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UPDATED: Election Buzz: Candidates are off and running in 2015 Burbank campaigns

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Election campaigns graphic

While some candidates are still in the exploratory stage, several others are already sprinting in the race for two seats on the Burbank City Council and three seats on the Burbank School Board. Veteran journalist, Will Rogers, claims he and his team have already knocked on around 5,000 doors.

In a blog post on his website, Rogers says the goal is to “… get to all of the estimated 34,000 households in the city by the end of January.”

Last Tuesday, Election Day, I  chatted with a pollworker who remembered Rogers as the city council candidate who had knocked on her door recently.

Another city council candidate who was fast out of the gate, Chris Rizzotti, is continuing to rack up some impressive  endorsements. On his website — near the top of the list —  the Burbank Police Officers Association.

Burbank Police Commissioner, Elise Stearns-Niesenhas a new campaign website up and running. On her list of endorsements: former Burbank Police Commissioner, Claudia Bonis, and Nonna von Sonn, who ran for Burbank City Clerk in 2013.

Several other candidates have pulled nomination papers since last Monday including city council incumbent, Emily Gabel-Luddy, who interestingly has endorsed Chris Rizzotti. Running for a  second time for a seat on city council, small business owners Juan Guillen and David Nos. Both ran unsuccessfully for council in 2013.

Also, dropping by the City Clerk’s office to pick up those nomination papers Sustainable Burbank Commissioner, Sharon Springer, and Mike Moynahan member of   “Save Burbank Neighborhoods” and Burbank Unified School District School Facilities Oversight Committee.

Burbank Board of Education

As of last Friday, six people have pulled nomination papers for three seats on the school board including incumbent and board president, Roberta Reynolds. Also, making a second run for the Board of Education, communications consultant, Steve Ferguson, and educator, Armond Aghakhanian. Ferguson and Aghakhanian ran for school board in 2013.

Aghakhanian is a member of the School Facilities Oversight Committee and so is another potential challenger, attorney Vahe Hovanessian. This is Hovanessian’s first run for a seat on the board. There are two other first timers, labor relations representative, Jesse Tangkhpanya, and Burbank Police Lieutenant, John Dilibert.

Lt. Dilibert sat on the Burbank School Board twice before as an interim member.  First in December of  2006 to fill out the term of  Paul Krekorian, who was elected  to the 43rd district, Burbank and Glendale, in the state assembly. In 2009, Krekorian moved on to the Los Angeles City Council.

Dilibert was selected again in August of 2012 to complete the school board term of Debbie Kukta, who was appointed interim city treasurer by the city council, the previous month. Kukta was elected to the position in 2013.

Dilibert’s second stint as an interim member of the school board sparked  quite a controversy. The field of candidates, almost a dozen,was narrowed down to just two, Dilibert and Ferguson. The four board members split– with two voting for Dilibert and two voting for Ferguson. Finally to break the tie, then board president, Larry Applebaum, changed his vote from Ferguson to Dilibert.

Many who listened to the candidates speeches and watched the board’s selection process, felt Ferguson should have received that appointment. Now it looks like Dilibert and Ferguson will be competing again for a seat on the school board, but this time, the voters will decide who wins and who loses.

The Primary Nomination Election is February 24, 2015 and the General Municipal Election is April 14, 2015.

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