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Changing of the Guard at Burbank City Hall

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Burbank is preparing for the changing of the guard in leadership at City Hall. Five newly elected officials will be sworn in Monday, December 19 and all but one will be serving a first term.  

The Burbank City Council voted unanimously to accept the final results of the November 8 General Municipal Election at its meeting last Tuesday. Those election results were certified by the Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk Dean C. Logan on Friday, December 5.

There are 69,775 registered Burbank voters, according to the Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk Office. A little more than half of those voters cast ballots in last November’s General Municipal Election, or 52.2%.  That amounts to 36,443 ballots. In contrast, around 59,000 Burbankers or 80.75% participated in the 2020 General Municipal Election. The number of registered Media City voters was slightly higher back then, 73, 044.

During this year’s campaign season, the most watched race was the run for three seats on the city council. For the first time in recent memory, all of the candidates were women. That significant development paved the way for a female majority on the council. Surprisingly, incumbent Sharon Springer will not be part of the new leadership. Councilmember Springer did not win re-election. The voters clearly signaled a desire for change on the city council. Here is how the votes stacked up.

City Council

Nikki Perez   24.75%      17, 958

Tamala Takahashi 21.84% 15, 849

Zizette Mullins 19.75%   14,328

Sharon Springer   19.04%  13,816

Carmenita Helligar   14.63% 10, 614

Nikki Perez Councilmember-Elect

Perez swiftly took the lead in the vote count from the beginning and held onto it until the very end. When Media City Groove asked about her victory, Perez said this by email: “I am absolutely honored and grateful to my community for electing me with a record-breaking number of votes. Growing up in Burbank, I have always worked towards helping my city move in a direction that keeps the Burbank we love, while opening us to a future that is more equitable and full of opportunity for ALL who call our city home. I am beyond grateful to my amazing internship team & volunteers, my encouraging endorsers, my dedicated campaign manager, my loving parents and family, and my fellow Burbankians. I hope through my service on the council in the coming years I can show my appreciation to everyone for putting their trust in me!”

As for her city council goals in 2023: “My primary goal on City Council will always be serving the people of our city by ensuring I am available to respond to their concerns. As a Social Worker and a lifelong public servant, I strongly believe that local government should be accessible and responsive. As a city we are at a turning point and my colleagues and I will be responsible for finding solutions to critical challenges so my goals will continue to be those I shared throughout the campaign; addressing our local housing crisis, local environmental concerns, and ensuring our emergency personnel have the money and resources to keep us safe.”

Tamala Takahashi Councilmember-Elect

On the other hand, Takahash’s victory was not certain. However, as the vote count continued, Takahashi’s vote total increased significantly. In a matter of days, Takahashi moved up from fourth to third, passing Councilmember, Sharon Springer. By the time Los Angeles County certified the election, Takahashi had jumped to second place.

By email, she said this about her victory and city council goals for the New Year:  “I am proud and honored to have been chosen by the voters to serve our community and I’m looking forward to working together with the new council.  I’m thrilled to be on a council that not only is majority women, but has representation from every generation, and a set of leaders with diverse backgrounds and lived experience. I believe this team will work well together in a positive way for the betterment of our entire community.

As we move forward, it’s important to me to look at our city in a systemic way, incorporating housing, transportation, environment, financial sustainability (especially small/micro business), and culture for a city that is safe, livable, and thriving for our current residents, our kids, and generations to come.

My intention is to be collaborative, sustainability focused, and innovative as all of us work together as a community for our future. My doors are always open for ideas and discussion about how we can improve our “urburban” city, which feels like a small town while providing the high class service and economy of a bustling city.”

Zizette Mullins Councilmember-Elect

Rounding out the winning three candidates outgoing Burbank City Clerk, Zizette Mullins. She said this by email:”I am extremely pleased and grateful with the outcome. We ran a positive campaign and worked very hard to get the word out and it paid off, the voters spoke and decided who should represent them. As far as the council goals for 2023, we will be having a special council meeting focusing on goal setting in late January.”

Mullins ‘replacement is Kimberley Clark, who won an overwhelming victory. Since 2010, Clark has served as the Burbank Unified School District’s Public Information Officer and Executive Assistant to the Superintendent and Board of Education.  Here is the final tally.

City Clerk

Kimberley Clark  53.27%    15, 029

Viviana Garzon    34.47%     9, 724

Jamal El-Amin       12.26%    3, 460

The Treasurer’s race was no contest. Incumbent Krystle Palmer ran unopposed. Palmer was appointed by the city council to replace Debbie Kukta who left for a position with the Burbank Unified School District in 2019. Palmer was elected to complete the two years remaining on Kukta’s term in 2020. In the November 8 Election, Palmer was voted in for a full four-year term.

City Treasurer

Krystle Palmer        100%               25, 351

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