In his first bid for public office, long-time council critic David Gordon edged out former Mayor Bill Wiggins on Jan. 24 by less than 300 votes, the culmination of a campaign heralding the need for fresh leadership to overthrow the status quo and put the "people first."
With such a slim margin of victory, some questioned whether the results actually reflected the type of disenchantment with the state of local government that Gordon's campaign espoused.
Nevertheless, Gordon's presence on the council brought the influence of an outsider whose roll-up-the-sleeves approach to city business brought an unmistakably new flavor after his swearing in on Feb. 14.
Burbank residents oppose hybrid sewer alignment
2 When Los Angeles City Councilman Tom LaBonge proposed what has become known as the "hybrid" Glendale-Burbank Interceptor Sewer alignment, which would join the respective northern and southern routes already on the table, he called the plan a "win-win for all."
But after Burbank residents learned that LaBonge's professed compromise would tunnel beneath residential areas of Burbank, the backlash was swift and vigorous.
Letters flooded into the Los Angeles City Council and Public Works offices during the public review period for the draft Environmental Impact Report, the majority referring directly to the Glendale-Burbank sewer alignment.
Among the complaints waged in the more than 2,700 letters was the fact that, though the impacts of the proposed northern and southern alignments were thoroughly reviewed, no independent analysis had been conducted for LaBonge's hybrid.
Therefore, the final Environmental Impact Report, which the Los Angeles City Council certified on Nov. 14, reflected a flawed and incomplete process.