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More controversy in Burbank

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Photo: FLLewis/A Writer’s Groove — Burbank City Council  (from left to right) Dr. David Gordon, Dave Golonski, Anja Reinke, Jess Talamantes and seated, council member/Mayor Gary Bric

Suspicions are growing that something troubling is brewing behind the scenes in Burbank that involves the police department and legal matters. Officials are trying to keep it hush-hush, but all that has done is fuel rumors and concerns among residents as well as city employees.

Last Tuesday, May 19, at the city council meeting, long-time resident Mike Nolan encouraged council members to address a number of issues including rumors about a controversial e-mail floating around from a member of the police commission. More on that later.

Also, Nolan alluded to lawsuits going on and asked, “how many law firms” are involved? Nolan put it most succinctly when he demanded to know: “What is going on here?” City Councilman Dave Golonski spoke up and admitted, “…there are internal and external investigations going on…” Ex-Mayor Golonski explained,  …”we are not at liberty…” to discuss them because we do not comment on “…ongoing investigations.” Hmm, hasn’t the Burbank City Council heard that we are now in the era of transparency.

If President Obama can face the American people and answer difficult and sometimes sensitive questions, so can the city officials in Burbank. Who’s funding these investigations? If taxpayer money is being spent on law firms and investigations, residents deserve to know the why and the what, not every detail, but something to justify the expense and the secrecy. The way I see it, far better for city officials to make a disclosure now, rather than be forced later on to explain these legal matters as well as the long delay in informing the public about them.

As for that provocative police commission e-mail, after much discussion among the council members and staff, it was decided that the council needed to see it. Burbank City Manager, Mike Flad, has taken up the search for the e-mail and from what I am hearing, once it is found, it will be made public.  Stay tuned.

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4 Responses to More controversy in Burbank

  1. Danny Saturday, May 30, 2009 at 5:09 am #

    I don’t get why it takes a lot of discussion to figure out the council needs to see it, aren’t they the boses and if they aren’t then who is the boss ? If they have to ‘take up the search’ it sounds to me like somebody is hiding things

  2. Fronnie Lewis Sunday, May 31, 2009 at 1:39 am #

    Danny,

    True a lot of discussion takes place before the city council decides most things. Just the way city government works in Burbank.

    Here’s an update. The city council now has copies of that controversial e-mail, so there should be some interesting developments about it at the city council meeting on Tuesday, June 2.

  3. Reese Place Friday, June 5, 2009 at 5:04 pm #

    Isn’t it true that when someone sues the city they sue the resident taxpayers ? If that’s true why don’t those of us being sued get to know we are being sued and why ?

  4. Fronnie Lewis Saturday, June 6, 2009 at 1:26 am #

    Reese Place,

    Good point. Yes, my understanding is taxpayers will be footing the bill for any settlement that is reached. I agree with you. If taxpayers have to pay the bill they should know why they are being sued.

    Also, if there are investigations, internal and external, going on residents should be told about those as well.

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