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So what’s that name again?

 

Jesus Christ.

 

 

 

 

 

This crowd can’t even play straight with the name.

 

 

 

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Here’s your next mayor

 

This is always a fun redux. From his 2012 application for city clerk, part of his curriculum vitae:
 

 
Can you imagine such an attitude? Not knowing or caring about such a basic thing as your education? It’s really contemptible.

It’s also more than a bit unbelievable. Like who wouldn’t have sought a diploma if they really thought they might have enough credits?

Something else always good for a repeat, and we love to keep pointing it out. It’s just too perfect. Keep in mind that when David Gordon was finishing up his professional graduate studies at Berkeley, Vice Mayor Rogers was admittedly scheming with his friends about how to import cheap weed from the Midwest to sell for big money out here.

He’s all yours Burbank. You deserve nothing better.
 
 

 
 
 

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It’s starting to look like the top city leadership offered that illegal “donation” to the airport campaign, and not some scapegoated flunkies

 

Just a preview, but we’ll be going through official documents soon that make it look like not only did top City of Burbank people know ahead of time about that illegal campaign contribution of public funds from the T-BID, but they actually proffered the idea to the committee and even wanted to increase the amount.

What this means is that top city people completely lied about their knowledge of the event, and instead tried to pin it all on the underlings — even going so far as to offer these same employees and the T-BID group itself a re-education program.

Can you imagine taking the fall for this. One good thing is that the city is currently under investigation for this illegal expenditure of public funds.
 
 
 

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Whose “economic development”?

 

Ah, they’re gearing up. But for what?

Last week, the City of Burbank welcomed newly appointed Assistant Community Development Director for Business and Economic Development Simone McFarland to its workforce. She brings 25 years of experience in creating business development and marketing programs in both the public and private sectors.

Before arriving in Burbank, Simone served as the Economic Development Manager for the City of Sierra Vista, Arizona where she established a robust ED program, including spearheading the creation of a cybersecurity hub that is positioned to flourish for years to come. Not new to California, Simone has also invested her economic development prowess in the Cities of Riverside and Murrieta, as well as the County of San Bernardino.

Simone has received ten Addy awards from the American Advertising Federation and five awards from the California Association of Local Economic Development. She holds a Bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Riverside.

Teri Black observed, “Burbank is on the brink of a remarkable transformation and Simone is just the right person to lead the excitement around economic development. She’s also a great match for the department’s leadership team, and it’s a city that will take advantage of her full range of talents for years to come.”

Who the hell is Teri Black?

Notice how these outfits are always handing out awards. It’s very important to these commercial mentalities. There’s no reason either why Burbank needs to market itself to any more of the 1% crowd. Are they planning on living here?

Of course not. Just pull profits from the place and move on.

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Speaking of which

 

 (c) 2008 Wes Clark

 

From $0 to $16,000 in one race

Campaign finance disclosure statements filed with the city clerk’s office showed that campaign war chests for the February primary election [2005] ranged from $16,000 for a council candidate who got fewer than 2,000 votes to no contributions for another.

Developers from both in and out of state were among contributors to the three incumbents running to retain their council seats.

Councilman Dave Golonski, who is running for his fourth term, took in $2,200 in donations from an attorney, an engineering firm, a traffic consultant and other businesses based in Arizona.

Jim O’Neil, executive vice president of Crown Realty, owner of the Burbank Town Center Mall, received the checks and gave them to Golonski.

Crown sent out a letter to friends and business associates requesting donations for all three incumbents, but there was no requirement to do so, O’Neil said. Some recipients of the letter made no donations. Murphy and Ramos declined to accept donations solicited by the letter.

“There were no strings attached,” O’Neil said. “We did this because we believe in Burbank and want to continue the momentum of its positive business climate.”

Crown made no donations to any of the candidates, O’Neil added.

Golonski accepted the contributions because he was comfortable that the donors knew no expectations were tied to the money, Golonski said.

“I don’t see how they can have expectations because they will have nothing before the council,” Golonski said.

