NOV Ballot Measure: 3/4¢ Sales Tax increase!

July 20, 2018

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Initial OPINION (fwiw) – Just Say NO#iLuvBurbank

First of all re the Ballot Statement: A more accurate statement would be “To pay for our Unfunded Pension Liability because previous Council’s did not contribute what they should have for 6 consecutive years, and our highly paid City Staff Salaries + Benefits (see below link), and ballooning Infrastructure needs that co-incidentally have doubled since the last Council election because we don’t make developers pay their fair share like Glendale, shall Burbank Taxpayers Bail Out the City even though we just passed Measure T by raising our Sales Tax 3/4 cent forever (no sunset), giving Burbank the honor of having the highest Sales Tax in the USA along with Chicago & Long Beach?”

*** Burbank Salaries c/o www.publicpay.ca.gov ***

© Eric Michael Cap #iLuvBurbank

For Salary comparison purposes; In 2016 The City of Burbank (105,033 people) paid it’s 1,791 workers total Wages of approx. $124M + $41M in Retirement & Health Benefits. We paid an average Salary of $68,979 + $23,171 in Benefits ($92,150 Total Costs).

Our neighbors in Glendale (201,748 people) paid it’s 2,134 employees $150M in Wages + $49M in Benefits, with an average of $70,472 in Wages + $22,729 in Benefits  ($93,201 Total Costs).

What’s interesting to me is as while Salaries/Benefits were very similar, Glendale has per capita Salary costs significantly less than Burbank i.e each Glendale resident “pays” about $985 per City Employee ($745 Wages + $240 Benefits) vs $1,570 ($1,176 Wages + $395 Benefits) for each City Employee “paid” by Burbank residents.

Maybe we can learn from Glendale how to be more cost-efficient and get more done with less?  | *** Glendale Salaries c/o www.publicpay.ca.gov ***

Below is some historical background information as to How We Got In This Financial Mess. Please listen to the City Manager’s comments @ 6min.

READ This Excellent Article on CA’s Pension cost crisis: https://calmatters.org/…/commentary-surging-pension…/

“The option that many cities have already taken, and dozens of others are considering, is to raise local taxes, especially sales taxes—although only rarely do they tell voters that the new revenue is needed for pensions.

More generally, they portray the tax boosts as ways to improve police and fire services and keep specific promises to voters, such as adding police patrols or opening fire stations. They know that eventually, as pension costs rise, they will have to rescind those steps.

Privately, some city officials are encouraging their unions to put pension-related tax increases on the ballot via initiative, because a recent court decision indicates that an initiative tax would have a lower vote requirement than one proposed by a city council. Thus it would be easier to enact.

That said, tax increases alone cannot deal with pension costs that are rising so quickly. State-local sales tax rates are now at or above 10 percent in many communities, and taxable retail sales have flattened out as a percentage of personal income.

A final note: All of this is occurring during a period of general economic prosperity.”

 

 

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Burbank Election Results: Measure T, V & Y Pass

June 6, 2018

 
© Eric Michael Cap #iLuvBurbank

BURElectionResults

Measure T: YES – 10,176 (80%) | NO – 2,566 (20%)

Measure Y: YES – 10,194 (81%) | NO – 2,380 (19%)

Measure V: YES – 10,061 (80%) | NO – 2,568 (20%)

*** Full June 5 2018 CA Primary Election Results c/o LA Times***

Check back shortly for a Post-Election summary/commentary.

 

Memorial Day. BUSD Grads. Mental Health.

June 2, 2018

A few pics from 5/28 Memorial Day service ✞ Freedom isn’t free  

BHS VMA In-Sync Grads | BHS & JBHS Mixed Choirs @ Baccalaureate

IMG_0720 BHS Grad

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🏫 Video replay from BUSD Parent Forum on Student Mental Health. BUSD Super Matt Hill leads a timely panel discussion on coping with anxiety, stress, and other mental health issues affecting our students. #iLuvBurbank

Burbank Mental Health & Wellness Resources:

