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City Buzz: Emily Gabel-Luddy, dirty politics, and the BPD cases

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Photo: FLLewis/Media City G -- (l-r) Newly elected Vice-Mayor and Mayor Dave Golonski and Jess Talamantes, joined fellow Council members Dr. David Gordon, Emily Gabel-Luddy, and Gary Bric for photos at the end of the council reorganization meeting at Burbank City Hall May 2, 2011

Photo: FLLewis/Media City G — (l-r) Newly elected Vice-Mayor and Mayor Dave Golonski and Jess Talamantes, joined fellow Council members Dr. David Gordon, Emily Gabel-Luddy, and Gary Bric for photos at the end of the council reorganization meeting at Burbank City Hall May 2, 2011

After a week, some folks are still finding the audacious snub, oh wait, let’s call it what it is, discriminatory selection process of the vice-mayor by four members of the Burbank City Council — a stomach turner. Those that had hoped for an independent female voice on the council got blindsided by Emily Gabel-Luddy who came out publicly as the new member of this “good-old-boys-club” at the council reorganization meeting on May 2, 2011.

When new Mayor Jess Talamantes asked for nominations for vice-mayor, Emily Gabel-Luddy could barely contain herself. With enough enthusiasm to earn a spot on the City Hall cheerleader squad, Gabel-Luddy declared: “I nominate Dave Golonski!” One shocked Gabel-Luddy supporter described the reaction in the city council chamber as “stunned silence.”

Her detractors insist Gabel-Luddy’s payback to Golonski should not have been a surprise. As far back as last December, it was probably a done deal. During the holiday party season, Gabel-Luddy hooked up with Golonski to do the meet and greet. She was his city council candidate from the beginning of the campaign. Nonetheless, in her zeal to reward Golonski, who in 18 years on the council has been mayor three times and vice-mayor three times, she joined in on the discrimination of Dr. David Gordon– who has been on the council five years. Not an admirable way for Gabel-Luddy to begin her tenure.

The position of mayor and vice-mayor are supposed to rotate among the council members. To exclude Gordon because he is AN INDEPENDENT VOICE on the council, is an ugly blatant insult to the voters who support him. Also, it sends a message to the entire world that in Burbank the big “D” is allowed.

There has been public criticism about this unfair city council practice — but still the discrimination continues. Last year, an editorial in the Leader condemned this mean spirited treatment of Councilman Gordon. What, no editorial in the Leader about it this time around?  Maybe it’s because of the newspaper’s fervent support of Gabel-Luddy.

Remember, the Friday before the Tuesday April 12 General Municipal Election the Leader launched a major assault against Gabel-Luddy’s opponent, Bob Frutos. The Leader attempted to smear Frutos, in three separate pieces, by hammering one of his union supporters, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 18. The IBEW reportedly sent around $42,000 for mailers backing Frutos and questioning Gabel-Luddy’s support from special interests in Los Angeles. The flyers included this disclaimer: “Not authorized by a candidate or a committee controlled by a candidate.”

In the April 8 Leader article titled, “Union spends big to aid candidate,” Gabel-Luddy said: “I am very disappointed to see IBEW bring Los Angeles-style dirty politics into Burbank.”  Hmm, after Gabel-Luddy’s gift to Golonski, you gotta wonder what kind of “thank you” she’s going to be handing out to those special interest folks she has described as “friends and associates.” Dirty politics is skipping over Gordon to elect Golonski vice-mayor.

Also, this attack on Frutos really ticked off some of the Leader’s readers.  It struck some as hypocritical. On April 3, 2011, in the Burbank Mailbag section of the Leader this announcement ran.

Editor’s Note: Per the paper’s policy, the Burbank Leader will be holding all letters supporting or opposing particular candidates one week prior to the election. Letters addressing more general election issues will be considered.

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To place restrictions like this on the public and then turn around and attack Frutos less than a week before the election, well, it has the appearance of being a double standard. Whatever you want to call it, the attack by the Leader may have had a significant impact in a city council race where Gabel-Luddy won by less than  100 votes.

The newly reorganized Burbank City Council holds it first Tuesday meeting this evening at 6 p.m.

Those Burbank Police lawsuits

Photo: FLLewis/ Media City G -- Burbank Police unit

Photo: FLLewis/Media City G — Burbank Police unit

Speaking of bad behavior by Burbank city officials, I’m hearing that a number of the police mess cases are being delayed by the underhanded tactics of the City Attorney’s Office. Many of these cases filed by past or present Burbank cops complain of the discrimination and retaliation.  Gee, how’s this city council going to deal with the big “D” in the police department with any kind of credibility when it has been practicing discrimination on its own panel for years?

Some of these cases have been scheduled since last October to go to trial in April 2011. Well, that didn’t happen. The City Attorney’s Office has reportedly spent thousands of  taxpayer money for delay maneuvers. Get this. One trial is being delayed because the timing interfered with ex-Burbank Police Chief, Tim Stehr’s, European vacation.Talking about misplaced priorities.

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