 
No, they didn’t need to buy him off. They already knew he’d work for free. That’s why they wanted to give him the money. To keep him winning.

He was their guy.
 
 
 

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Golonski’s a sad dude

 

Someone just told us about this fun little missive of his from yesterday on that **WeLoveBurbank!** Facebook page:

 

 

How did he get “$750,000.00” dollars? (We always love those extra zeroes for effect.)

In the real world it was actually a sought-for maximum $8,000 business incubation grant for PR work on a new high-tech business venture that already had a list of clients waiting to go for electrical conversion work.

And what was the purpose of this grant program they were all talking about? To help incubate small local startups in the high-tech field.

Yes, what a corrupt fiend Gordon was to think that this venture might have been an appropriate use of these funds, which btw were to be awarded at the public hearing.

Did we also mention that this guy was hardly a “friend” of Gordon’s?

But, oops! Apparently the reaction to the G-Man on Facebook isn’t too good…

 


 

 
One woman there tried to make a feeble defense of Springer, but that’s it. Outside of that one the opinion is universally condemning of Dave Golonski and his silly and dishonest little stunt.
 
 

 
 
 

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There will be no winners tonight

 

We’re not stating this claim in the rhetorical sense, like everything’s hopeless in the end and it doesn’t matter who gets elected because they’re all compromised, and yeah, both sides do it, etc. etc., and so how sad our elections have become. We get enough of that phony equivalence cant on TV.

No, it’s because any prospective vote count tonight will be way too premature because of last year’s change in state election law, and thus any reasonable person will want to wait until at least Thursday night before making assumptions about the outcome.

But let’s see if this stops the booster crowd. Or the city clerk, who obviously jumped the gun last time in pronouncing Springer the likely winner. And just why was that?

Those remaining Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday ballots count too. Maybe more so. Tonight means nothing.
 
 
 

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Remember, you can now vote on election day again

Thanks to our state legislature, Burbank voters are now allowed to cast their “all-mail ballots!” on election day again without having to drive five miles to drop them off somewhere or else see them get thrown in the trash by the city clerk and her outside election company. 

As long as you get them in the mailbox by tomorrow afternoon they’ll still count — presuming of course that someone doesn’t intercept them on the way in. With your names all over them they’re not confidential or secret any more of course, and so who knows what will happen. They do make a tempting target, yes.

The wailing and lamentation we heard last month all the way to Cucamonga and beyond was when Sharon Springer got hurtled back into the April runoff solely because of those postmark day “late votes.” The boosters concluded that she was the obvious shoo-in and began shooting their guns off and cheering in the streets way ahead of schedule. But thanks to that good Sacramento change in the law she wasn’t. So get out there and vote. It might just count this time even more.

The choice this season couldn’t be any clearer, either. Like her big new supporter from nowhere, that Konstantine guy, Sharon Springer is dingy as hell and full of ludicrously bad ideas. She’s also run an extremely sleazy and dishonest campaign. The last time she ran she was half-way ok, but this time around she’s allowed herself to become the product of her many douchebag supporters. And we certainly don’t need more of that crowd around. They’ve had their shot.

Say what you will about Gordon, but compared to Springer he’s got one of the least flaky lives up there. The guy’s been building a stable local business for almost 40 years and he’s by far the most educated one of the bunch. By all conventional measures he makes the rest of that crowd look like they belong down at the EDD or some county office recharging their Golden Advantage cards. The utter audacity of any of them attacking Gordon’s propriety and judgement is clear, because just on paper alone he’s the more sober and conventionally responsible one. He has a real live job out there, and guess what? He created it himself!

It’s called a professional career– and in one place. In other words, he’s not squirrelly as hell..

He’s also a good guy who likes to ask challenging questions and talk and think things out. That makes many people bored or uncomfortable sure, especially in places like mediocrityville Burbank, but who cares. We need more of that here, not less.

While you’re voting for Gordon, go for Guillen as well. They’ll work well together. Gordon’s only problem really is that he’s never had an actual ally up there, just some pretty nasty enemies who are often up to no good. So let’s rid ourselves of as many of them as we can, ok? It’ll make for a better Burbank.