Family Service Agency of Burbank: (818) 845-7671

Burbank Police Dept. Mental Health Evaluation Team: (818) 238-3000

BUSD Wellness Programs & Services: (818) 729-4441

13 Reasons Why – Guide for Parents

June 5 Primary Election, Measure T & more

May 26, 2018

CouncilPrimary

We’ve completed & mailed in our Ballots. If you haven’t &/or are not sure who & what to vote for, please take a few minutes over this Memorial Day Holiday Weekend to read through the Ballot and do a little research. We’re blessed to live in a Democracy where we choose our Government, so I encourage you to exercise your right to Vote and let Your Voice be heard…it’s your Civic Duty! For Faith-based Voters looking to Vote your Values, I’m including links to Craig Huey’s excellent Election Forum Voter Guide, which breaks down Candidates positions & voting records on various issues of importance, as well as Californians For Life. And while I don’t always agree with Craig’s recommendations on Ballot measures, his guide is very useful in lesser-known races such as Judges etc. Whichever way YOU Decide to Vote, may I encourage you to Respect others viewpoints (friends & neighbors) whether you agree or disagree, and to Love People more than their politics & positions. #ILuvBurbank

Burbank Voters are also being asked to weigh-in on 3 Ballot Measures:

Measure T: To maintain essential City services/infrastructure like police, fire, parks, libraries, streets and street lighting, shall the measure be adopted amending the City of Burbank Charter to continue the past practice of transferring not more than 7% of Burbank Water and Power’s gross annual sales of electricity, paid by retail electric rate payers, providing approximately $12.5 million annually to the City’s General Fund until ended by voters, with all money spent to benefit Burbank residents?

A yes vote is a vote in favor of continuing the practice of including a fee in retail electric rates to fund the transfer of up to 7% of Burbank Water and Power’s (BWP) gross annual sales of electricity to the city’s general fund.

A no vote is a vote against continuing the practice of including a fee in retail electric rates to fund the transfer of up to 7% of Burbank Water and Power’s (BWP) gross annual sales of electricity to the city’s general fund.

Burbank, California, Measure T, Utility Funds Transfer Charter Amendment (June 2018) – Ballotpedia

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Measure V: To increase voter participation in City of Burbank elections, shall the measure be adopted amending City of Burbank Charter: 1.) changing City’s odd-numbered year general elections to November of even-numbered years coinciding with State/Federal elections and conforming to state law; 2.) eliminating City’s primary election; 3.) extending elected City official terms, one time, by one year and eight months to transition to even-numbered year elections; 4.) simplifying the election process in the Charter?

A yes vote is a vote in favor of amending the city charter to move city elections from February and April of odd-numbered years to November of even-numbered years to coincide with state and federal elections, beginning in 2020; eliminating primary and general runoff elections; and adding a one-time extension of one year and eight months to the offices of city officeholders elected in May 2015 and May 2017.

A no vote is a vote against amending the city charter to move city elections to November of even-numbered years, thereby continuing to hold city primary elections in February and city general elections in April of odd-numbered years.

Burbank, California, Measure V, Election Procedures Charter Amendment (June 2018) – Ballotpedia

Measure Y: To comply with state law to increase voter participation, Burbank Unified School District is changing its Board elections from odd-numbered years to even-numbered years and will conduct their own elections in conjunction with Los Angeles County’s Election Division. Shall the measure be adopted amending the City of Burbank Charter to clarify that BUSD Board elections will be conducted according to state law election procedures, rather than the City’s election procedures?

A yes vote is a vote in favor of amending the city charter to eliminate primary elections and to hold general elections for Burbank Unified School District in November of even-numbered years to coincide with the statewide general election starting in November 2020.

A no vote is a vote against eliminating the primary election and holding the general elections for Burbank Unified School District in November of even-numbered years to coincide with the statewide general election starting in November 2020.

Burbank, California, Measure Y, BUSD Election Procedures Charter Amendment (June 2018) – Ballotpedia

*** LA County Polling Place Locator ***

Below are some links in support & oppostion so you can make your own informed decision.

In Support: Burbank Elections. Mayor Emily | In Opposition: Save Burbank Neighborhoods – NO on T. NO on V & Y. NO on T, V & Y (5/31). Burbank Viewpoints – NO on V, Video*, Audio*.  NO on Y.

OPINION: A few quick thoughts – Any decision on Measure T should be made in context of understanding the historical roots of the “in-lieu transfer” of up to 7% of BWP’s gross sales of electricity from retail electric rate payers to the City of Burbank’s General Fund, which dates back to Voter approved measures in 1951/8 & 2007; the Court Ruling that determined the Fee is a “Tax” requiring Voter approval as such, hence the change in the Charter language being placed before Voters; our recently approved Budget that is balanced on the back of this continued transfer (and $9 Million in other “sustainable” reoccurring cuts & savings); and the $12.5M short-fall a NO Vote would create and resulting cuts in City services (police & fire, street repairs/lighting, park/recreation programs/facilities etc.) Also important to note that passage of this Measure will not increase retail rate payers’ bills because current rates already include the cost of the transfers.

