Burbank Council Candidate Q&A – Lee Dunayer

Lee Dunayer

Lee Dunayer

1. In 2007 Burbank passed a Second-Hand Smoke Control Ordinance to protect the public’s health & well-being, and which has since been emulated by numerous cities (Glendale, Pasadena etc.). Do you support the “SHSCO” & would you support an amendment to the ordinance to limit smoking in multi-unit housing?

~ While I support the current “SHSCO,” I would support a phased in approach to the “SHSCO” for multi-units over the period of one year, in coordination with the owner of the multi-unit property (not the association).  This allows the owners and tenants to work out a schedule for relocation.  I strongly feel that second hand smoke is far more dangerous inside the apartments/condo’s than outside.

 2. In late 2008 the Council updated Burbank’s Film Permit Ordinance to accommodate the use of hand-held cameras, but still prohibits the use of such cameras without a ($350) permit if external lighting/audio gear is used. Would you support amending the current fee structure to waive &/or lower permit fees for small-scale video productions?

~ At this time I have not had discussions with small media related production and post-production companies who may offer compelling reasons why the permit fees should be lowered or waived. I would reach a conclusion after such conversations.

3. In 2006 the Council adopted a ZTA with AUP process to allow Music Lessons as a Home Occupation. Would you support revisiting our (10 year old) Home Occupation Ordinance to allow more reasonable & flexible home business usage to enable more people (media freelancers, moms etc.) to work-at-home?

~ I would be happy to revisit the ZTA.  As long as parking can be provided, I encourage flexible working hours and the use of one’s home for appropriate business purposes.

4. You all seem to agree that protecting our residential neighborhoods “quality-of-life” is key. We live adjacent to a school in a R-1 zone and  my neighbors and I experience daily the negative impacts from peak-hour traffic, school noise & student interactions. Many of us have had our property damaged by students and soccer is now being played on weekends. What can/will you do to protect our quality-of-life & safety?

~ Each neighborhood has it’s own experience relating to these matters. I support a neighborhood engagement specific to each area to try to arrive at a happy medium between residents, PTA, School Board, etc. If a reasonable conclusion is reached, and it differs from another neighborhood, I would support a unique set of rules for each neighborhood’s cicumstances.  I recognize we have shortage of recreational facilities, and thus I would encourage shared use agreements between the City Council and School District. 

5. Do you support the building of a new Aquatics Facility to replace our aging swimming pools and year-round programs for all people & ages?

~ In this current economic climate I would only support monies delegated for new facilities by state and federal grants…I place other infrastructure needs ahead.

6. If I support your candidacy, will you return my calls, read & respond to my emails, &/or meet with me (if necessary) to discuss an issue of importance? i.e. Will you be my/our representative?

~ Absolutely…and proudly.

7. Would you make any changes to the current Public Comment period at Council meetings or leave it “as is”? (Please specify any changes)

~ I like Public Comment the way it is currently structured.

8. Accountability and open/transparent Government is important to most people. What steps will you take to ensure Staff’s responsiveness to information requests and the public’s access to documentation under the FOIA (Freedom of Information Act)?

~ I support public tranparency with every bone in my body….but I do not know what city staff could or should do better at this time. However, if I do notice room for improvement while sitting on Council, I would seek ways to communicate my thoughts in manner that embarrasses no one. 

9. What specific cuts in spending will you propose in order to overcome our projected $7 million dollar plus budget deficit in 2009? Can you balance the Budget without raising utility rates or dramatically cutting City services? Will you hold City Department heads accountable for wasteful spending & inefficiencies?

~ While our current estimated deficit is manageable if we tap into reserves, the place to begin is performance standards for each task of each department.  This directly addresses where and how we can accomplish things faster, cheaper or both.  Second, we need aggressive stimulus programs to retain and promote business in Burbank.  Third, we ought to pay close attention to refiancing opportunities with our outstanding debt. I am confident that effort and concentration in these three areas will prevent cutbacks of city services.  An increase in utility rates is more a function of sustainablity efforts and requirements than the city budget.

 10. With all of the recent business closures and job losses, what can we do as a community to maintain a vibrant local economy? What would you do to encourage employers to hire locally and the public to shop & dine locally?

~ Performance standards will reveal inefficiencies and opportunities. Programs such as “Let the Buck Stop Here” created and funded by the Redevelopment Agency were well thought out and successful.  We absolutely need to aggressively encourage business Downtown during the week day lunch hour through similar programs, increasing bus service to the Downtown areas (which may eventually lead to a streetcar system), and possible “micro loans” to encourage new business.  We need to maintain free parking in Burbank…it is a major attraction. We cannot be competitive enough with Los Angeles, North Hollywood, Glendale, Pasadena, etc., keeping sales tax dollars in Burbank.

11. There’s been some controversy over the past few years re the use of Redevelopment Funds for certain projects, most notably BHC & FSA. Where do you stand on these matters? How would you maximize our Redevelopment dollars to improve Burbank?

~ Not by me…I think these monies have been invested wisely.  The purpose of redevelopment is to improve blighted areas so that local citizens have a better environment, local services are enhanced and property values increased. 

12. With imminent budget cuts to School district funds, what if anything can you do to work with BUSD to ensure our children’s educational needs are met, as well as our school’s infrastructure needs?

~ During my campaign I have spoken to both School Board Members and a few from local PTA’s.  At this point I have made no progress in finding a solution…but have every intention on continuing the quest.

13. Do you support Term Limits? Would you support a ballot measure that would allow the people of Burbank to vote on this issue? Will you vow to serve no more than 2 full terms?

~ I have a very, very strong belief in term limits…from the American Presidency on down to the municipal level.  I will absolutely commit to no more than two terms, though my very strong preference is for one six year term for each elected official in the country.  Later, perhaps we can talk about campaign financing. 

14. Where do you stand on Airport related matters such as the Part 161 Study, the possibility of noisy stage-2 aircrafts being re-directed from Van Nuys Airport, the B-6 Property and a new relocated terminal?

~ I helped author the PERC report on these issues.  I believe we should continue to pursue an enforceable nighttime curfew under PART 161.  We are restricted for another year and a half in revisiting the B-6 Property issue.  However, we are at least two new FAA Administrator’s later.  We need to begin a new dialogue with the current Administrator and their staff as well as neighboring city elected officials. Currently our voluntary curfew is mainly adhered to by the airlines. However, I would like to offer a pilots prospective (I have been an active private pilot in this area for over thirty years).  The biggest threat we face to late night noise is from cargo operations.  This typically involves older and noiser aircraft, but hasn’t yet become the problem it might.  As for relocating a new terminal building I would like to be clear.  The terminal, though closer than usual to Runway 8 is safe.  There is a prevention for an incident similar to the Southwest Airlines Hollywood Way incident several years ago.  A new terminal building would likely be asthetically pleasing, but would do little to add to safety and would likely lead to the FAA insisting on additional gates.

 15. Re the Environment; What specific things can we do that we aren’t already doing to improve our air quality and be more eco-friendly?

~ First, I applaud the efforts and progress this City and BWP has made to be a leader in green efforts.  The world is on the brink of break through technology with battery capacity issues for plug-in hybrid vehicles.  BWP has led a joint effort amongst many other utilities in the country to promote this.  Additionally, the utility is ahead of the State for renewables over the coming decade.  Burbank should be proud of our leadership  in these areas, and knowing the leaders of this City, I have every confidence this will continue.

Contact Lee Dunayer:
Phone: 818-919-3807
Email: ldunayer@gmail.com
Web site: http://www.leedunayer.com Lee Dunayer web site

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