Is the Reverend lying? (updated with video)

This is one of the more fascinating revelations we’ve heard during oral communications:

So when we heard about the [Talaria] project moving forward, a couple of weeks ago, we wrote a letter to the city council and to the planning commission, and I believe you guys received that letter.

Within a few hours of the planning commission getting that letter — I have no clue how they heard of it, but we got a phone call from one of the chief executives of the Cusumano family– and — one of the brothers of the Cusumanos who I’ve had a great relationship with. And, it’s obvious he was very angry at me, and he was saying, “If you guys continue to go against this project I will never do business with you again, and we will no longer have a relationship.” And he hung up on me.

And so I was a little bit taken aback by that. A few days later they brought an ex-member of the city council — a city council member, he’s sitting next to them tonight [Michael Hastings] — and he began to lecture me on burning bridges with the Cusumano family, and that it’s not wise to do that. He went on to say later, I’d be cautious about bringing too many of your congregation to this meeting because the members of this — people [the planning board]– get really annoyed at hearing the same things said alot and they begin not wanting to see your faces ever again.

And so I ask you, I hope you never want to see my face again, or the members of our congregation. We are taxpayers in Burbank, and we did vote, and so I think we all should have a voice.

BTW — why is the City of Burbank contracting out “all” of its building plumbing needs to the same guy who works for the Cusumanos? How did that ever happen? This little informational tidbit also came out last night during orals, at about 2:00:35 during the hearing. The Cusos had a whole line of cronies up there supporting their project.

Why are we contracting out all of our plumbing even?

Really, is this the best we can do– another classless, mediocre Cusumano project with a junior league boiled-down Whole Foods in the middle of a congested neighborhood that nobody can get to easily?

Why is it always so amateurville around here? We never get the good stuff in Burbank. There’s always something missing


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19 responses to “Is the Reverend lying? (updated with video)

  1. Bill

    I believe the pastor and I believe that the Cusamano family and their people did and do threaten people to get what they want. Burbank is known for threats and intimidation of people that oppose anything the elite in town want this is one more example of that i think

  2. Rizzotti the RAT

    Of course the Pastor is telling the TRUTH, why would He lie? The guy has a lot of guts to expose Cusumano and Hastings in public like that. As for how they heard about his letter – we all know it was Rizzotti the RAT!

    • Anonymous

      I almost fell off my chair when Mr Ruezodi proposed no traffic improvements at all. What they plan to build is big so no improvements ? Could it be he has no concern for neighborhoods at all or is he just that dumb.

    • semichorus

      If it was a formal letter, possibly. If it was ecomments, or a collective email, it was probably staff. He said it was just hours later after they sent it, so I doubt it was land mail.

      I sure wish the council will get to the bottom of this “leak” when the project comes in front of them.

      • Rancho Resident

        Doesn’t the city have an obligation to investigate and prosecute over this because it interferes with the publics ability to give feedback at a public hearing ? I mean come on how can they take information if one of the principles is threating people to stop feedback ?

  3. Kathy

    The sad thing is that I believe the reverend not because he is a reverend but because this is Burbank. Burbank is a very corrupt little city with very corrupt little employees that we pay for with our taxes.

  4. Burbank History In The Making

    Mr Nolan is correct street capacity has been reduced in that area and rafic is at overfill and spilling into he residential streets but yet to our planning board this project added to it is just peachy ?

  5. Ralph

    I believe the Reverend on this one and I believe that the Golonski-thug behavior continues in Burbank and it must be eradicated. No to this project is a start at ending it !

  6. Anna

    Can someone put the Pastor video on YouTube? Maybe Mr Nolan can read his statement or better yet, roll the tape at tonight’s council meeting.

    I just read in another thread Talamantes got a lot of money from the Cusumanos. Does that disqualify him from voting?

    • Carl

      I agree can we get the video of the statements made by the Reverend. First off he is a Reverend he wouldn’t lie, but the Cusamano people are developers they would lie. Developers in Burbank always lie

  7. Burbank History In The Making

    The Reverend Speaks

  8. Anonymous

    Who is the Reverend?

  9. Burbank Voter

    Thanks for posting the video. It confirms my worst fears about this family and how the City does business. Someone from the outside needs to conduct an independent investigation into the ties between the Cusumano family, their contractor friends and everyone they deal with at City Hall. That includes former council members Michael Hasting and Dave Golonski, as well as Jess Talamantes. I hope the Church finds a new home if this project goes ahead. Funny thing is according to this old Leader article, the old Platt project they all maligned was to include a 17,600-square-foot church facility for the Victory Baptist people, a child care facility and only 220 for-sale residential units.

  10. Burbank Bill

    he seems pretty believable ..hopefully COuncil is made aware of this too

    • TLR

      Holy crap. I hope the Reverend now has police protection 24-7 from some cops outside of Burbank. This should be investigated and not by Burbank. That Reverend should call the feds about this stuff.

  11. Reposted From I Luv Burbank Blog and Well Reasoned

    I would only add one thing: I lived in a mixed use building. It’s a terrible way of life. You feel like you are living in a store. It’s not homey. And it’s noisy.

    TALARIA: Whole Foods – YES! 241 Condos – NO!!
    Re Talaria at Burbank; While I really like the design & Whole Foods store, the project as proposed is still Too Big IMO…241 Condos in a heavily congested area previously zoned for <200 is NOT a good fit. There’s no guarantee a Whole Foods will actually go in if this gets the green light as approval is for a mixed-use project consisting of Apartments with a (unspecified) Grocery store. We’ve seen in the past with The Downtown Collection retail area that what we end up with oftentimes doesn’t resemble what was proposed & approved. We also have a Water Shortage and Restrictions that need to be considered; Council can’t ask residents to restrict watering their lawns to 1 x week (Nov-Mar) and then approve a project that will create extra water demands for another 500-750 residents. Reducing the # of Condos to closer to 200 would be a good compromise. Clearly the Whole Foods element is being used as a carrot to sell the project, along with the “green”/sustainable component. Such a large scaled mixed-use residential/commercial project would probably not have been approved under the old Burbank Media District plan; I know there were changes made to the General Plan but this massive apartment component is going to make the daily rush hour commute for those traveling Olive even worse than it already is. Moreover, it looks like the City is bending over backwards to change the rules again for a favored Developer’s project under a new “exceptional” clause; Would the small business owner on Magnolia get the same help & breaks? High-end mixed-use Downtown Burbank (The Collection) has not exactly been a success and do we really need more Apt’s/Condos when we already have the existing Empire Landing monstrosity nearby on Buena Vista @ Empire? I believe the site would be better reserved for Media Specific Office/Studio use that would bring additional Jobs to Burbank.

    • semichorus

      I know.

      If this were some place like New York City I might understand– although I’m not aware of too many residential units lying above a full fledged super market over there. A bodega is much different.

      Most of the big market branches I’ve seen in NYC– meaning Fairway, FineFair, Westside, Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, Gristades, Key, C-Town, whatever– are free standing. Occasionally you’ll have one with other businesses above, and perhaps residential higher up, but that’s only in extremely congested neighborhoods where there’s no alternative. Like on Broadway. Not Olive Ave.

      No one with money is going to want to rent an apt above a supermarket in Burbank California. Or especially, buy a condo — which is what we ALL know these are going to turn into as soon as the Cusumanos kick their existing tenants out. That way no one will talk about relocation assistance due to units taken off the market.

  12. The pastor has absolutely NO reason to lie. Check with others to learn if they or anyone else has been intimidated or threatened to leave the family group.

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