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Leader announces endorsements for City Council, school board

February 11, 2011|By Burbank Leader Editorial Staff

Leader backs Bric, Gabel-Luddy for Burbank City Council

A down economy, ongoing police oversight issues, impacts of a new airport transit center and a behemoth Universal City development adjacent to Burbank, a possible high-speed rail corridor — the list of pressures facing this city abound and will be here for years to come.

It will be important in the coming years to set out on a course that will carry Burbank through in a way that accommodates the changes that fit in best with how residents see their city: a small, tight-knit community that just happens to be wedged between large metro areas.

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It’s a tightrope to walk between how residents see their city and managing how the city will inevitably change. Which is why The Leader is endorsing incumbent Gary Bric — who has helped see Burbank through a bevy of hard issues that emerged last year — and newcomer Emily Gabel-Luddy, whose vast planning experience will bring an important point of view to the dais.

In the endorsement interview process, it was clear that all four candidates, including parole agent Jacqueline Waltman and city police commissioner Robert Frutos, are passionate about serving Burbank, and all were qualified to do so.

But in local politics, the skill sets of some candidates make them more natural fits depending on the local issues of the day.

Gabel-Luddy’s time on the Burbank Planning Board, combined with her extensive experience as a chief city planner for Los Angeles, make her adeptly qualified to scrutinize the massive NBC Universal mixed-use project slated for the border with west Burbank.

She believes the preliminary review of the nearly 400-acre site vastly underestimated the traffic and infrastructure impact to Burbank. We agree. Her time with the L.A. planning department, which is overseeing the Universal City project, will no doubt serve Burbank well as it fights to have its concerns addressed. Her expertise will also prove valuable as Burbank undertakes a comprehensive review of its Master Plan.

As for Bric, no one can discount his approachability and commitment to the community, especially when it comes to small business. As a small-business owner himself, his unique perspective has served the city well on the dais, and his ability to reach out across political divides has had a tempering effect on a number of issues.

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