Rogers is leaving out the rest of the story again

So what else is new, eh?

In his most recent no mea culpa, the vice mayor of Burbank made a ridiculously misleading historical claim about the old ROAR initiative “Measure A.” We’ve italicized it here:


At the time, all but one lawyer I know of (a candidate for council at the time), one expert after another told us Measure A was doomed. Time and again it tried to impose through a ballot measure standards and rules the city has no jurisdiction over. As had been expected, Measure A passed easily with one of the highest turn-outs in recent history, and as predicted by every credible observer, it was all rendered moot by the courts. The city even paid the legal expenses of a citizen who wanted to try defending Measure A in appeals. Measure A was nonetheless (and rightfully) laughed out of the courts.


So nice of them to have done so, right? A helluva group of people that was.

Now here’s what really happened — we’ll try to make a long and complicated history a bit clearer:

1.  The night Measure A won the vote in 2000, the Burbank City Council met in closed session and voted 3-2 to immediately file a lawsuit in court to have it vacated. That’s right– the City of Burbank voted to go to court to get a citizens initiative tossed out, not some other aggrieved party like the Airport Commission. And right after it had won!

2. ROAR of course vociferously objected to this action, and immediately demanded that their legal fees be paid as prospective defendants. They didn’t have the money for such a defense –because it’s supposed to be the city’s job to defend a voter  initiative in court!

3. When the city eventually filed the lawsuit, it turned out that they didn’t sue the ROAR sponsors of Measure A. Instead, they sued the Airport Authority(!)

4. ROAR again objected to this action, rightfully fearing that the Authority was a bogus defendant who wouldn’t put up any kind of fight to defend an obviously hostile Measure A.

5. The city council then voted to offer to pay for ROAR to be an “intervenor” in the case. An intervenor can be any interested party who wants to get legally involved in a matter of public import. It was their idea to do this, not ROAR’s.

6. The problem with such an offer though is that if there is an intervenor around, and the judge in charge happens to toss the Authority (say) from the case because they’re not seen as a legitimate defendant, the lawsuit will still go on.

7. This indeed was ROAR’s fear– that the city’s financial offer to pay their legal fees was just a trick to keep their lawsuit on course if the Airport was removed from the case. Which seemed likely at the time. The Airport was legally fighting to do so in fact.

8. So ROAR of course told Burbank to go to hell. Remember, they were against this city’s lawsuit to begin with. They (legitimately) thought it was appalling that our city council members would basically sue the Burbank voters over the election result instead of allowing someone else do it (such as the Authority or the airlines) who would have been potentially impacted by Measure A. ROAR wanted to have nothing to do with this lawsuit.

So after several months the City of Burbank’s case goes in front of a judge. Here’s what happened next:

1. The judge reviews the case and asks “Where’s the initiative’s sponsor?” He immediately demands that ROAR enter the case as an intervenor. He also allows the Authority to remain as defendant.

2. ROAR — stuck now in a city initiated lawsuit that they never believed in — goes back to the council and demands intervenor money. The council refuses to give them any.

3. Rogers of course writes a typical series of pieces in the Leader mocking the ROAR group’s supposed inconsistency, ineptitude, and sheer nuttiness in first refusing city money and then later demanding it — and, naturally, he left out the completely new set of legal circumstances. The judge had now demanded they be there!

4. After a week of discussion, the council reverses course and agrees to fund ROAR’s legal fees. The vote was 3-2, with Golonski and Laurell voting “no.”

5. The trial court eventually throws Measure A out — even though A never “required” the Burbank City Council to do anything illegal. It just said that if the council couldn’t get the specific deal provisions as listed then they couldn’t approve a new airport terminal. Big difference.

6. An appeal being appropriate — as it usually is with every city issue that garners an 80 percent approval vote — resident Mike Nolan reluctantly agreed to take it on.

