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Power and prejudice: Burbank City Council elects new mayor

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Photo: FLLewis/Media City G -- Dave Golonski elected mayor by Burbank City Council May 1, 2012

Photo: FLLewis/Media City G -- Dave Golonski elected mayor by Burbank City Council May 1, 2012

I watched the reorganization meeting of the Burbank City Council on the city website this morning. I spoke later with someone who had been in the city council chambers during that all important meeting and we both agreed it was unusually quick and somber, but with one major surprise. Vice-Mayor Dave Golonski getting the votes to move up to mayor, from all of  his fellow council members except Dr. David Gordon, was a no brainer. So was the council majority’s decision to hand the vice-mayor title to the newest council member, Emily Gabel-Luddy. You might remember at last May’s reorganization meeting of the council, Luddy delivered what appeared to many and some say she has admitted was a political payback — a thanks for guiding my campaign to victory– to Golonski by nominating him for vice-mayor.  So no surprise there. The surprise was in the strange way it was done with Councilman Gary Bric as the catalyst.

This is how it went down. Councilman Bric nominated Golonski for mayor. Later, when outgoing mayor, Jess Talamantes, nominated Bric for vice-mayor, he declined, citing the demands of his restaurant business. Then, Bric offered  this bizarre explanation: “I think everyone is entitled to, be able to have an opportunity, to become vice-mayor or mayor, but I truly believe you can’t nominate someone that’s going into an election year. We do have three people who will be up for election in 2012. So I appreciate the nomination, the confidence, but I would like to make a substitute motion and nominate Miss Emily Gabel-Luddy.” What?!  Who are the three council members up for re-election? Golonski, Talamantes, and Gordon. Bric nominated Golonski for mayor!!!! Clearly, this was another ploy to try to veil the council majority’s prejudice against Dr. Gordon — to justify the continued discrimination against Gordon for either vice-mayor or mayor. A shameless display.

So Golonski, the most veteran and most powerful member of the city council, will serve as mayor for the FOURTH time. In his brief comments, Golonski says the “dominant theme” for the coming year will be community engagement. Golonski says he wants Burbank to be “… the most transparent city in California — if not the nation.” Interesting.

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4 Responses to Power and prejudice: Burbank City Council elects new mayor

  1. R.R. Wednesday, May 2, 2012 at 12:42 pm #

    Most transparent city in California ? The new mayor can begin by releasing the transcripts from the recent police trials to the residents of this city. Being the ones paying the bills we should be able to see just what we are paying for regardless of what the city attorney says.

  2. Fronnie Wednesday, May 2, 2012 at 1:19 pm #


    I agree. Let the public see those transcripts.

  3. R.R. Thursday, May 3, 2012 at 1:00 pm #

    and I agree with your comment that this was ” a shameless display” (of discrimination) and how quick they forget that the trials are all about discrimination as well, so what do they do ? They display discrimination right before our eyes just to prove discrimination exists and is alive and well at city hall.

  4. Fronnie Thursday, May 3, 2012 at 2:02 pm #


    The Gordon discrimination is one of the reasons many doubt the city council majority and some other top city officials, have clean hands when it comes to the police mess. Not only have they demonstrated foot dragging in dealing with the mess, but are now prolonging it with these court cases.

    A third trial involving a Burbank police officer suing because of that mess — got underway this week. Also, according to a report in the Leader, the City Attorney Amy Albano has filed a motion for a new trial — seeking to overturn the jury judgment against the city and award of a million plus dollars to former Burbank Deputy Police Chief Bill Taylor.

    Millions of taxpayer dollars have been spend trying to delay and side step these cases. The city — led by the city council– needs to admit mistakes were made — settle these police mess cases — and allow the city and, most of all, our police department to heal, learn, and move forward.

    Also, the best way to derail self interest and political arrogrance in public office is at the ballot box. As Councilman Gary Bric so, ah, creatively, stated at Tuesday’s reorganization of the city council meeting, there are three council seats coming up for election. The council majority has ignored the activists,citizens, and those in the media who have complained and questioned the handling of the police mess. It’s time for the voters to speak loudly and in large numbers on Election Day.

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