Put it on the ballot and find out


A couple of questions about last night’s council discussion on the Landlord-Tenant Commission:

1. Of the current membership, how many commissioners work in property management?

We didn’t hear this answered last night. All we heard was the news that one of the commission members owns out-of-town rental property, and was thus a “landlord.” But what about the three other “renters”? What do they do? We do know that the only two applicants for last night’s spot work as property managers, which means that last night’s choice is in property management, regardless of where they live.

2. Why doesn’t the council put the issue of rent control in Burbank on the ballot for an advisory-only vote from the public, just to see if there’s any community interest in this area? Instead, all we’re getting is council speculation about how people wouldn’t be for it.

Says who? Let’s find out.

And here’s some suggestions for upcoming council action on the LTC:

1. Set up its membership as an authentic 2-2-1 composition. This means two landlords, two bona fide tenant reps (not property managers in disguise filling up the slots), and one independent homeowner. Contrary to what the city clerk claimed last night– and in accordance with what Rogers accurately remembered from the past — this is how it used to be done in Burbank 15-20 years ago.

2. Establish a clear procedure for handling tenant complaints. As it was once done as well, each questionnaire should be assigned to a specific commission member, who then investigates the tenant’s complaint and files an ending report on the matter for the rest of the membership.

The council might also want to explore establishing two things that Glendale does for its tenants: a just cause eviction ordinance, and some strong and effective criminal anti-retaliation rules against landlords who go after their tenants for complaining.

That’s right. Glendale already has these good tenant protections, and has for about 15 years now. Burbank by contrast doesn’t even think about it.

Such rules and their administration/oversight would also give our LTC much more real things to do.




Filed under Uncategorized

53 responses to “Put it on the ballot and find out

  1. Tom

    I would vote for rent control and I am a home owner. The reason I would vote for it is because my kids and so many friends kids simply can not afford to stay in Burbank these days. Many of us that grew up here now watch our kids leave for the high desert areas because they just can not afford to stay in Burbank. Rent control gets my vote because we need to find a way to allow Burbank kids to stay in Burbank when they grow up. About that city clerk I watched the meeting on the internet today and that woman is a mess and just needs to go. She spends more time trying to look cute than doing her job is you ask me.

    • semichorus

      I think many homeowners would vote for rent control, just out of a sense of empathy.

      The landlords (and shills like Talamantes) of course would immediately claim that rent control destroys neighborhoods as a scare tactic. It’s the classic response.

      Yes. Like Beverly Hills and Pacific Palisades. And Santa Monica and West Hollywood. Terrible, terrible places.

  2. Carl

    I do think if they placed it on the ballot it would pass, and that’s why they will never put it on the ballot. Let’s vote no on Measure B and yes on Rent control.

  3. Anonymous 3.1

    Rogers can speculate all he wants. It is all he does he has no facts on anything all he has is speculation and drool while he itches and shakes. Such a poor pathetic little man he is.

  4. Sharon

    With all of this talk about the this commission and rent control I went to the city site to look at the file to see what I could learn about this commission.

    I was shocked to see in what I guess is the application of somebody named Ayad Claire a few things.

    First why are all these big black boxes hiding information ? Who does that ?

    Then I am reading what is not black boxed and I see that Ayad Claire wrote that her mother is Zizzette Mullins the City Clerk.

    The things you have been writing about whether this board is fair or not is interesting and so is the issue of rent control but the city clerks daughter ?
    That just seems like favoritism to me and it makes me really think you are on to something here about how this board is just an unfair set up with cronies on it.

    You are making a good case to me for rent control.

    • semichorus

      If so, Mullins has even more explaining to do about why she tried to assert to the council that “renter” is the same thing as tenant advocate.

      Not necessarily so.

      It was a particularly sleazy and disingenuous attempt to “rebut” my contentions about the LTC’s composition problems.

      • Sharon

        If you go to the city web site and the agenda and you open the file of applications for the landlord tenant board the applications are right there and like page two of the Ayad persons application says the city clerk is my mother right on it

        • semichorus

          And they were both property managers!

          Someone find out if she’s a “renter.” Then ask Mullins about her disingenuous and evasive staff report about “renters” vs. “landlords” on the LTC.

      • Anonymous 3

        You don’t think the city is even AWARE of your contentions, do you?

        • semichorus

          Half of their discussions have come straight from my postings here over the last month.

          Mullins tried to specifically rebut my points about LTC composition. I brought them up first, not any of the council members. Gordon took my cue, and he’s been pushing the questions, as last night.