What Rogers leaves out is crucial. The only reason there was a lawsuit to begin with (and later appeal) is because the city itself levied it against the Measure’s outcome, and essentially too the Burbank voters. ROAR didn’t want to have anything to do with it! Rogers also ignored the question of why the city council now wanted to refuse intervenor money that they had once been eager to push on the Measure A sponsors.

ROAR believed – correctly so – that it was the responsibility of an airport-related party to try to get Measure A tossed if desired, and not the city. It was the city’s job to defend Measure A, not Mike Nolan’s.

So no one in the city “even” did anything nice or charitable for Measure A in its defense. Or morally or legally optional. They created the problem.




Filed under Uncategorized

26 responses to “Rogers is leaving out the rest of the story again

  1. Al

    Rogers fancies himself to be a wordsmith but all he really just twists the facts to meet his own agenda. The man has a long history of personal grudges against people for insane reasons that only his small mind comprehends.

    • semichorus

      He is petty, yes.

      If someone whom he doesn’t like comes up with a good idea, he will do what he can to go after them and destroy its prospects — even if he thinks it’s a good idea too.

      He did it to Ted McConkey all the time.

  2. Ted

    Watching the council meeting and I want to know if we are paying for Telamonty to travel all around to tell everyone we will be voting on Measure B ? Why is that something we should fly him around to say but did you catch he said ” vote on if we get a new terminal or not” ? What happened to we get a new terminal no matter how we vote ? They are so full of liars.

  3. Anonymous

    The NEW (confusing) MEASURE B, basically the exact opposite of the original MEASURE B. DON’T BE FOOLED by the cloning attempt!!!!


    City Staff takes the yr. 2000 Measure B, which gave us rights to vote on airport decisions and names the new MEASURE to basically give away our rights to APPOINTED Airport Commissioners to spearhead a nebulously described (NOTHING CONCRETE) bigger airport terminal etc.. and calls it MEASURE B too.

    And, then they attempt to hide how that came to pass. Click on link.

    • semichorus

      A good article there — revealing how Rogers is full of crap. I get the impression too that he only wrote that “I didn’t do it” piece in response to my own one here.

      Oh, I forgot. He never reads this blog.

      The real Measure B gave us protections, yes. This new one — no matter how you want to evaluate or approve of the idea of a new terminal — permanently eliminates voter approval and override. This is our one shot in November if it wins.

      Oh yeah– we can recall errant pro-expansionist council members in the future if need be. Oh boy.

  4. Sue

    Why is the council meeting not working on my computer ???????? What are they blacking us out frim seeing ?????

  5. chad

    That was an exhaustive explanation, Semi. Thank you. I ate my entire Quizno’s reading it.

    • Anonymous

      Chad: “That was an exhaustive explanation, Semi. Thank you. I ate my entire Quizno’s reading it.” Hmmmm? “Exhaustive”? Were you not using your dentures?

    • Mike

      Rogers and the whole airport thing is stating to bother me more all the time. It seems like this airport plan that Mr Fruitos came up with is really flawed.

      • semichorus

        We don’t need a new terminal. It’s that simple. People like the one we have. This is a solution in search of a problem. Fix up what we’ve got.

        The only reason for a new terminal is to make it bigger. Case closed on trying to deny this claim, boosters.

        • Anonymous 3

          And what is wrong with it being bigger? The TSA wants more space, and travelers expect restaurants and shops.

          What is wrong with a terminal that is further from the runways?

  6. Anonymous

    I was at the meeting tonight, as a member of the public, and was surprised that most council members did not want to answer the public’s questions regarding measure B. At one point it was suggested that the city attorney respond to the questions via the city website. Since when does the public not at least deserve a response from council members who choose to respond. Dr. Gordon was answering questions but then was cut off. Glad that the city attorney will at least answer tonight’s questions at next week’s council meeting. I hope if there are other questions from the public in future meetings, that council members will be allowed to respond. It says on the agenda sheet “Council and Staff may respond to comments made by the public.” Obviously no one has all the answers, but if one, or two, or three do, please let them do therir job and respond.

