Mailbag: City funds are being misdirected

August 14, 2010

The flashing sign says "road construction 5/2-8/27/2010," but we just received notification of what is being constructed with this month's Burbank Water and Power bill.

I was hoping to read that some extraordinarily energy-efficient modifications were being made, or perhaps another set of stacks that billow steam into the Burbank sky. New offices for utility employees? After all, a full block was literally torn up, sidewalks, gutters, half the street, all the trees, bushes, lawns, retaining walls, buildings and who knows what else buried beneath it all.

The green notice in my bill advised me of what all the commotion is about: green street improvements coming to Lake Street, which is "being converted into an attractive, pedestrian-friendly environment … new trees, new shrubs, energy-efficient lighting."


I drive that area quite often and very rarely see pedestrians walking this industrial block. Why would all these funds be spent for this seldom-visited area, especially when the front page of the Aug. 7 Leader has an article proclaiming "City trying to pool resources." Why not divert the newly lit sidewalk funds to reconstructing the badly missed Verdugo Park pool? After all, it's been empty since 2008!

It's so disappointing to see misdirected funds. Why hasn't there been any mention of the detours and construction in the Burbank Leader? Where is the City Council in all this? Do these improvements require their approval? Oh wait, there's that 15% rate hike, so the money must be burning a hole in the proverbial pocket.

I'm anxiously awaiting completion of this "aesthetic and environmental project" to see how many pedestrians pass by. Maybe about as few that ride their bikes on Verdugo Avenue?

Paula Dresser


City employees should take pay cuts

It was mentioned in the July 3 article "Water execs in line for raise" that Ron Davis had been offered a job with Austin Energy. Therefore, Burbank needed to give our utility executives big salary increases since conservation had worked so well and revenues are down, as well as increasing our rates.

I would like to point out to our City Council that Burbank Water and Power serves 51,000 customers while Austin Energy serves 388,000 people, and so Davis would naturally make more money working there.

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