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Former Burbank Official Marsha Ramos speaks out on hot city issues

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Photo: FLLewis/A Writer’s Groove — Ex-Burbank City Council Member/Mayor, Marsha Ramos

A few weeks ago, Marsha Ramos stepped out of the public spotlight and back into private life after two terms on the Burbank City Council and twice serving as mayor. Also, Ramos has worked on numerous city committees, boards, and panels, including the police commission, over the years.

So it should come as no surprise to anyone that Ramos has been watching the dramas and controversies swirling around Burbank with particular interest.

Earlier this week, on Tuesday June 9, Ramos answered some questions for me via e-mail.

1. What do you think of the decision to re-vote the police commission vacancies? What do you think of the decision to do background checks on police commissioners? 


I acknowledge that all board and commission members serve at the pleasure of the City Council, and can be removed for no reason at all.  However, in this case both the timing and the questionable procedures have created a perception that is damaging. The decision to conduct a background investigation after the appointment was made is troubling to me. The City Council and Burbank Police Department had never indicated or even implied that a background check was necessary or considered. In my opinion isolating this commissioner and conducting a background check after his appointment was a discriminatory decision.


It is especially troubling because this is the type of decision making process that lends support to the allegations the 5 police officers are citing in their lawsuit. And now, at the direction of the City Council last Tuesday, all the police commission appointees must file additional paperwork and submit to a background check after they’ve been appointed. This is a procedural nightmare.


I was a police commissioner, at no time during my service, or as a participant of the police community academy was I informed that a background check had been conducted as a condition of service or required for a police ride-along. The role of a police commissioner is very different than that of a Police Department volunteer. The two should not be confused. Volunteers are provided training and regular office hours and have access to more confidential information than any Council member. The Police Commission, an advisory body to the Council, meets only four times per year and had very limited access to confidential information. 


In the future if the majority of the Council chooses to remove a commissioner or board member they have a responsibility to act appropriately, and a duty to be fair and respectful to those in our community willing to serve.


2. What do you think about the discrimination lawsuit filed by five members of the Burbank Police Department?


I’m saddened, because I think this should have been avoided. Leadership is critical. That said, I recognize first hand, that hands are tied by a dysfunctional system that escalates conflicts to a point of no return. Already the divisive rhetoric has surfaced, and one hopes that the morale of a department that has had a stellar reputation will not erode. Ultimately, protecting the financial interests of the City is the primary consideration. The adversarial positions crafted by the city attorney’s office will be carefully molded with very little room to move toward an expedient resolution. Sadly, it is the nature of the legal system.


3. What about those “internal and external investigations” going on?


These are very complex conditions in a climate that is clearly tense. There are and have been multiple investigations and allegations. The courts will sort through some of them, outside eyes will make other determinations and findings, and the court of public opinion is more engaged than usual.


4. What course of action should city officials take to deal with the current situation with both the media and residents demanding answers and action?


Proceed with great care.

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54 Responses to Former Burbank Official Marsha Ramos speaks out on hot city issues

  1. Fuscardo Friday, June 12, 2009 at 12:29 pm #

    Maybe the police board members should just be elected by the people. That way it wouldn’t just be friends of people that get those jobs ? Something is really messed up how they pick people.

  2. Ricardo 005 Friday, June 12, 2009 at 1:47 pm #

    I like Mayor Ramos

  3. h_f Friday, June 12, 2009 at 1:51 pm #

    I think Councilwoman Ramos is right the whole system is disfunctional. It doesn’t work and some people won’t admit that so bad things just keep happening.

  4. disgusted resident Friday, June 12, 2009 at 1:59 pm #

    It is especially troubling because this is the type of decision making process that lends support to the allegations the 5 police officers are citing in their lawsuit.

    I see this the same exact way. The council is holding a trial by rumor and what goes around always comes around

  5. Burbank resident 40 years Friday, June 12, 2009 at 2:53 pm #

    Thanks for this it is very imformative and again shows we have realy bad problems in Burbank. We all know it but it goes on and on because of people who make their life’s work defending the undefensible. It is really time for change in Burbank.

  6. Ryan C. Friday, June 12, 2009 at 3:24 pm #

    No body get mad at me but does somebody have a better picture of her that picture makes her look like a blue sponge she looks better than the picture.

    sorry for being critical of the pciture.

  7. Snoopy Friday, June 12, 2009 at 3:48 pm #

    I have come to see and believe that there is a fundamental issue that is at the core of many of the current issues facing the city.

    The system has become ‘disfunctional’ as it has placed business as the end all be all above the importance of the people.

    The reason the city exists is for the people who live here. The people are what everything is about and if it is not about the people we have really lost direction.

