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Talk of the Town: Measure “S” victory and Burbank primary fallout

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Victory for Measure “S”

school bus with kids on board clip art

Supporters of Measure “S” in Burbank are celebrating victory. The numbers for Tuesday’s election are out and the improve Burbank schools measure won easily with 4, 053 “Yes” votes — which amounted to 61.45% of the tally. They needed 55% for approval. The $110 million bond will be funded by a property tax of $55 annually per $100,000 assessed value.

I cast my ballot in the election at John Burroughs High School over in the 1900 block of Clark Avenue.  I voted at around noon. Poll workers there told me that only around 62 voters had come into that polling place so far, but quite a few voters in that precinct had sent in absentee ballots. Whether absentee or at the polls, voter turnout was quite low. Out of the more than 61,000 registered voters in Burbank around 6,500 voted in Tuesday’s election.

Fallout from the Burbank Primary Nominating Election

Photo: FLLewis/ Media City G -- Burbank City Council meeting March 5, 2013

Photo: FLLewis/ Media City G — Burbank City Council meeting March 5, 2013

A lot of chatter, questions, and complaints around town about the painfully slow release of the voter results from the Burbank Primary Nomination Election on Tuesday, February 26. Some of those complaints spilled out during last Tuesday’s city council meeting, from City Council member Emily Gabel-Luddy, activists Mike Nolan and David Piroli, and  Burbank Traffic Commissioner, Kevin Harrop — they all had some tough questions as well.

The newly elected City Clerk, Zizette Mullins, and Interim City Manager, Ken Pulskamp, made excuses, but did not offer a clear explanation of what happened after the  ballot deadline of  7 p .m. on Election Night.  For Brown Act reasons, notifying the public in advance that a subject is going to be discussed, Burbank Senior Assistant City Attorney, Joseph McDougall, kept the discussion brief — insisting the matter be put on the agenda for next Tuesday, March 12, for a full airing.

Also, that will give Mullins, Pulskamp, and Public Information Officer, Drew Sugars, time to focus on a crucial time line: from 7 p.m. until  some of the city clerk staff headed for home at 12:15 a.m. saying “all the ballots had been counted” — while the TV screen on channel 6 showed only the results for 26 out of 42 precincts, then finally the full results for all 42 precincts appeared on the TV screen at around 12:45 a.m. — long after someone had tweeted those results on the Internet.

Something went very wrong. Burbank officials need to own up to the mistakes and then come up with a decisive plan to make sure this foul-up does not occur on Tuesday, April 9, 2013, Election Day for the Burbank General Election. Voters and candidates need to be able to trust the process.

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One Response to Talk of the Town: Measure “S” victory and Burbank primary fallout

  1. Burbanker Friday, March 8, 2013 at 1:50 pm #

    While many of us remained glued to a blank television screen this city manager and his worker bees made sure his buddies received emails and tweets before the general public was allowed to know the results. Something went wrong alright and it was the city manager that did it. Election night on BTV 6 was total frustration and that must be corrected.

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