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A civil council race so far

Two incumbents and four newcomers campaign for spots on the dais with a less attack-heavy tone than the contest in 2007.

April 11, 2009|By Christopher Cadelago

CITY HALL — Two years removed from an election plagued by underhanded tactics and allegations of negative campaigning, the prelude to Tuesday’s six-person race for three seats on the City Council appears to have reestablished a sense of normalcy.

The general election, which pits two incumbents against four fresh faces, remains relatively calm heading into the final three days of voting, with just a few public sparks flying between Mayor Dave Golonski and Councilman David Gordon.

“It’s back to Burbank politics,” said Lee Dunayer, a Burbank Water and Power board member who this year mounted an unsuccessful run for council. “We have an interesting election with interesting characters.”

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Garen Yegparian, a technical research analyst for the city of Los Angeles, Kimberly Jo, associate chief information officer for Los Angeles County, Jess Talamantes, a retired fire captain, and substitute teacher Elise Stearns-Niesen round out the ballot.

Yegparian, a veteran of seven Burbank-based boards and commissions, amassed $56,583 in contributions, according to filings released Friday.

The candidate has pledged to institute common-sense solutions to traffic and public transportation, development, education and the environment. He has served on the Burbank Charter Review Committee, Blue Ribbon Committee on Campaign Finance Reform and Burbank Community Development Goals Committee.

Between 1995 and 2008, with two exceptions, the general election vote count has ranged from about 8,400 to about 12,000. Yegparian, who finished sixth in the primary, said he is angling for 5,500 votes.

The city clerk’s office had received about 7,500 ballots as of Friday. There were 53,994 registered voters by last count.

“If we get that same big burst again, as we did at the end of the primary, we could be looking at about 11,000 votes,” Yegparian said.

Jo, who accumulated $31,533, including $9,900 in campaign loans, indicated that if elected, she would attract new businesses and industries to the city, while Talamantes, who has pitched a series of business incentive packages, raised $19,273, including $1,605 in loans.

Stearns-Niesen collected $7,104, including a $2,525 loan. She promised not to reduce police and fire departments’ workforce and develop a citywide plan for senior citizens.

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