Photo: FLLewis/A Writer’s Groove — Burbank City Council (from left to right) Dr. David Gordon, Dave Golonski, Anja Reinke, Jess Talamantes and seated, council member/Mayor Gary Bric
Suspicions are growing that something troubling is brewing behind the scenes in Burbank that involves the police department and legal matters. Officials are trying to keep it hush-hush, but all that has done is fuel rumors and concerns among residents as well as city employees.
Last Tuesday, May 19, at the city council meeting, long-time resident Mike Nolan encouraged council members to address a number of issues including rumors about a controversial e-mail floating around from a member of the police commission. More on that later.
Also, Nolan alluded to lawsuits going on and asked, “how many law firms” are involved? Nolan put it most succinctly when he demanded to know: “What is going on here?” City Councilman Dave Golonski spoke up and admitted, “…there are internal and external investigations going on…” Ex-Mayor Golonski explained, …”we are not at liberty…” to discuss them because we do not comment on “…ongoing investigations.” Hmm, hasn’t the Burbank City Council heard that we are now in the era of transparency.
If President Obama can face the American people and answer difficult and sometimes sensitive questions, so can the city officials in Burbank. Who’s funding these investigations? If taxpayer money is being spent on law firms and investigations, residents deserve to know the why and the what, not every detail, but something to justify the expense and the secrecy. The way I see it, far better for city officials to make a disclosure now, rather than be forced later on to explain these legal matters as well as the long delay in informing the public about them.
As for that provocative police commission e-mail, after much discussion among the council members and staff, it was decided that the council needed to see it. Burbank City Manager, Mike Flad, has taken up the search for the e-mail and from what I am hearing, once it is found, it will be made public. Stay tuned.