    • semichorus

      Why is the city attorney answering the questions?

      More staff vetting and control of the council members. Figures.

      I thought things were starting to improve when the new city manager eliminated staff’s post-1999 policy of jumping in to answer FIRST at response to orals — which gave deliberate cover to the individual members AND set the tone and content for their responses. Staff was answering for the council, and it never used to be like that pre-1999.

      The policy started when Bob Kramer becamٖe mayor after Ted was gone. It was all about keeping maverick Bob bottled up. His first time as mayor is when they also started providing written SCRIPTS for the meetings for the mayor to (still) read off instead of talking on their own.

      Guess Albano didn’t like that big new change. Can’t control things as much. She’s also gone on record for refusing to allow the council members to discuss orals’ issues in public, or even talk about them. The cherished “Brown Act” and all that — which she herself violates every week when she refuses to disclose the specific content of their closed-session meetings.

      Why does this council allow her to control them and their speech? What wimps they are.

      Rogers especially– because he should know better. Tapes of old 90’s council meetings are fantastic in their transparency and detailed content.

      • 91505

        Except for Gordon we have a council that only cares what they can get out of Burbank. The only one that cares about Burbank is Gordon. The rest of the bunch is feathering their own nest by taking from our nests.

      • Jeff

        The city attorney needs to answer question on behalf of her client the council so the council members can be protected from being charged as criminal or civil for misleading lies. They need an attorney to answer for them. So much for an impartial analysis from their attorney.

    • F.R.

      Of course they don’t want to answer questions they have their hands caught in the cookie jar, or in the taxpayers pockets again. How do they straight faced answer questions when their whole proposal is based on fraud and deception. Remember Councilman Frutos has told people he made this deal as our mayor. It is good enough reason to vote him out because he is selling us out.

  7. Barret

    Last nights city council meeting was a joke!
    Mayor Talamantes was rude and condescending to Dr. Gordon who seems to be the only city council
    member with common sense and brains between his ears !
    Again, Will Rogers…… A.K.A. “Anonymous 3” on your blog.
    Who continuously babbles on with no real content to what he’s
    saying ? I guess he leaves his true comments and opinions
    regarding the proposed new airport terminal and anything else
    on his pea brain to his alias as “Anonymous 3?”
    i mean Will , you sure can criticize on this blog?
    What was the public thinking when they voted this moron into
    city council?
    Also, Talamantes is a self centered “Blow heart” who again thinks he’s
    the best thing that’s ever happened in Burbank?
    Every year Talamantes is voted in as “Best Politician” in Burbank?
    Did you know you have to pay at the least $400.00 for the privilege
    of being selected and thanking the public?
    Some people win without any competitors in their field.
    Just how many people really vote?
    It’s hard to believe he wins year after year!
    He must have all the fireman voting for him.
    It’s not just me, how does this guy keep getting re-elected?
    Talamantes is so arrogant, impatient and condescending with
    no empathy for people below him !
    Thank you Mayor Talamantes for being such a “Bone Head”!!!!

  8. Don

    I want to know what exactly has Rogers done for Burbank. I am not interested in him being on some non profit or maybe throwing a dime at a homeless person I mean what has he done that has any substance. Oh wait he got paid to write for the paper and I heard he has been paid to do some attack blog all of his own. but it seems like he follows the money or he follows things that gain him some way to say oh look at me I do so much for the city when he has really done squat. I am not the person who brings up this what have you done, it’s Rogers who does when it comes to attacking others who he does not like, and right there he shows that what he does he only does to make himself look good and make financial gain for himself. Rogers is not charitable, he is opportunistic and I am really sick of it.

  9. TJ

    Talking about Bob Frutos does anybody know exactly what the Burbank Community Services Fund is ? Frutos is the principal officer and it looks like it is about “Community Improvement, Capacity Building” Take a look at the link for it there is really no information so what the hell is it ?

Leave a Reply- (comments take a while to appear)

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s