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Mandatory assignment

Turner Classics tonight is showing 4 1/2 hours of animated shorts from the National Film Board of Canada. There’s bound to be a lot of Norman McLaren in the mix of course. Pop quiz tomorrow morning.

A dose of McLaren sounds like good prep for Tuesday’s election. And remember, unlike before, the city clerk can’t throw out your mail ballot if you happen to vote on election day.

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It Came from Burbank

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If promoting the business interests of a “friend” was any kind of a crime in Burbank, that booster crowd would all be in jail ten times over

 

The Springer supporters are obviously getting desperate. They just posted this supposedly damning exposé of a council agenda item from 2010 that no one bothered to care about three years later during the last big election.

The one btw that Golonski lost to Gordon.
 

 

Hilarious.

Sorry, but there’s nothing culpable there, “friend” or not. And it doesn’t seem like much of a friendship. That was an open public meeting and an open competition. No one pulled any strings and no one got anything.

But, compare the absurdity above to how many times one or another council member or staff employee has actively and repeatedly promoted a Cusumano project in town, always embracing at the same time their warm, longtime relationship with “the family.”

Or, personally vouched for friends and associates who had business in front of the council. Even family members. It happens all the time, known to the public or not. How big do they think Burbank is?

Such clean hands they have, yes…

Gordon btw has long been a victim of this kind of creepy innuendo and dishonesty. Several years ago a Golonski-led council majority forced him to spend over $20,000 in attorneys fees to (quite successfully) defend himself on another bogus conflict-of-interest charge involving his simple treating of a couple of longtime patients who also happened to be city employees on a health plan. In the end the state cleared him bigtime on any accusations of wrongdoing.

These people, wow. What more can you say? They’re obviously complete pigfuckers who will stoop to anything no matter how silly and stupid. And in such a notoriously corrupt town as Burbank — a place that everyone in the outside world knows just swarms with economic favoritism, secret dealings, and good plain old-fashioned influence peddling — the idea of trying to peg Gordon to an old public hearing on a mickey-mouse business generation item is insane.

It goes beyond the hypocritical — it’s positively pathological. These people just can’t control themselves. They’re horrible individuals.

You’ve been so warned, Burbank.

Hey, btw. Blitz and Gordon. Those are both Jewish names, aren’t they? Thought so. You know how those people are…

You’re a sad little fuck Golonski. You too, Will.

 
 
 

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Once again the Leader only prints pro-Springer, anti-Gordon Letters

 

It’s getting to be a bad habit with that once fine local paper. Today they’ve printed three more letters about the city council race, and guess what? They all happen to be in favor of Sharon Springer. And two of them were written by individuals who were dumb enough to admit that they’re professionally shilling for her (her campaign manager and a community organization associate).

The other letter is from a guy named “Al” who slams Dr. Gordon for being completely ineffective over the last 11 years while at the same time blaming him for Burbank’s traffic and financial woes. That’s a pretty funny contradiction — if only because you can either do things or you can’t– but it does highlight the immense unfairness that Gordon has had to deal with over that same period of time.

Just imagine what Gordon could have accomplished if he’d had an ally or two in this dumb and credulous town (such as drafting a sane Burbank2035 planning document). That notion is beyond his critics to absorb of course. Or, perhaps they’re all actually in favor of what he’s been against during those years? Like more development, or the primacy of big business? (We love small businesses, btw.)

That seems more like it. Even if they think otherwise.

Look, in just her putziness alone we’d be opposed to Springer, and this constant spate of letters proves it. The raw aggressiveness of her stupid campaign is offensive. These people — most of whom are in their own minds local movers and shakers — obviously think that she’s going to do something for them if elected. Why else would they get behind her in such numbers? But Burbank’s had way more than enough of that mentality.

