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Burbank Viewpoints

Burbank, California – Information and opinion on the most crucial issues facing our city.

Why I am Voting NO ON Y

I’ve followed and researched this issue and will be posting a bit more in the coming days on the other local measures on the June 5th ballot. But this one is a no brainer. 

The State of California is forcing smaller cities with poor voter participation to move their elections times to align with statewide elections. That’s a noble effort that makes a lot of sense on its face. But there’s a catch: This is going to cost the Burbank Unified School District millions of dollars by forcing them to pay for the increased cost of county elections!

You see, the city has long wanted to offload the expense of school board elections onto the BUSD. Currently, the City administers and handles the school board elections. The cost for these elections is small compared to County-run elections. Moving school board elections to align with statewide elections will put an expensive burden on our school district. Guess who will get hurt by this?

You’ll notice no one from the school board stepped up to write an argument in favor of voting yes on Y. They are between a rock and a hard place. Urging voters to mark yes will cost them millions. Urging a no vote suggests “We hate Democracy!” It’s a sticky situation. As I have come to learn in my research, the repercussions of voting No on Y and thereby sticking with our current system, are not very serious. Literally, the worst thing that could happen if Y doesn’t pass, is that a judge could force us to comply one day.

Why should we burden our school district because Mayor Gabel-Luddy and Counsel-member Talamontes want to stick it to BUSD? It’s an expensive strategy that will ultimately hurt students.

Mike and Roy on Measure T

Someone’s paying attention

Your water and power bill is going up

and how they each voted:

Free Speech Denied? [Video]

This is a colossal blunder on the part of the Mayor. Here’s what happened.

Mayor Gabel-Luddy vs. your First Amendment rights

A letter to the City Council from my pal Oscar Merlo:

QUESTIONS FOR CITY COUNCIL

On Thursday’s meeting I witnessed some disturbing Orwellian behavior from the City Council. As Mr. Roy Wiegand was stepping up to speak, he was denied the podium on the pretense that he already spoke because another citizen had used their public speaking time to play a video clip in which Roy was featured.

The mayor has argued that when Citizen A (not Mike or Roy) uses his/her public speaking minutes to show a media clip of the Mike and Roy Show, that clip counts not for Citizen A who filled out the yellow card, but instead for Mike or Roy, since they are the ones featured on the clip that Citizen A presented to council.

This argument raises some serious questions.

Question 1: If the media clip is being counted as Mike and/or Roy’s speaking time, does it also count as Citizen’s A’s speaking time? Can Citizen A still use his/her 3 minutes? Last Thursday, Mayor Gabel-Luddy, unilaterally decided that what counts is not the name of the person on the card requesting the speaking time, but the person who is featured on the media clip presented by that person.

Question 2: If Citizen A, not knowing Mike or Roy, decides to play a video of the Mike and Roy Show without Mike or Roy’s knowledge or consent; does Citizen A’s decision eliminate Mike and Roy’s right to address the Council during the same meeting? The mayor’s argument says that it does. Her new rule will allow one citizen to take away another’s citizen’s right to free speech. Is this really what City Council is advocating? While City Council may be comfortable diminishing and negating Mike and Roy’s right to free speech, are they prepared to apply this new rule equitably for all Burbank citizens? It seems to me that there is a constitutional dilemma here that needs to be addressed.

Question 3: If Citizen A shows a video of the Mike and Roy Show during public comment and then Citizen B decides to use their three minutes to play another Mike and Roy Show video, what happens if a third person, Citizen C, also wants to play an episode of the Mike and Roy Show? Would they be allowed to do so? Or would Citizen C be prevented from showing the clip because Mike and Roy have already accumulated their collective six minutes? If we use the Mayor’s logic, Citizen C’s right to show a video clip would have to be denied on the grounds that Mike and Roy had already spoken. Wouldn’t that deny Citizen C’s right to free to speech?

It is my understanding that the any member of the public has the freedom to address the council on any issue. I’ve been to many meetings where members of the public, not just Mike and Roy, have used video clips and multi-media presentations as their form of public comment. And I hope that the City Council will continue to allow them to do so. After all, it’s a form of protected speech.

Every citizen in Burbank has the right to show whatever media they feel best conveys their message, regardless of who is featured in that video. Is City Council really willing to infringe upon the free speech rights of Burbank citizens just because they find Mr. Wiegand and Mr. Moynahan irritating?

I will also be sending a copy of this email to the City Manager and the City Attorney, and I am expecting a written response to my questions from the City. Please also consider this a formal request to have the use of media during the public comment clearly explained in writing for the citizens of Burbank.

Respectfully,

Oscar Merlo

Latest Mike & Roy Shows

My neighbors Mike & Roy have plenty to say about Burbank. Here are the latest episodes.

BUR jets ARE flying lower and louder than before

And take-off lanes HAVE changed! Residents have data that proves it and hundreds of people are getting involved in the discussion. The Burbank Leader is covering the story as well. If you’d like the city to address this issue further with the FAA please sign this petition.  If you really want to help make a difference please attend this Tuesday’s City Council meeting. You don’t have to speak unless you want to and just being there will send a message to our elected and appointed officials.

If you haven’t you should also join Burbank for Quiet Skies.

On Twitter.

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Crime is up in Burbank

The following was posted on Facebook by Eric Rosoff. I obtained the author’s permission to use it here. It’s a sobering and informative read. The link directly below is the article Eric is referring to.

http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-crime-trend-study-20171204-story.html

Good morning friends and neighbors

From time to time I comment on what I feel has been a dangerous and unnecessary unilateral shift in operational philosophy at BPD, undermining quality of life matters in our city. This commentary has been met with dismissals at the city level with an inference that I’m “pining for the good old days.”

The referenced article about LA County crime rates speaks for itself. Absolutely there are crime factors such as economy, staffing, Prop 47 etc that we (Burbank) can’t control. However, Michael Males, the interviewed expert, simply confirms what many of us in law enforcement already knew to be true. “Males says the variation in crime patterns resulted from local policies and practices rather than statewide justice reform.”

The article goes on to say that overall crime ROSE in Burbank by 6.1%. However, facing all of the same outside factors as Burbank, crime in Glendale, Pasadena, and Monrovia FELL an average of 18%!

So, here’s what we know.

1. Experts agree that local policies and practices have a significant impact on the crime rate.

2. Since they arrived, Burbank PD’s command staff (LAPD retiree’s) has significantly altered our local policies and practices.

3. Burbank’s crime rate has risen while our neighbors of Pasadena and Glendale have enjoyed a significant decline in crime under exactly the same economic and other outside factors.

When you do the math, it is obvious that change is needed.

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