You may also want to consider the forthcoming November Ballot Measure that is asking for a significant 0.75 cent Sales Tax increase to go towards paying our Unfunded Pension Liability and Deferred Infrastructure Needs. This measure would raise $20M/year of which $9M would go towards those needs and a $11M “surplus” available to restore or add services/programs (FYI: I can support 0.25 cents + $2.3M more in cuts/cost-savings to close the long-term deficit but NOT 0.75). BUSD is also planning a large Parcel Tax measure ($150-$250 per year per ave. property) to go to their General Fund. For comparison sake, Measure S which was approved just a few years ago was about $50 per ave. property for capital projects.

Bottom line: Notwithstanding the ever-increasing costs of Housing, Gas & State Taxes, Burbanker’s can expect to pay a lot more for the privilege of living in the Media Capital of the World!

Measures V & Y are about Election consolidation & alignment as per State Law in order to increase Voter turnout. They would also extend the term of all current Council & School Board members by about 20 months. I have mixed feelings on this as while I’d love to see increased Voter turnout I fear a lot of those additional ballots will be uninformed votes. I also fear local issues will get lost in the barrage of advertising for State & Federal candidates & measures. New candidates will have an even harder time campaigning against incumbents and partisan electioneering will further encroach our local non-partisan elections, with busy voters blindly voting for a slate of candidates based on glossy & expensive mailers rather than studying all the candidates, their values, voting records & positions. In the end, while well-meaning I fear this will end in a consolidation of power which may trump the convenience & cost-saving benefits of the proposed alignment. #ILuvBurbank

*** Watch – LA Times Live CA Primary Election Results ***

Jasmine + Friends @ Burbank High Prom

May 20, 2018

 

📸 A few pics of Jasmine, Ahmed + Friends @ BHS Prom. 💮 Enjoy! 🎓

FLICKR Photo’s | FACEBOOK Photo’s – Slides * click on Pics to enlarge

Burbank Council Vacancy – “Elite” Eight

May 11, 2018

CouncilSelect

The Burbank City Council has reduced the field of Candidates from 28 to 8, who will move on to the Q&A round scheduled for Monday @ 5pm. Each person will be asked 5 Questions with 15 min. per Applicant total time to respond. The Council will then pick their respective top choices and have final discussions prior to a Vote. If they can’t agree on a candidate via majority vote, the Mayor has the authority via the City Charter to select the winning candidate. Check back Saturday for Full Coverage and thoughts as the City moves forward with the process of filling the Vacancy created by the untimely death of Will Rogers to cancer.

FLICKR PHOTO Album | FACEBOOK PHOTO Album

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Finalists & Applications

1. Robert Brody 2. John Bwarie 3. Chris Rizzotti 4. Carolyn Jackson

5. Linda Muchamel 6. Barry Gussow 7. Tim Murphy 8. Paul Herman

UPDATE 5/14/18🎉 Congratulations to former Councilman Tim Murphy on his appointment to the Burbank City Council to fill out the remainder of the late Will Rogers’ term. #iLuvBurbank | Press Release

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BHS Vocal – Pop Show! (Jasmine + Friends)

May 11, 2018

Burbank Council Vacancy & Budget Issues

May 8, 2018

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The Field for the race to replace the late Will Rogers is in and it’s bigger than the Kentucky Derby! You can download the Form Guide here: Applicants

OPINION: I have read through all the applications and and think Juan Guillen deserves his chance on the Council. He was the next highest vote getter in the last 2 General Elections that’s applied, has a record of Community Service that is second to none, will help the City make the tough Budget decisions they need to make, while protecting our quality of life by opposing massive projects like the iHeartBurbank 1200 Units & Hotel slated for the old Ikea site.

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Vahe Hovanessian has also run for office a few times and has a lot of relevant experience as an Attorney who once interned at City Hall prior to opening his own private practice. He has served on both the Planning Board & BWP Boards and has never been afraid to voice a dissenting opinion. Barry Gussow is a current Park & Rec. Board member with a long history of Community service. He’s a successful local Realtor & while some may have concerns about him being Pro-Development, his business background might be helpful dealing with our Budget, Pension & Infrastructure deficits.