          You read this. You don’t think the city does?

          No? Explain this then:


        • Ron

          Thy better be aware that Mullins was trying to sneak in her daughter I just looked and its buried right there in small print on the application. So just why is it that like usual I watched the meeting and not one of them said Boo about it ? Things are happening behind the scenes and I have a question here did Mullins use her position to talk behind the scenes to council members about voting for her daughter ? I mean come on you know they have unrestricted access to each other and they have it all the time.

          • semichorus

            Possibly. But keep in mind that she lost last night.

            There was nothing sneaky about it. I wish there had been, for fun’s sake. But there wasn’t.

    • Anonymous 3

      Favoritism? Like it is some huge favor to be on a sham commission with no power? Sounds like frustration to me.

  5. Burbanker

    I am not a renter so I really do not know what exactly renters in Burbank experience. I would suggest that renters start showing up at council meetings and speaking up about what they experience here so that the rest of us can understand the issues. I am not pro rent control or anti rent control I honestly do not know what the experience of renters is in Burbank. This is just a suggestion

  6. Anonymous 3

    You want some real change? Give the Commission some real power.

  7. Marie

    The city clerks daughter ? Typical let’s keep it in the family Burbank right there and why am I not surprised. I didn’t know that watching the meeting how come they didn’t say anything about it ?

  8. Anonymous 3

    If you want a measure on the ballot write one and get the signatures needed to post it.

    If you can be bothered to leave your basement, that is.

  9. Burbank Shocked

    I just went to see and it is true the application says on page 2 that her mother is the city clerk. Now serious you must read ever speck of the application to even see that but here is the link its page 11 on the link from the city site.

    How is it a fair board when you sneak relatives on it that are property managers ? I suspect Semichorus that all your points on this are dead on target something is really rotten and I will bet there are more secrets and things going on with this.

  10. Michael

    Doesn’t the city have some type of prohibition on officials doing favors for family members ? I have heard the city clerk say she is the election official and didn’t they vote and she run the election when they voted and she never told the public that her daughter was in the running ? Does she think this is Bell ?

  11. 91505

    Shame on the city clerk

  12. 99R

    From Mullins linkden page
    City Clerk

    City of Burbank

    July 2012 – Present (4 years 2 months)

    The City Clerk’s Office is the historian of the City of Burbank government. The impartial office respectfully serves as the direct link to its citizens, to keep them informed of the actions of the City government.

    The City Clerk’s Office is responsible for maintaining all official city records; keeping a complete and accurate record of all City Council, Successor Agency , and related proceedings; maintaining the Burbank City Charter and Municipal Code; conducting all municipal elections as scheduled and any special election which may be called; filing of Campaign Statements and Statements of Economic Interests as required by the Fair Political Practices Commission and municipal law; publishing all ordinances adopted by the City Council and advertising notices of hearings, bid openings, and other legal notices; administering the Records Management Program; and maintaining a comprehensive annual historical collection.

    The City Clerk’s Office consists of four divisions: City Clerk Services, Elections, Legal Advertising, and Records Management.

    How is it fair and impartial to keep it secret that one of the names you call is none other than that of your own daughter ? What other secrets does the woman keep from the public ?

    • semichorus

      Well it wasn’t secret. It was on the app. And she lost btw– with Gordon voting for her.

      My problem with it all is this:

      Mullins wrote a staff report insinuating that there are “landlord” reps and “renters” reps. My point was that a renter could still be a landlord, and that thus this alleged distinction of hers was not valid. And that IS indeed the point she was trying to make to the council — acting like tenant interests were dominant in the group, and that “renters” means representing tenant interests in a dispute. No two ways about it, and it’s foolish to try to defend her on this.

      But .. if she knew her OWN DAUGHTER was also applying for this slot, and that she was ALSO a property manager, and that she was also a “renter” (if she is?), then she doubly knew that her distinction did not hold. Yet, she made it anyway to the council last night. Renters can be landlords too.

      So the question of the day is: is her daughter a tenant or a homeowner? It’d be nice to know. (Does she own that condo on Tujunga, or rent it? And what’s the deal with that being “Tujunga Heights”?)

      Another question: are any of the other renters on the LTC in property management?

      • Anonymous

        Semichorus ,

        Think about this for a minute. With her daughter wanting a slot on this board and her keeping that a secret she has motive to manipulate any report or statement in favor of her daughter. I am not saying she did but there certainly could be a motive with the daughter involved for her to do so

        • semichorus

          It was no secret though. I think it might be more fruitful to find out where her daughter lives.