No, you need someone like Gordon who asks questions and puts people’s feet to the fire. You’re not going to get that with proud get-along go-along booster types like Sharon Springer. Even putting aside her dumb, shallow, mock-technocratic leanings — which nowadays always ends up being pro-development and Big Money — her advertised conviviality is reason enough not to want her up there.

Most of the crowd she hangs with is not the best judge of, well, very much at all. Just look around. Seen any good ideas in the bunch?

 
 
 

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Leader mysteriously omits news of Springer’s big business PAC contribution

 

You’d think that when the local newspaper does a pre-election wrap-up of campaign contributions they’d at least mention a few of the bigger ones? No? Especially if they are from out of town and somewhat controversial?

Apparently not in Burbank.

This was the big news in their Springer segment, which actually headlined how she had received the most money:

During the filing period from Feb. 23 to March 25, Springer received $6,909 in campaign contributions, which included a $100 non-monetary contribution — an email blast from former City Council candidate David Nos, according to campaign disclosures.

Leave it to BurbankViewpoints to fill in the particulars:

According to public records, BizFed, a self-described “pro-business” PAC, which helped defeat a ballot measure aimed at curbing development in Los Angeles last month — and whose efforts to block clean air and water protections have been widely-criticized by environmental groups — gave Sharon Springer’s campaign the maximum donation allowed by law on March 15th.

According to the LA Times, environmentalists “expressed outrage” over the group’s successful campaign to keep the Southern California Air Quality Management Board from tightening restrictions on trucks and other “mobile polluters” in February of this year. The PAC lobbied to make compliance by polluters voluntary instead of mandatory.

Environmentalists told the Times, the rollback on proposed anti-pollution laws would “hurt millions of people, including many suffering from asthma, lung, and heart disease and other pollution-related illnesses.”

The Leader goes out of its way to cite a well-known friend’s email blast, who’s quite popular with the booster class. But not the above?

How come?
 

 

 

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Rogers has liver cancer, and so the council needs to discuss the future mayoralship

 

We thought long and hard about whether or not we should break this story, and then we kept thinking about whát he had once done to Ted McConkey. Even after he was dead. And so we thought “fuck it.”

Although we don’t wish this diagnosis on anyone, apparently Will’s suffering from liver cancer. This might explain his recent absences, as well as his “I really don’t care” attitude that we all heard last week from the dais. But it presents a problem.

Is he up to taking on the mayoralship? It’s a fair question, and Columnist Rogers would have certainly been asking it of a McConkey or a Gordon. And probably not as nicely.
 
 
 

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Staff insists on continuing to discriminate against unrelated roommates and Section 8 applications; and Gordon gets them to admit that they also discriminate against medical marijuana users

Disgusting. Just disgusting. The headline says it all, and we’re not going to elaborate on this story any more than we have to. 

So much for “Burbank2035!” eh?  Burbank’s always been a chickenshit town, and always will be. Completely insensitive, oblivious, and cynical.

We don’t buy either staff’s claim that there are only “38” Section 8 grants that are being transported out of town. In this transient day and age that number seems way too low. Their extolling the use of a so-called “Randomizer” software program that makes anything but random picks from among the applicant pool is also equally silly and evasive. 

Sorry, but they use a variety of selection criteria “preferences” to make their Section 8 picks, which means that it’s impossible to get a slot in Burbank unless you’re a vet, disabled, a parent of small children, and homeless. 

All combined. And even then you don’t know where you are on the list. If that’s not so, then who DOES get it?

A numbered lottery system would be much more fair, even if it’s weighted for certain preferences. Glendale uses one, and Glendale also has an extensive appeals process which Burbank lacks. Which would figure for this town as well…

Remember, Burbank’s the same place that more than 20 years ago actually required 10,000 people to line up all around the downtown area just to be able to file a mere application for Section 8. A friendly town it is to the lower income, yes.

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Is it true that in order to get Section 8 in Burbank now, you have to be a vet with kids?

 

We’ve been hearing this claim a lot lately, that the current local restrictions on Section 8 are so great. It’d be nice then if staff provided a list of — say– the last 20 or 30 housing subsidy recipients and their qualifying status. Are they all parents who are also military veterans?