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Best of the Rest in no particular order: Carolyn Jackson (Charter Review Committee, Family Promise) and a couple of Media wild cards: Actor Michael Gogin and DP/Cameraman Alex Wysocki. It would be nice if the City Council had at least 1 member that represented us Media folks and was not a Retired Public Service Employee pulling in 100k +/- pension c/o Taxpayers. Good Luck!

I urge the City Council to focus on long-time Burbank residents with the practical experience & skillset needed to do what’s a very difficult job and who have a demonstrated record of Community service, not agenda-driven political novices or polarizing pro-development rubber-stamps. Please choose wisely!

Other Links: Email City Council | Special Meeting Agenda

Proposed City Budget | Local Ballot Measures

Quick Update 5/10 re changes to the City Council replacement member selection process; The City will just be listening to Applicant Statements (3min. ea.) & Public Comments (3min. ea.) tonight and then selecting their respective Top 3 choices (up to 12 people depending on overlap), who will move on to the 2nd Round to take place Monday evening where they will be asked 5 Questions each with 15 min. per Applicant total time to respond. The Council will then pick their respective top choices and have final discussions. If they can’t agree on a candidate via majority vote, the Mayor has the authority via the City Charter to select the winning candidate.

LIKE-Follow Us on FaceBook #iLuvBurbank

Easter in Burbank – Services & Events

March 17, 2018

Easter Invite 2018

South Hills Burbank – Fri 4-7pm Easter Experience. Easter Sat 5pm & 6:30pm. Easter Sun 8:30am 10am, 11:30am. FaceBook | Easter

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Story City Church – Fri @ 6:30pm. Sun @ 10am & 11:30am. FaceBook

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Burbank Pres – Maundy Thursday 7:30pm (Last Supper). Sun 9:15am & 11:15am. FaceBook

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Emmanuel Church – Good Friday @ 7pm. Sun @ 9:30am & 11am. FaceBook

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CityLight LA – Sun @ 8:45am & 11am. FaceBook
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Calvary Chapel Burbank – Good Fri @ 12pm & 7:30pm. Sun @ 8:30am & 10:30am.

Village Church – Good Fri @ 7pm. Sat @ 5pm. Sun 9am Brunch, 11am Service. FaceBook

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Calvary Bible Church – Sun 9am @ 10:45am. FaceBook

Redeemer Burbank – Sun @ 10:30am. FaceBook

Media City Church – Sun 9:30am & 11:30am. FaceBook

Salvation Army Burbank – Good Fri @ 7:30pm. Sunday @ 11am.

Forest Lawn – Hollywood Hills Easter Sunrise Service from 6-7 a.m. Sermon by Pastor Rick Durrance from Emmanuel Church.

Special Easter Events

Story City Church: Greater La Easter Egg Drop 2018 | FaceBook Event

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The LA Egg Drop is back! Last year, over 2000 people attended this FREE family event! We have more fun in store for you and your family this year!

Watch last years video: https://vimeo.com/212696388

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This free family event will be held in Burbank on Saturday, March 24th. Over 25,000 eggs dropped into age specific drop areas for one of LA’s largest Easter Egg hunts. Activities for the entire family, including:

+ 25,000 easter eggs filled with candy, stickers, & toys
+ Inflatables
+ Face painting
+ Balloon animals
+ Free easter bag to collect eggs
+ Free family photos at our photo booth
+ Giveaways to registered attendees
+ Golden Egg giveaways
+ Easter bunny
+ Live music
+ Free parking

Thousands have attended Story City Church’s free community events over the last two years. We expect this event to sell out. Please only register for the number of kids you plan to bring. You can register for additional attendees later if needed. As with every community event hosted by Story City Church, there is no religious presentation or content.

Emmanuel Church – Easter Eggstravaganza Family Carnival!

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Easter Eggstravaganza Family Carnival! Everyone is Welcome! SATURDAY, MARCH 31, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Free activities for all: egg hunts, photos with the Easter Bunny, inflatables, face-painting, games for the whole family, and more (as well as food for purchase). EGG-HUNT TIMES: 11:30 am – Ages 3 & under. 12 pm – Ages 4 to 1st Grade. 12:30 pm – 2nd to 5th Grade. Eggstravaganza activities will be at the southeast corner of the church near the corner of 5th and Cypress.

🎉 Happy New Year Burbank 🎈

January 1, 2018

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