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Priorities out of whack

June 05, 2010

The cost for "organizational assessment" and "training materials": $195,000. For "interim improvements" to temporary work spaces for reshuffled city offices: $275,000. Then there's the millions allocated for outside legal consultants on the police department mess, the $3,000 spent to restore some street parking after a fight with store owners, a loan guarantee for a new comedy club, and the list goes on.

These are just some examples of the spending priorities at City Hall amid one of the deepest and most protracted recessions for more than a decade. At the same time, fees for everything from trash collection to electricity and water could soon go up under proposals on their way to the City Council.

Utility rates alone could shoot up 15%, and all at a time when officials are warning that cuts to public services are a very real possibility as Burbank grapples with reduced revenue and state funding.

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And so is the public really satisfied with the City Council setting aside $14 million more in recent years to assist the school district with refurbishing playing fields? Keep in mind these projects were to be covered by the $122.5-million bond approved by voters in 1998.

Are you willing to pay more for less? Or is it time to start demanding an explanation for some of the expenditures and spending priorities among our elected officials?

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