Happy Veterans Day 🇺🇸 Thank You! #NeverForget

November 11, 2018

VeteransDay18

FACEBOOK PHOTO Album #iLuvBurbankFLICKR Album

 

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MidTerm Election Results – Local Measures

November 7, 2018

MidTerm-2

LOCAL ELECTION RESULTS: @ 11am [updated]

Measure P – YES 61% (16,039) / No 39% (10,685)  Passes
Measure QS* – Yes 62% (16,354) / NO 38% (10,161)  Fails
* QS Required 2/3 (67%) Voter Approval to Pass

STATE & County Measures – 97% Reporting
Prop 6 (Gas Tax repeal) Yes – 45% / NO – 55%  Fails
Prop 5 (Prop 13 Transfer) Yes – 42% / NO – 58%  Fails
Prop 10 (Rent Control) Yes – 38% / NO – 62%  Fails
Measure W* (Stormwater Parcel Tax) YES – 67% / No – 33%  Passes

Mid-Term Elections 🇺🇸 Burbank Police Foundation.

November 4, 2018

#iLuvBurbank – Endorsements & Recommendations

Local Measures: Measure P 🚫 Vote NO ☒ Measure QS 🚫 Vote NO

P+QS Website links: BurbankMeasureP.com | BurbankMeasureQS.com

State+County Measures: Prop 6 (Gas Tax repeal) ✅ Vote YES ☑︎ | Prop 5 (Prop 13 Transfer) ✅ Vote YES ☑︎ | Prop 10 (Rent Control) 🚫 Vote NO ☒ | Measure W (Stormwater Parcel Tax) 🚫 Vote NO

Links: Craig Huey Value Voters Guide (incl. Judges) | Polling Locations

Burbank Police Foundation – Family Fun Day & Car Show

FACEBOOK Photo Album

Back to School. BHS Vocal. Burbank Measure QS.

October 16, 2018

 

South Hills Burbank – Teacher Appreciation & Love-The-818

FACEBOOK Photos | YouTube Song Video

BHS Vocal – BBQ Show

FACEBOOK Photos + Videos | FLICKR Photo Album

Burbank / BUSD – Measure QS

Property Parcel TAX = 10¢/SqFt (+$170/1,700 SqFt Home)

NOonQS-2

As many of you know, I’m a Parent of a Burbank High School Jr and was part of the successful YES On Measure S campaign. I/We also own property in the Hillside area adj. John Muir. It might surprise you to know that Gloria & I are Voting NO on Measure QS, as are many other Parents, Property Owners & Measure S Supporters, incl. former BUSD President Larry Applebaum who lead the Bond campaign. Here’s just a few reasons why we can’t support this Parcel Tax increase at this time:

1. This Tax is not needed at this time; The BUSD Budget is Balanced for the next 3 years.

“THE SCHOOL DISTRICT CURRENTLY HAS A BALANCED THREE-YEAR BUDGET THAT PROVIDES FOR INCREASES IN PENSION OBLIGATIONS” – MATT HILL, BURBANK UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT SUPERINDENDENT (BURBANK LEADER)

File Photo. * BUSD Superintendent Matt Hill does NOT Endorse or Oppose Measure QS.

“HOWEVER, WE DO NOT HAVE ENOUGH FUNDING TO PROVIDE FOR A COST OF LIVING WAGE INCREASE OR ANY ADDITIONAL SUPPORTS FOR OUR STUDENTS.” – MATT HILL

2. The Tax places an unfair burden on Burbank Property Owners & Renters who are still paying for previous School Bonds (until 2032), while approx 1300 Students who live outside the district pay nothing. Businesses with larger footprints are also disproportionally hit.

3. This Tax will exist in Perpetuity (FOREVER), highly unusual for Parcel Taxes which typically have sunset clauses and need to be reconsidered by voters every 4 -7 years.

4. The Tax does not address future Maintenance needs or extra Classrooms needed to accommodate anticipated demand from Planned Development (1200 Units @ old Ikea site adj. BHS etc.), requiring yet another Bond in a few years.

5. The Funding is NOT SUSTAINABLE & most of the money will be used to augment Salaries/Benefits. Having $9M/year that can be re-assigned to any goal “pot” will lead to more BTA demands for Salary/benefit increases, resulting in less money available for Student programs over time. For example, the promised 3% Salary Increase, given annually, would mean that by Year 3, the whole $9M raised would be spent.

6. Obscures the real problem – mandatory Pension obligations imposed by the State. Unlike our City, the School District has always dutifully paid its share of Pension contributions. But because of poor management by the State, our contribution to fund Pensions is increasing to 19-26¢ per Dollar of Payroll; taking money from current students to pay past obligations. Cost-of-Living-adjustments that previously provided money for modest salary/benefit increases are now being used entirely to Fund Pensions.

In conclusion, the proposed Parcel Tax is a band-aid approach to a STATE issue. Political pressure must be brought to bear at the State level to either provide More Funding to the district or Relax the onerous Mandatory Pension payments. #NOonQS #NOmoreTaxes #iLuvBurbank

LINKS: BurbankMeasureQS.com | Official Argument Against Measure QS | Rebuttal To Argument In Favor Of Measure QSBUSD Teacher Salaries + Benefits (2013-16) CalMatters.org Story: California Teacher Pension Debt Swamps School BudgetsOfficial BUSD Measure QS webpage

Larry Applebaum Commentary @ NoOnMeasureQS.com (scroll down)

Mike & Roy Show on Measures P & QS

Local TAX Hikes: Just VOTE NO in November on P

August 8, 2018

BURSalesTax

Just months after pleading with Voters to Pass Measure T: “To maintain essential City services/infrastructure like police, fire, parks, libraries…”, Burbank wants to increase our Sales Tax by a massive 0.75¢ to 10.25¢, to essentially do the exact same thing.

