It was inevitable.
On the Town: BTAC honors real estate group for citizenship
By David Laurell
One of the things that impresses me about Burbank and its residents is how fully they embody a sense of community,” said Ron Cogan, chairman of the Burbank Temporary Aid Center, as close to 400 of those community-minded supporters convened for the organizations 13th annual gala earlier this month at the Castaway restaurant’s Starlight Room.
The event, which annually honors an outstanding individual or company for their leadership, service and philanthropy, saw BTAC bestow their 2016 Burbank Top Award of Citizenship upon a contingent of individuals, family members and company employees who, for decades, have worked in harmony as the Cusumano Real Estate Group to live up to the recognition’s criteria.
Along with honoring the Cusumanos, who have done so much to better the landscape of Burbank as well as the lives of those who reside and work here…
Quick stop. Anyone figure out how much money this Cusumano “group” has made off of the people of Burbank during the last 60 years? They’ve owned most of their old apartment buildings since Time Immemorial, and yet they still insist on charging the current “market” or close-to-market rents.
What other local concern can enjoy such a discrepancy between the cost of doing business and the price they charge for the goods or services they provide? How many cheaper units did they buy up around town just so they could tear them down (such as on E. Santa Anita)?
Instead of Burbank thanking them, they should be thanking Burbank. How much discretionary income have they been sucking away from our other Burbank merchants? Imagine how much extra money (read, buying power) our local tenants would have if their Cusumano apartment rents weren’t so high.
They were also praised by BTAC’s Chief Executive Officer Barbara Howell, who explained that, according to Cusumano spokesman Michael Cusumano, the family’s willingness to accept the recognition was contingent upon the inclusion of all their company’s employees who have played such a vital role in both their professional success and ability to give back to the community.
As we pointed out in response to the MyBurbank article about this very same event (and which scooped the Leader by almost two weeks), we ‘re the ones who helped to demolish that longtime PR Cusumano “family” angle.
We also reminded people that this particular wedge of the “group” does not live anywhere near Burbank, and has not for years.
The gala’s main event saw Hastings laud the Cusumanos as: “Substantial stakeholders in everything that they do within this community.”
Yes. Whether the rest of us respect that or not.