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COMMUNITY COMMENTARY:Change for Burbank

February 21, 2007|By Mark Stebbeds

This letter is in response to the Community Commentary by Tom Jamentz ("The city isn't as bad as literature makes you think," Jan. 27), who made the ridiculous suggestion that City Council candidates Phil and Carolyn Berlin think Burbank is not a nice place to live.

One only has to look at their 25-year record of supporting our community to see how ludicrous this is, and how much they love our city.

Jamentz seems to think our city officials have been accountable, when we recently have had one council member resign while under investigation for drug and child-endangerment charges, our current mayor having been alleged to have committed domestic violence, as reported in the Burbank Leader ("Councilman responds to abuse accusations," Jan. 11, 2006), and a city employee responsible for counting ballots recently arrested and pleading guilty to stealing $10,000 from the Boy Scouts, but still maintaining her city job ("Plea given in Scout case," Nov. 22). That kind of accountability we can do without.

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He points out that the Empire Center is a wonderful addition to our city, but he seems to forget that Carolyn Berlin voted in favor of the center and responsible downtown development during her nine years of public service on our planning board. Perhaps he should just call her and say "thank you" rather than spread false information.

Airport expansion will always be on our horizon as the development agreement allowed the airport to expand by 27 acres and keep the B-6 property in a trust for future use in an agreement that can be terminated at any time without voter approval. As our airport commissioner for six years, Phil Berlin was instrumental in getting the state courts to give airport land-use control to the city of Burbank, and not delay the court-ordered sale of the B-6 that our current City Council voted to delay, prior to Councilman David Gordon's election.

The Berlins have stated they are opposed to recent land giveaways to favored developers, as are the majority of Burbank residents as evidenced in the public hearings. Jamentz supports Anja Reinke, who has remained silent on every important Burbank issue and was involved with the most recent $1.9-million prize as a board member for a private corporation, which received the land. One can only assume why she is endorsed by current City Council members. They need a like-minded person to maintain their four-person voting block.

If you want a bigger airport and the pollution, noise and traffic that comes with it, or if you want to reward recipients of multi-million-dollar land giveaways with City Council positions, or if you want to maintain a voting block on our City Council that has supported overdevelopment for years, then vote for Jamentz's choices and get their lack of experience and qualifications.

But if you want change and diversity on our City Council, and qualified people with experience and integrity who will represent the residents of Burbank, there are only two votes that make sense. Please make your two votes count, and vote for Phil and Carolyn Berlin.


  • MARK STEBBEDS is a Burbank resident.

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