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Local TAX Hikes: Just VOTE NO in November

August 8, 2018

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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!

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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 for Exec Staff – 10%, 100k+ Employees – 5%. 6. Close the 1 Wall Remodeling loophole costing us Tax revenue 7. Re-Think or Pvte./Public Partnerships or Divest of Assets that are draining City resources like Starlight Bowl, Golf Course, Colony Theatre 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 (ala Prop 30) 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.

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. 👍

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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.”

 

 

BHS Vocal – Pop Show! (Jasmine + Friends)

May 11, 2018

🎉 Happy New Year Burbank 🎈

January 1, 2018

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Happy Columbus Day!

October 9, 2017

OPINION: Glad the Burbank City Council are taking on the “big issues” of the day. We already have Native American Day here in CA (4th Friday of September) that nobody remembers, so IMO the whole “indigenous day” movement is nothing more than an attempt to erase American historical figures & history. President’s Day is next as Washington & Jefferson were slave owners, then the Constitution written by the Founding Fathers. What a waste of Staff’s time. Let us know when you get around to dealing with our $5.7 million projected deficit for the 2018-19 fiscal year, which is expected to climb to $16.6 million by the 2022-23 fiscal year, or our $280 Million Unfunded Pension Liability, or our $260M Deferred Infrastructure needs (Roads etc.). Perhaps you can work on reducing Traffic, Speeding, Property Crime, while weighing in on the negative impacts of the massive iHeartBurbank planned development of nearly 1100 apartments on the old Ikea site & adj. properties. Can’t wait for the next Council meeting when Council members take a knee during the pledge. Happy Columbus Day Sharon, Emily, Will, and thank you Jess & Bob for being the voices of reason. #iLuvBurbank

Update 10/10/17Budget crisis worse than I thought – $10.8M deficit 2018-19 & $27.4M 2022-23, $580M unfunded infrastructure. City considering drastic service cuts, increased taxes & development. 😧

MWD Colorado River Aqueduct Tour

October 7, 2017

Some Photo highlights from our Metropolitan Water District (MWD) Trip to Hoover Dam & Colorado River Aqueduct with Dir. Marsha Ramos. We were joined by a host of BWP employees & Community members as we learned about how & where CA receives about 1/3 of it’s Water. MWD will vote next week on the CA Water Fix – you can learn more about it here. Check back next week for Video highlights. #learningaboutwater #mwdh2o #BurbankH2OPower

FLICKR PHOTO Album | FACEBOOK Photos | More Videos coming soon

Christmas in Burbank

December 6, 2016

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Christmas Events & Services (check back for more to be added shortly)

BHS VMAA Very Merry Affair, Thu 12/8 & Fri 12/9 @ Burbank High School

JBHS VMAHoliday Spectacular, Sat 12/10 7pm & Sun 12/11 2pm @ JBHS

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Emmanuel Church – Christmas Concert, Sun 12/12 @ 3 & 6pm, 12/13 7pm

Story City Church – Christmas Friday 12/23 @ 7pm @ The Colony Theatre. Free Family Christmas Movie – “ELF” on Friday, 12/16 @ The Colony

South Hills Burbank – Christmas Eve (Sat) 12/24 @ 2pm, 3:30pm & 5pm. Love-The-818 Christmas Serving Campaign (Dec 6-17th)

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Burbank Pres – Christmas Eve 12/24 @ 7:30pm. Christmas Day 12/25 @ 10:30am. Christmas Together (Live Nativity+Show) on Sat, 12/17 @ 6:30pm.

Calvary Chapel Burbank – Christmas Eve @ 5pm. Sunday 9:30/11:30am.

CityLight Baptist – Christmas Eve @ 5pm. Sunday @ 10am. Webpage

Emmanuel ChurchChristmas Eve  @ 11pm & Sunday @ 9:30am.

Redeemer Burbank – Christmas Eve @ 4:30-5:30pm.

Vertical Church – Christmas Eve @ 5pm-5.45pm. FaceBook link

Village Church – Christmas Eve @ 4pm & 6pm. FaceBook link

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Pics from Mayor’s Tree Lighting (top) & BHS VMA & Emmanuel Xmas Show.

Emmanuel Christmas Show Video link | Burbank Nativity Show Video link

* RIP Burbank Residents Irma Luce & Holly Rog. Please Pray for their families.

MWD CA Water Tour with Marsha Ramos

October 21, 2016

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Last weekend we were blessed to join our MWD Dir. Marsha Ramos and a diverse group of local community leaders on a Metropolitan Water District Trip to the California State Water Project / Bay-Delta. We toured Feather River Fish Hatchery & Oroville Dam, learned about the Cal Water Fix via presentations by MWD experts Stephen N. Arakawa & Curt Schmutte, and visited the Banks Pumping Plant & Bay-Delta. Guests included Councilman Bob Frutos, Sr. BWP personnel, various Board & Commission members, representatives from the business community & former Dir. Mike Nolan! Below are links to some of the Water Presentations & Trip Pictures fyi. #LearningAboutWater

CA Water Fix Summary | CA Water Fix Presentation | BWP Water Report

FLICKR Photo Album | FACEBOOK Photo Album | VIDEO Highlights

 

 

 

2016 John Muir MS 8th Grade Promotion Photos

June 2, 2016

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John Muir Middle School Boosters & Yours Truly are providing FREE HD 1920×1280 Pics from the 2016 8th Grade Promotion Ceremony via FaceBook & FLICKR. These are great for sharing with family & friends on social media & small (4×6/5×7) Prints. Here’s the LINKS:

FACEBOOK Photo Album #1Album #2Album #3 | Promo Party

FLICKR Photo Album #1Album #2 | Promo Party Album

If you like the pictures, please consider a Donation to JMMS Boosters ($5/photo suggested). Here’s the link to Donate now via PayPal.

If you’d like to order full rez. 5k images for larger prints (8×10/11×14 etc.), please email JMMS Boosters with the photo(s)ID as listed on FLICKR i.e. “JMMS8Grad16b-27” etc., and we’ll send you the larger images and a link to Donate via PayPal (if you haven’t already). Please allow 2-3 business days for processing your order. Also, DVD’s can still be ordered for $15 here. Check back for sample Video soon!

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Happy Easter Burbank 2016

March 25, 2016

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Wonderful re-creation of The Last Supper last night as we reflected on Jesus Betrayal, his Suffering and Death on the Cross. The Good News is Sunday is Coming! We invite you to join us as we celebrate the Resurrection of our Lord & Savior Jesus Christ @ First Presbyterian Church of Burbank @ 9:15am (Traditional service) & 11:15am (Contemporary service). Happy Easter!

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