    I personally believe that at the core of the ‘disfunction’ is a failure to listen to the residents and a faiolure to realize they are what everything must be all about.

    Reports come forward and actions are taken as if getting through as many actions as quickly as possible is the most important thing. Reports come forward and reference what consultants feel, what staff recommends and often there is not one word of consideration as to the needs or even effects on the people who every action should be all about.

    This is ‘disfunction’ at its best and a sign the city has lost sight of its purpose and the effects of it’s actions on the residents.

    It is great to pass a budget, yet when it’s passage means higher charges to residents who are struggling in this economy to survive what have we accomplished. A passed budget may mean business done and now onto the next urgent matter yet if our parks are left without police patrol so citizens are safe what have we really accomplished ?

    The city exists for the common citizens and this is why a functional system must adress their needs, concerns and lives and this can not become only about some sterile notion of rushing through business. The attitude that listening to the concerns and effects as well as needs of citizens wastes time and holds the city back from getting down to business creates a disfunctional system because it forgets what everything is really all about.

  8. Carma Friday, June 12, 2009 at 4:00 pm #

    It is good that the residents of Burbank are concerned with the issues. Fronnie’s blog is the only real source of news that is keeping on the problem. The situation is much worse than people know. There are many more officers, past and presently employed, coming forward. The FBI is looking into to several issues involving Chief Stehr and his personal friends.

    These issues include, the cover-up of criminal action by members of the department, including but not limited to domestic violence, assault under color of authority, and terrorist threats. No to mention widespread racial and gender bias complaints.

    As Marsha Ramos states it is about the financial issues…MONEY. This is why certain members of the City Council, City Attorney’s and Police Departments cannot be trusted.

    Now the Fire Department Chief is off on a “work related injury” (high blood pressure) because of more of the same nepotistic practice and the misuse of city funds. Another scandal cover-up?

  9. Gonzalez Friday, June 12, 2009 at 4:13 pm #

    I agree everything does look like it’s about money. I think some people have gotten rich off making everyone else poor.

    I agree Carma things are really bad it must have been for money that people cover everything up. It’s funny because everything is all about money and everything is going broke yikes people should just do the right thing.

  10. Black Dragon Friday, June 12, 2009 at 4:23 pm #

    Thanks for this blog 🙂

    This is real news and the one on one question answer is the bomb. I would be willing to subscribe to this.

    Do more question and answers with officials I would really like to see one with the police chief. Sure he may say no comment but check it if that’s what he says and all he says I would like to know.

    Maybe some people don’t want people to wonder whats crackin with all this but I sure want to know what’s up.

    I saw this story about them messing with some families cat on the news. That sucks take a persons pet and sell it off like its all about making bank.

  11. Black Dragon Friday, June 12, 2009 at 4:31 pm #

    I gota ask who hurt the Fire Chief now ?

  12. Disgusted citizen Friday, June 12, 2009 at 4:35 pm #

    Carma I am starting to think almost no one can be trusted. That is so sad.

  13. Disgusted citizen Friday, June 12, 2009 at 4:41 pm #

    Thanks writers groove for reporting what we need to know

  14. Carma Friday, June 12, 2009 at 4:46 pm #

    Black Dragon,

    Funny you should mention the “cat” caper. There is no doubt the animal shelter messed up. Again it sounds like instead of doing the right thing by those people who lost the pet, the city is not calling them back.

    Did you know that the Lieutenant in charge of the animal shelter at the time of this incident is on paid leave because of a sexual harassment claim by one of the shelter workers. He is accused of directing a laser (which measure the tempature inside cars when animals are left in hot vehicles) on to the private parts of a female worker and making comments like “its warming up down there.”

    I know this blog is clean, but I cannot report the FACTS any other way. Unfortunately, no matter how one desribes this behavior, it this is unbelievable.

    He was promoted by current Chief Tim Stehr.

  15. flaco290 Friday, June 12, 2009 at 4:53 pm #

    I saw that the police arrest the dogs and cats and run the shelter but why would they take somebodies cat away ?

    People get paid when they do sexual harrasment ? Why ? I sure wouldn’t get paid if I did something like that.

    Why are laws one way for the government and the other way for people ? That is not right at all.

  16. ARMAN Friday, June 12, 2009 at 4:58 pm #

    Why take a cat ? It’s all about being cruel to people.

    Why make a bid deal out of a DUI ? It’s all being cruel to people.

    Not all but some in Burbank are just plain heartless.

  17. ARMAN Friday, June 12, 2009 at 5:02 pm #

    I’m supporting Black Dragon how about a question and answer with the mayor, police chief and the police commission. It would be a good read whatever they do or don’t say on everything.