          I’m getting some odd stuff on the lookup pages. What the hell is “Tujunga Heights”? Is that in Burbank?

          I’ve never heard of it.

  13. Burbank Shocked

    Things do not always need to be illegal. There is right and there is wrong. The fact that she kept it quiet was wrong and it makes me wonder how many other things has her skipping around the line of legal and ilegal. To be honest i don’t trust her now and there is no reason to trust her.

  14. R.F,

    Looking at that what the city clerk does thing here is something that stands out for me “advertising notices of hearings” from what I could tell they pay to put this in the Burbank Leader but no one I know even gets the Leader so we never know anything but we waste money to pay for the ad.

    Who here actually buys and gets the Leader ? I remember when everyone did and no one I knows does anymore.

    When I watch meetings the clerk likes to say oh we did all this outreach and we put this in the leader and on our web page and at the library. Ok so I have no idea where the things are even at in the Library and when I go to the library I don’t go to check for announcements that may or may not exist from the city clerk.

    I would summarize the job of the city clerk as this. KEEP EVERYONE IN THE DARK and spend lots of money to accomplish the darkness.

    In need of improvement is an understatement when it comes to this office

  15. Anonymous

    If the city clerk reads the blog one quick word of suggestion. Stop saying the word SO everytime you open your mouth it makes me want to scream. It is a filler and meaningless and you say it everytime you speak. STOP IT

  16. Nancy

    I don’t care if there is something illegal or not I really don’t trust here anymore so I sure hope someone runs against her because I won’t vote for her again

  17. Anonymous 3

    Wow. I LOVE the conspiracy theories. You can always count on this blog.

    Nobody was hiding anything, and what the hell who cares who is on a powerless commission anyway?

  18. Ty

    It is so hard to be a renter in Burbank and they keep raising the rents. I want to stay here but next year will need to move to Sun Valley or become homeless.

    • Ken

      Your so disgusting anon 3 did it ever occur to you that the reason that comission is ineffective is due to the corruption. Sorry pal but be quiet attitudes only perpetuate the failures and its why we are deeply in debt snd in a spiral to collapse. Get real pal if you can’t identify the problem you can’t correct the problem. Use some common sense and start offering suggestions to make the commission effective and stop furthrring failure. What is your personal interest in failure anyway ?

      • semichorus

        It’s not corruption so much as deliberate neglect.

        Why would landlord town want controls on landlords? Things will change though.

      • Anonymous 3

        The commissions and boards except the Planning Board have no power, and the council designed it that way. Your damp fantasies about corruption have no standing in the discussion.

    • Anonymous 3

      Econ 101. There are a lot more people who want to live here than there are available rental units.

  19. chad

    Anon 3. Even if the LTC is toothless you can put it on your resume that you are one and that leads to other things.

    • ]=semichorus

      If it’s so toothless, why are property managers so intent on being on it?

      It’s long been an article of faith among Burbank realtors and landlords that they need to get their own on this commission.

      The LL’s aren’t on there because they’re concerned about tenants. It’s to protect their interests.

      Which they do. Ever see what happens there?

      I have. You complain to them about a surprise $200 rent increase, and they say, “Hey, you’re lucky! The “prevailing rent” on an apt like yours is $2,000 a month.

      “Yours is already low!”

      They used to use Oakwood and other big in-out complexes as their reference. “You’ve got a good deal! Know how much others are paying?”

      True story. I used to see and hear about this LTC behavior ALL THE TIME.

      Several years ago they refused to give me unredacted questionnaires when I wanted to do a story about Burbank’s worst landlords. I couldn’t get the names or addresses. Sometime earlier I had started rooting around their old records, and Barlow’s office suddenly decided to discard 20 years’ worth of complete LTC documents as part of an official records disposal process.

      So the LTC does have meaning here. Just not enough for the right people.

    • Anonymous 3

      It is entirely legit for a resident of Burbank (Mullin’s daughter) to apply for a position on a board or commission. She would have a right to apply for a paid job, for god’s sake.

      It is only required by general standards that she acknowledge the relationship, which she did.

      There is no outrage to be had here..

      • semichorus

        Agreed. She didn’t get it, either.

        The only issue I have is that it’s understandable now why Mullins tried to soft soap this renters vs landlords thing. Her kid’s a landlord.

        I’m curious too about this “Tujunga Heights” thing, which appears now to be the condo bldg. Is this a family development? Who lives there?

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