An honest Ballot statement would read: “To pay for our Unfunded Pensions because previous Council’s took a Pension Holiday (now Illegal) and did not contribute what they should have for 6 consecutive years; and our highly paid City Staff Salaries + generous Benefits; future Infrastructure Maintenance needs because we don’t make Developers Pay their Fair Share in Fees; shall Burbank Taxpayers Bailout the City (again), even though we just passed Measure T, by raising our Sales Tax 0.75¢ Forever (no Sunset), giving Burbank the dubious honor of having the Co-Highest Sales Tax in the USA”?

The City has basically cut-&-paste their Ballot language from Measure T and will no doubt engage in a similar “fear-based” campaign threatening Service Cuts if this massive Sales Tax Hike doesn’t pass. What about Pay Cuts? What about Living Within Your Means like the rest of us? What about getting back to focusing on providing the best Municipal & Public Safety Services instead of wasting time on non-essentials like banning Columbus Day!

NoMoreTaxes2018b

There’s so much the City can/should do before raising TAXES. 1. City Mgr Ron Davis mentioned $2M in potential savings during Budget discussions via Workers Comp changes & Outsourcing certain new positions where it makes sense (IT?). 2. Raise Development Impact Fees to match Glendale/Pasadena to pay for future infrastructure needs (they charge $18k/unit vs $2k). 3. Re-Negotiate Public Service Employee Union contracts requiring all workers contribute 50/50 towards PERS, not just new employees. 4. Remove Per Employee Biz Tax Caps that give large Employers tax breaks on the minuscule $10/employee they’re suppose to pay vs Gross Receipts other Cities charge. 5. Pay Cuts: 10% for 414 Employees $150k+ & 5% for another 284 Employees making $100-$150k. 6. Close the 1 Wall Remodeling loophole costing us Tax revenue 7. Divest of Assets that are draining City resources like Starlight Bowl, Golf Course, Colony Theatre or explore Public/Pvte. Partnerships, Naming Rights etc. 8. Get Back-to-Basics & focus on providing Municipal Services & Public Safety not Wish-List & Pet-Projects until revenue increases. Then, after you’ve Cut Costs & Re-Focussed on Essential City Services, come back to the Voters for a Temp 0.25¢ Sales Tax increase with a 3-5 year Sunset clause IF NEEDED, & I’m sure the good people of Burbank would be willing to help out.

This $20M Measure is 2x what the City actually needs to balance future Budget deficits, creating an $11M annual Cash Pot. It’s also Bad For Business, esp. those selling higher-ticket items. It takes a just a few minutes more to drive to L.A. for Appliances, Cameras, Computers/Electronics, Cars etc. Local Business are being hit with a double-whammy with the proposed 10¢/sqft BUSD Parcel TAX, meaning additional Taxes or pass-through Rent increases on top of what some have already endured in Magnolia Park. Big Corporations like Ikea & Walmart can afford to absorb the costs, but small Mom-&-Pop stores are going to be hit esp. hard if these new Taxes pass & some will probably go out-of-business.

Before Voting for Measure P, please consider doing the following:

1. Watch this Video explaining Why We’re in this Financial Mess. * (Start @ 5:38min. Apologies 4 “Jack Sprats” annotated comments – just listen to the City Manager’s honest reply to Council)

2. Review the Salaries + Benefits our City Employees’ are being paid.

https://transparentcalifornia.com/salaries/2017/burbank/

http://publicpay.ca.gov/Reports/Cities/City.aspx?entityid=170&fiscalyear=2016&rpt=1

3. Compare our Salary + Benefits Costs that account for 80% of the Budget with Glendale (approx $985 vs. $1176 per employee per resident or 20% more).

http://publicpay.ca.gov/Reports/Cities/City.aspx?entityid=186&fiscalyear=2016&rpt=1

4. Read this: Property tax surge reveals the truth: Local tax hikes are all about pensions

https://www.sacbee.com/opinion/op-ed/article220100755.html

I love Burbank and want to see our City prosper, but this Taxpayer Bailout only encourages More Spending & Waste. I urge my fellow Burbank residents to Vote NO in November and send our elected Leaders a loud message: Trim The Fat, Cut Spending & Live Within Your Means!

#ILuvBurbank BurbankMeasureP.com & BurbankMeasureQS.com Web Page links. Please READ Before VOTING & SHARE on your Social Media pages. 👍

National Night Out on Evergreen St., Burbank

August 8, 2018

Fun evening serving with the #SouthHillsBurbank – #LoveThe818 Team @ Ashley Erikson‘s amazing National Night Out Block Party on Evergreen St. #iLuvBurbank #LoveYourNeighbor | FACEBOOK PHOTO AlbumYouTube

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

July 20, 2018

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Initial OPINION (fwiw) – Just Say NO#iLuvBurbank | My Argument Against*

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 @ 5:40min.

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.”

 

 

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

IMG_2102 Choir

🏫 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

Burbank-City-Website-Banner-Image-No-Footer-Text

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 ***


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