  18. the vampire Friday, June 12, 2009 at 5:10 pm #

    Always to type of people, those who make the laws and those who get arrested for not following them. I am pretty much fed up that they make them and they don’t follow them.

  19. the vampire Friday, June 12, 2009 at 5:13 pm #

    Sexual harrasment now why am I not really surprised ?

  20. Fronnie Lewis Friday, June 12, 2009 at 5:22 pm #


    Good Idea.

    Ricardo 005,

    There are many in Burbank who agree with you.


    If the system is broken and needs fixing, citizens should pressure their elected officials to make changes!

    disgusted citizen,

    “A trial by rumor.” Yes that is what it seems like since the city council has refused to release the so called “secret document” with the allegations against Police Commissioner John Brady.

    Burbank resident 40 years,

    Indeed, it is time for change in Burbank.

    Ryan C.

    Marsha Ramos is very attractive. You know, I like her in that blue suit.


    You’re so right, the city is about or should be about doing what is best for its citizens.


    Thanks for the blog kudos. I’ve heard rumblings about those other allegations against the Burbank PD as well.

    Hmm, interesting about the Burbank Fire Chief. I believe he’s on medical leave for two months.


    Yeah, folks should do the right thing, but they don’t always. When citizens see things going wrong in government be it city, state, or national… they need to speak up and demand change.

    Black Dragon,

    There’s a brief comment from Burbank Police Chief Tim Stehr in one of posts from last month. It’s called
    “Burbank police facing allegations of misconduct and other problems.”

    You know, I don’t have any details on what happened or is going on with the Burbank Fire Chief.

    Disgusted citizen,

    I understand how you can feel that way. The public trust has been damaged and needs to be restored. That’s why correcting the problems and bringing about change is so important. It would help rebuild some of that trust over time.

  21. the vampire Friday, June 12, 2009 at 5:27 pm #

    Cool how you interact and respond I like it here.

  22. Tim R Friday, June 12, 2009 at 5:49 pm #

    Here is the cat story and what Burbank Police did to the people and their cat.

  23. Tim R Friday, June 12, 2009 at 5:52 pm #

    I say support the family and their cat against a corrupt money hungry city.

    People should email the city council and tell them to do the right thing and give these poor people their cat back.

  24. Fronnie Lewis Friday, June 12, 2009 at 5:58 pm #

    Disgusted citizen,

    Thanks for the writer’s groove compliment.

    Black Dragon,

    Yeah, that cat caper is one strange story. Hmm, lieutenant in charge of the Burbank animal shelter on paid leave after being accused of sexual harassment. Wow! We have to add that complaint to list of allegations and charges against Burbank police officers and Burbank Police officials.


    I hope the Burbank Police Departmet is taking this sexual harassment complaint seriously.

    The laws should be the same for everyone. The citizens need to keep the pressure on government to make sure that happens.

  25. Disgusted citizen Friday, June 12, 2009 at 6:00 pm #

    Thanks for the video that is awfull. One more system that is disfunctioing it looks like.

    Does anyone know do they charge to register or whatever it is that they just forgot to check ?

    Does anything in this city work right anymore ? That response they showed was like a form letter, cold and impersonal.

  26. Ricardo Friday, June 12, 2009 at 6:03 pm #

    They can’t even take care of an animal right ? I think that was a form letter they just have it ready because they sell so many peoples pets all the time.

  27. Fronnie Lewis Friday, June 12, 2009 at 6:07 pm #


    Thanks for the interview suggestions.

    The vampire,

    A real bummer when lawmakers feel they are above the laws they expect the rest of us to follow.

    Oh, I’m glad you are enjoying your visit.

    Tim R.,

    Thanks for the cat caper link.

    You’re right, citizens should share their feelings about issues and concerns about Burbank with the Burbank City Council.

  28. h_f Friday, June 12, 2009 at 6:08 pm #

    GOOD GRIEF now a cat what’s next ???

  29. Ryan C Friday, June 12, 2009 at 6:23 pm #

    How much did they sell the cat for ? That looks like one expensive cat. It’s a little ugly looking but that lady in the video really loves her cat so the police should give it back to her. I wonder if you lost your kid if they would sell it for money. I know, I know somebody will say they have done that already 2

  30. disgusted resident Friday, June 12, 2009 at 6:31 pm #

    I just had a thought. Even a cat gets a trial by rumor here in Burbank. I bet Councilmember Reinke is off showing her concern for the cat right now NOT! More likely she is counting the cash they made off selling the poor kittie.