Are there any single homeless in the mix? Single elderly?

Younger single recipients? None of them vets?

No? Why not? (Btw, vets have their own Section 8-like subsidy program from the VA. So is it really fair for them to get an extra shot from Burbank?)

Speaking of subsidized housing … if you want to give yourself a real shock, go and check out how many nice new cars are sitting in the parking lot of that fancy disabled housing over on the corner of Providencia and San Fernando.

The city helped with that particular housing program in many ways. So how come the beneficiaries are so affluent? The same holds true of the senior “artists apartments” on the corner of Verdugo. It was largely a BHA subsidy. It certainly began that way.

What a sense of values this town has, no? Someone’s got some explaining to do.

It’s too bad that apart from Dr. Gordon, no one ever makes them.
 
 
 

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Why doesn’t Burbank have a lottery system for its Section 8 rental subsidy picks?

 

We’ll make this one easy.

Glendale and other cities use a lottery system to decide who gets Section 8 from among all of the many applicants on their waiting lists. They’ll apply a few preferential filters — like veterans status and family dependents or homelessness — but in general, each applicant gets a countdown waiting list number as assigned by a special lottery. Everyone then knows their basic place on the list.

Burbank does no such thing. They instead apply a varying array of filters to decide who comes up on the list and when. According to the silly and evasive explanations that staff tries to give whenever they’re pinned down on the subject — and usually only by Dr. Gordon — unless you’re a disabled current homeless Burbank resident who’s also an elderly veteran with children, and extremely low income to boot, you’re out of luck when it comes to a Section 8 rental subsidy in Burbank.

In other words, Burbank’s Section 8 picks are arbitrary, capricious, and all done in secrecy. Why not a lottery method instead, Burbank? Talk about a lack of transparency.

And also this. How many of Burbank’s grants are being transported out of town? That’s right– it’s legal, but many of Burbank’s Section 8 grants go to out-of-towners. And  some very far away.

Here’s another question for the council. Is it true that the Cusumanos no longer take new Section 8’s at their buildings?

With all that Burbank has done for them over the years, why not?

UPDATE:

Someone just reminded us of that famous “The Randomizer” staff says they use to make these Section 8 subsidy decisions. Which they try to play off as resembling this:
 

 
It’s not. The process ain’t “random,” either.
 
 
 

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If you have a roommate anywhere, don’t plan on getting Section 8 in Burbank

Here’s something terrifically unfair.

The city council will be asked tomorrow night to make a series of six changes to the administration of its Section 8 rental subsidy program. Two of them are mandated by federal requirements, and four are optional on behalf of the Agency itself. Naturally, these proposed changes were buried within an obscure exhibit attached to the specific agenda item.

Now we’ve spoken before about how when Burbank grants your Section 8 application they then demand the submission of financial statements from everyone in “the household.” This requirement goes beyond just your family — they mean everyone in the place. And if you don’t turn them all in they immediately toss your application. You’re removed from the process.

The problem with this requirement is simple. What if you just happen to have a temporary unattached roommate or two who is NOT going to be a part of your future Section 8 apartment? In today’s modern world a roommate or two (or more) is a necessity. Hell, you may barely know them!

A revolving round of stranger-roommates is EXTREMELY common in this Craigslist era of high rents and low incomes. You’re lower-income life is transitory, and they’re not coming with you.

According to the City of Burbank though, too bad. You’re out of luck. That’s your “household” buddy, and you’re stuck with it. You won’t get Section 8.

One of the optional changes proposed for tomorrow night will make this arbitrary and unfair restriction even worse. Now BHA wants the council to allow only one application submitted from each address, which means that completely independent and financially autonomous individuals will be banned from applying for Section 8 in Burbank merely because they’re roommates and happen to live at the same address.

Is this fair? Of course not. Whatever happened to that modern, looking ahead 21st-century Burbank they’re always talking about? Not only is this Section 8 policy and pending update obsolete, it’s also meanspirited.

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