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.








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23 responses to “Yuck

  1. Mark

    So Luddies and Telthemonty are missing from the meeting because they are meeting with FORMER president Clinton. WTF and how is that city business and it gets better since next Tuesday there won’t even be a council meeting. I am sure some sap will disagree with me but this council is not serving the cirizens of Burbank. They serve themselves.

  2. Jay

    Mayor Frutos really ? Awards to captains where you keep repeating the guys name like he is making fun of him. Then really on Portos ? Mayor Frutos you are a complete ass.

  3. Ty

    Mayor Frutos really is a douchbag. Uneducated and dense the mayor never sounds intelligent. He us an embarrasment.

  4. Ed

    Rogers out of town next week and no meeting and this week luby and telsomething is not here. Do the council members feel over worked and unable to meet once a week eveey week ? If it is to much for them maybe we should replace them.

  5. Resident

    Why is the mayor running the meeting like a damn circus ? Mayor if you read this why are you unable to keep up with what your doing during the meetings ??????

    • Teri

      Does anybody else catch how watching these meetings it’s like the council never does much of anything anymore and they sure don’t even meet very much either. Why did Mayor Frutos give away all the city councils decision making ability and who is making the decisions now ?

  6. Gary

    Did Rogers just ask how many parakeets are in Burbank ? What is he mumbiling about ?

  7. chad

    Re: the Cusumano Award. Let’s call it Munchausen by proxy community service. You create the problem of lack of affordable housing, then you “take care of” the indigent. Then you get an award!!!!

    • semichorus

      My elderly sources also tell me that the Cusumano Group no longer takes new Section 8 applications at their senior units.

      If that’s true then why doesn’t the city ever say something? There’s not better evidence that this town needs low-income set-asides in new construction but the existence of this awful family.

      Considering how much this town has given the Cusumanos over the years, accepting Section 8 is the LEAST that they can do. Instead, Burbank praises THEM?

      How much money have they made off of Burbank? This reverse-gratitude stuff we see all the time is sick.

      M. Cusumano’s admitted price-setting philosophy (ask for the rent amount and then see if you can get it) only proves that there is no relationship between expenses and price. What other businesses operate this way? All landlords are guilty of this, but being the biggest, they’re the worst in this regard.

      Rents need to be regulated just like utilities. That day will come.

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