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Residents should be filling council chambers

January 01, 2011

At the Dec. 11 Burbank City Council meeting, I was one of three speakers who protested the awarding of merit-based bonuses to city employees. I attended the council meeting after reading Gretchen Meier's article on the subject on Dec. 10.

Frankly, I was surprised that the council chambers wasn't packed with angry residents speaking out on bonus payments. Every Burbank taxpayer should be outraged that this practice is continuing during the present economic downturn.

I am a former civil service employee; my dad was one, also. We never expected or received bonuses. Working in the public sector, we earned a decent living wage. In fact, it allowed me to fully pay for my college education. I do not understand why adequately compensated city employees need to have bonuses. This is not Wall Street.

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Not only does the city justify the bonus payments, but the deputy city attorney says that the city cannot give out the name s and amount of bonus compensations employees receive, citing employee confidentiality. The money is taxpayer funded, and as a taxpayer, I have every right to know who is being singled out for a bonus and how much the individual receives.

After I spoke at the meeting, Councilman Gary Bric responded that exemplary employees should be rewarded, and that is what he and his wife do each year at their business establishment when they reward their good employees with bonuses. Doesn't this man know there's a difference between shelling out one's own money and giving away taxpayer dollars?

His response convinces me that he does not belong up on the dais if he can't differentiate between private and public funds.

I implore all Burbank taxpayers to make a loud and steady noise about the awarding of bonuses. A bumper sticker I saw says it better than I can: "Ignore your rights and they'll go away."

Molly Shore

Burbank

Bike lanes make this driver uncomfortable

I have lived between Clark and Verdugo for 52 years. I rode my bicycle as a child and an adult on Verdugo Avenue and never had a problem. My children rode their bikes and they never experienced problems, either.

The night they had their new bike lanes open on Verdugo, there was a car accident on the corner of my street and Verdugo.

I have never felt uncomfortable riding my bicycle on Verdugo, but now I am uncomfortable driving my car on that street with the city's new bike lanes.

There are hardly any bicycle riders on that street — why make it so difficult for motorists?

One more thing, shame on this city for having the Verdugo pool closed for years. A lot of people learned to swim because of that pool.

Please put Verdugo Avenue back to normal and re-open the pool.

Donna Lowande

Burbank

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