  31. Jim Carlile Saturday, June 13, 2009 at 4:15 am #

    I’m starting to like Marsha again.

    The FBI investigation is a big deal– it is preliminary to a U.S. Attorney action, which I predicted might happen if things got too bad down there. I’m curious of the details…

    BTW, news is that the Police Commission voted not to meet this week, right after they met! They postponed the meeting even though Brady wanted to get to work. That’s a clear indication of bad faith– the vote was 4-3.

    The big problem here underneath all of this is the city attorney. Barlow’s really got to go– he gives them just awful advice, and it’s been a problem for a long while.

    An update on the possible legal issues the council must face regarding Brady is here. Removal is not as easy as they think: they have a peculiar idea of what “discretion” means for them:

  32. Danny Saturday, June 13, 2009 at 11:42 am #

    I read the Leader story about the police commission today. The story talks about how they ducked out of their meeting and what some of them said about ducking out.

    The only one of them who said positive things they should do was John Brady.

    Sorry but after reading it he sounds like the only one who has any positive ideas, unless duck and cover is positive.

  33. Ryan C Saturday, June 13, 2009 at 12:20 pm #

    I so hope this link works because everyone really needs to read this thing. It’s some official Burbank thing and it talks about the police commission in Burbank.

  34. Fronnie Lewis Saturday, June 13, 2009 at 12:36 pm #

    Jim Carlile,

    Yes, I have heard rumblings of the FBI investigation. You know, I too have to wonder about the advice the city council is getting from the city attorney.


    Good points.

    Ryan C.,

    Yes, according to the city charter the police commission is supposed to be involved in oversight of the Burbank Police Department. Instead, many believe some commissioners have become “cheerleaders” for the BPD.

    The police commission needs to get in line with the duties and goals set down for it in the city charter.

  35. the Butterfly Saturday, June 13, 2009 at 2:57 pm #

    Really I do not understand what the reason for a police commission is at all. Is it to watch over the Police or is it to address citizen concerns or is it just to have a few people feel important ?

    I would like to know all about each member of this commission and not just about the one guy they say has a dui. In all honesty they think this one person is so very bad but none of them have told us why the other ones are really any better.

    People in Burbank should know all about all the people on this Police Commission, who they are and what they do for us because right now I don’t know who they are and I don’t know what they do so how do they help me as a citizen ?

  36. Jim Saturday, June 13, 2009 at 4:51 pm #

    Always liked Marsha, disagree with her on the John issue.

  37. Burbank resident Saturday, June 13, 2009 at 5:38 pm #

    Marsha is right about this one!

  38. Carma Sunday, June 14, 2009 at 2:47 pm #

    Somone said they are worried about the advice given by the City Attorney. They should be. Juli Scott, Assistant DA, is council to Chief Stehr on all issues of the police department and outside litigation.

    The problem is they are friends outside of work and vacation together. Juli Scott’s assistant Linda Rosoff is the wife of Lieutenant Rosoff, who is the subject of several internal investigations, one being the FBI. Juli Scott is the Godmother of Rossof’s daughter. Serious nepotism going on here.

    It gets worse! As a result of the media coverage, a women has come forward with proof that years ago multiple members of the police department (a captain, a lieutenant and the chief) had a house (brothel) in Burbank where they used to take women other than thier wives.

    One of the officers, now a capatain, is said to have beat one of the girls and the police responded. The girl went to the hosipital. Officers responded to the scene and made a “ghost” report to satisfy the girl. The sergeant, now Chief Stehr, covered up the investigation and the girl was told not to make any further inquires.

    The guy renting the house was named? You guessed it Rosoff. The guy accused of beating the girl, Pat Lynch, now captain promoted under Stehr.

    Oddly, all three of these guys are also named in the current lawsuit? Go figure.

  39. h_f Sunday, June 14, 2009 at 4:08 pm #

    It all sounds like way to many work relationships have turned into personal relationships. Isn’t there some type of policy that prevents people from working with or working for relatives, boyfriends, girlfriends and kids etc ? Most work places have rules like that.

  40. Disgusted resident Sunday, June 14, 2009 at 5:26 pm #

    Something is so wrong with people who are related to other people handling everything. It all sounds like some small town in Mississippi.

  41. Fronnie Lewis Sunday, June 14, 2009 at 5:53 pm #


    It’s okay disagree.

    Burbank resident,

    I think she’s right on point as well.


    Wow! That’s an incredible story. I must agree, the nepotism thing appears to be off the chart.


    A lot of companies have policies about relatives, significant others, and so on working together. I don’t know if the city of Burbank has such a policy.

    Disgusted resident,

    You know, it does sound like scandal in a small southern town.

