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“Rain rain go away”

Clip art of person walking with umbrella in the rain

When will it stop? Soon is what the weather watchers are saying about this deluge. Like most of  the Southland, Burbank is soggy from several days of heavy rain.

The worst of the storms is rolling across Los Angeles County now through mid-afternoon. I was out driving in the Media City shortly before 9 a.m. this morning . The rain was moderate, but the forecast is for heavy periods of rain, scattered thunderstorms, strong winds, and even some hail before the day ends.  The high will reach only the mid-50s in Burbank today.

Over the past few days, I’ve seen Burbank city crews out checking for damaged trees, flooded streets, and those inevitable and most annoying potholes. Our situation is minor compared to places like Laguna Beach where they’re dealing with serious flooding and mud problems.

Meanwhile, back here in the nearby Station burn areas officials are keeping a close eye on the saturated hillsides. Evacuation orders were issued for more than 200 homes in La Cañada Flintridge and La Crescenta. However, some of those homeowners decided to stay and ride it out. So far, no major problems there and La Cañada Flintridge Mayor, Donald Voss, told KNX 1070 newsradio this morning, “…the debris basin performed very well.”

The good news, the weather forecasters are saying the rain will move out by tomorrow and give us some time to dry out under sunny skies.

The Burbank city employees bonuses controversy

Yes, another controversy in Burbank. This time the issue is bonuses/merit pay for some city employees and the release of that information to the media and the public. Earlier this month, the city of Glendale posted that data about its employees on its website.

During these tough economic times, when Burbank city officials are jacking up fees for utilities and other services, certain employees got around $1 million in bonuses for the fiscal year 2009-2010. The city of Burbank has declined to provide details on bonuses/merit pay, citing employee privacy rights.

I’m not buying that, nor is the Burbank Leader and the Semichorus blogger. The Burbank Leader has sent not one, but two record requests for this information to the city. Recently, Semichorus joined the Leader in requesting this information from the Burbank City Attorney’s Office. I have taken up this fight as well.

Below is the letter I dropped off at the Burbank City Attorney’s office on Monday, requesting the details on the bonuses and other compensation paid to city employees over the past few years.

December 20, 2010

Dennis A. Barlow
City Attorney
City of Burbank
275 East Olive Avenue
Burbank, CA 91510

Re: Records request under the California Public Records Act

Dear Dennis Barlow:

I must join with the Burbank Leader and the Semichorus blogger in requesting information on city employee salaries and bonuses — this includes names, titles, amounts of all payments and years received from 1999-2010. In the wake of the Bell revelations and controversy, Burbank officials need to do more than talk about transparency or duck and dodge their responsibility to be upfront with the citizens of this city.

I respectfully ask that you direct your staff to fully cooperate with these requests and not spark another legal case. The list of existing or potential litigation cases that appears on the Burbank City Council agenda, week after week, is far too long; and taxpayer dollars spent on these cases is already way too much.


Fronnie Lewis
Media City Groove
P.O. Box 206
Burbank, CA 91503

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