comes to Burbank

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2013 election results

Photo: FLLewis/Media City G -- Caution tape blocked off the entrance to a room where the General Election ballots were sorted after 7 p.m. at Burbank City Hall April 9, 2013

Photo: FLLewis/Media City G — Caution tape blocked off the entrance to a room where the General Election ballots were sorted after 7 p.m. at Burbank City Hall April 9, 2013

2013 will be remembered as the year Burbank residents got fed up with the status quo, opened up those mail-in ballot packets from the City Clerk’s Office, and voted by the thousands for change in the Media City. Historic. Decisive. Profound. The meaning of the voters’ decision in both the primary and general elections will be felt throughout B-town for a long, long time.

In case anyone thought the election of newcomer Bob Frutos in last February’s primary, with more than 50% of the vote, over three incumbent council members was a fluke — voters delivered another smackdown in yesterday’s General Election by showing the door to the keeper of the old guard, 20-year Councilman Dave Golonski.

On this blog, many times over the past few years, I have called for new leadership on the city council and the need for voters to make it happen. I believe in the power of the vote and the voters’ right to seek change through this very American and democratic process. I applaud the voters.

Recap of Election Night

Photo: FLLewis/Media City G-- Burbank City Clerk Zizette Mullins at city hall on Election Night April 9, 2013

Photo: FLLewis/Media City G– Burbank City Clerk Zizette Mullins at city hall on Election Night April 9, 2013

When I arrived at Burbank city hall around 7 30 p.m. to watch the returns come in last night, I was pleasantly surprised to see several developments. In the lobby, there were election numbers up on the screen of a TV tuned to channel 6. A short time later, a confident Zizette Mullins, city clerk, came out to do an early victory dance in front of the media. As promised she noted, the election results were being posted early and in an orderly fashion. A precursor to how the general election results would be publicly posted.

Mullins and her team deserve praise for correcting the mistakes of primary night, which produced a wave of criticism and outrage. Even the on-camera appearance by Public Information Officer, Drew Sugars,  last night were better this time around.

In those early returns,  for the two seats on the city council,  incumbent Councilmen David Gordon and Jess Talamantes were in the lead and would hold on to win re-election.

In the race for the two seats on the Burbank School Board, incumbent Larry Applebaum grabbed the lead and held onto it throughout the night. That would not be the case for Steve Ferguson, who jumped into second place during the early returns — but would soon be overtaken by Charlene “Char” Tabet.

Measure S, a special tax for sewer/refuse customer assistance programs, was apparently dead on arrival. It was losing in early returns and was soundly defeated.

Here are the preliminary final results from Burbank city website:

Measure S

  • Yes                  3795
  • No                   4910
Results as of 10:18pm
8705 Votes Cast
Approximately 99% Counted

School Board (2 seats)

  • Larry Applebaum           5858
  • Charlene “Char” Tabet   4955
  • Steve Ferguson               4595
  • David Dobson                  2809
Results as of 10:18pm
11123 Ballots Cast
Approximately 99% Counted
Photo: FLLewis/Media City G -- Larry Applebaum and Charlene "Char" Tabet dropped by city hall after winning the two seats on the Burbank School Board April 9, 2013

Photo: FLLewis/Media City G — Larry Applebaum and Charlene “Char” Tabet dropped by city hall after winning the two seats on the Burbank School Board April 9, 2013

City Council (2 seats)

  • David Gordon            5411
  • Jess A. Talamantes  5268
  • Dave Golonski            4557
  • David Nos                    4355
Results as of 10:18pm
11123 Ballots Cast
Approximately 99% Counted
Photo: FLLewis/Media City G -- Councilman David Gordon came down to Burbank City Hall to meet the media after winning re-election April 9, 2013

Photo: FLLewis/Media City G — Councilman David Gordon came down to Burbank City Hall to meet the media after winning re-election April 9, 2013

Dr. David Gordon, the biggest vote getter in the city council race, trounced his council rival, Dave Golonski, by more than 800 votes.

A relaxed and smiling Gordon spoke to the media at city hall and said his victory was a clear indication voters, “… want to see a new direction of the council.” Gordon says one of his priorities will be to resolve the issues in what has become known as the police mess. Gordon declared it’s a “… whole new day.”

Gordon and voters should celebrate this new day and the victory that made it possible.

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