  42. Carma Sunday, June 14, 2009 at 6:46 pm #

    Assistant City Attorney Juli Scott is quoted as saying “The City of Burbank has a long history of nepotism….we encourage nepotism around here” This was in 2006, to while in a training session to over 150 police officers.

    People just laughed

  43. Arman Sunday, June 14, 2009 at 7:15 pm #

    I guess they always hire the most qualified person ? No way if they hire relatives all the time. If this is what is going on people should really get mad. It also explains the incompetence around Burbank.

  44. dolfin Sunday, June 14, 2009 at 7:32 pm #

    The Burbank City Council members have abused their right to do things behind closed doors. I want the doors locked and the key taken away so they can not go behind them anymore.

    They have proven to me that their secrecy is never protecting anyone but themselves.

  45. dolfin Sunday, June 14, 2009 at 7:35 pm #

    The City Council has abused their privlege of doing things behind closed doors.

    I want the doors locked and they key taken away from them. I am convinced what they do behind closed doors is no good and they protect only themselves by doing it.

    No more secrecy they are no longer to be trusted.

  46. Fronnie Lewis Monday, June 15, 2009 at 1:24 am #


    Hmm, if that was a joke by Attorney Scott it was definitely in bad taste and ill-advised.


    You got wonder how much are the hiring practices in Burbank to blame for the mess the city finds itself in right now.


    More than ever, the Burbank City Council needs to be transparent — with decisions being made out in the open so the public can see what is going on. I agree, secrecy and “secret documents” fuel mistrust of city government and city officials.

  47. Gonzalez Monday, June 15, 2009 at 7:20 pm #

    Let me get this right. They say employment information is confidential right ? Then they hire their relatives and say its confidential ? What a scam.

  48. ERG Tuesday, June 16, 2009 at 1:50 pm #

    How can the council make everything so transparent when most of them have so much to hide ? That will never happen without exposing themselves and they won’t do that.

  49. Jim Carlile Tuesday, June 16, 2009 at 6:52 pm #

    Eric Rosoff? I knew him years ago when he was a kid. Since about 11 years old.

    Funny story about Rosoff– shortly after he went on the force he was involved in fatal traffic accident on Olive Ave in a patrol car. He was chasing down a suspected drink driver– two girls, early 20s– and ran them into a telephone pole. The driver was killed– an Asian girl.

    Two weeks later I saw Rosoff. The topic came up with some other people, and the guy was actually joking about it, in sarcastic gallows humor style. Like it was a big triumph or feather in his cap.

    A few years later I was working security at John Burroughs on an early Sunday evening. I was signing out in the office, and who suddenly pops in but Rosoff. He was more surprised to see ME, and started making excuses about how he “had a master key” and “just needed to check some files.” He wouldn’t sign in, and proceeded to make his way down to the counselor’s office, where he apparently had full warrantless access to all student records.

    So, none of this stuff is a surprise to me. It’s the culture, our wonderful Burbank “family” that they always talk about.

  50. Fronnie Lewis Wednesday, June 17, 2009 at 3:47 am #

    Gonzalez & ERG,

    You are not the only ones asking questions about the hiring practices in Burbank.

    Jim Carlile,

    It’s amazing the stories that are coming out about members of the Burbank P.D.

  51. Kick out the Status Quo! Wednesday, June 17, 2009 at 4:38 pm #

    Wow! So, after 8 years of mumbling her way through Council meetings exhibiting not much more sense than God granted a box of rocks, NOW, all of a sudden, Marsha has some hard opinions on a subject?

    Anybody catch her whining mamby pamby apology on behalf of Council candidate Kimberly Jo after it was proven on TV at a council member that Jo had IGNORED Dennis Barlow’s letter stating that council candidates were NOT to hold any sort of fundraisers on city property and yet Jo had one on the front lawn of Olive Rec Center two months to the day after Barlow’s letter was distributed.

    Marsha said “how sorry” Kimberly was and that the whole thing was just a case of “overzealous campaign workers”. What a crock of crap! I’m THRILLED that that know-nothing Kimberly Jo, who never served even ONE DAY on a board or commission, was beaten in the run off.

    Marsha needs to slink away and disappear like Stacey Murphy, Jef Vander Borght and Toad Campbell have done.

  52. ERG Wednesday, June 17, 2009 at 5:56 pm #

    Kimberly Jo was a medicine man show that rolled into town, sold snake oil and elixor and then left town as fast as she and the kogie truck came into town. I agree good riddence!

  53. Doberman Thursday, June 18, 2009 at 2:11 pm #

    Kimberly madness was fun to watch. The sexy and young card was the game but in the end it lost to substance and honesty.

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