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Gary Bric becomes mayor

Reorganization ceremony includes welcoming Jess Talamantes to the dais and bidding Marsha Ramos a fond adieu.

May 02, 2009|By Christopher Cadelago

CITY HALL — Gary Bric ascended to mayor of Burbank on Friday, with Councilwoman Anja Reinke taking his previously held seat as vice mayor.

In a reorganization ceremony full of hearty welcomes to newly elected Councilman Jess Talamantes and tender farewells to outgoing Councilwoman Marsha Ramos, Bric, a restaurateur entering his third year in office, assumed the center seat on the dais before thanking a host of family, friends and business associates in the audience.

“I do have a few comments, but I’ll try to keep them short. I do know we have a two-hour limitation on parking,” he said to laughter.

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But chuckles gave way to a sober realization that the budget season was upon City Hall. City leaders alluded to imminent challenges facing the city as the council prepares to adopt a budget. The city manager’s office has asked department heads to cut 5% from their draft budgets for the coming fiscal year in order to bridge a projected $7.2-million deficit in 2009-10. That figure could grow to $15 million by 2012-13.

“We have a lot of work to do, and I am ready to move forward,” Bric said.

He then took the gavel, newly engraved with his name, and asked for nominations for vice mayor. Despite some speculation that the title and responsibility would go to Councilman David Gordon, the second-most senior member, Councilmen Dave Golonski and Talamantes expressed early support for Reinke, who was quickly named to the post.

“Some of the best people in this community are in this room right now,” she said. “And some of them are seated right here at this very dais.”

Reinke thanked family and supporters before pledging to continue offering an ear to the community.

“Everybody has special causes that they want to propel in this community, and that’s what’s great about having five different people up here because everybody has something different,” she said.

The council, before changing leadership and welcoming Talamantes, hosted farewells to Golonski’s mayoral term and Ramos, who left the council after eight years to spend more time with her family and working at her business.

City Manager Mike Flad presented Golonski with the customary plaque and photograph before reading from a list of accomplishments, including a continued push toward sustainability. The council last year pledged to put Burbank on a path to becoming a zero-waste city, conserving water, composting and buying green.

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