Emily Gabel-Luddy, a member of the Burbank Planning Board who faced strong opposition from a local employees’ union, narrowly won a seat on the Burbank City Council Tuesday night, edging Burbank Police Commissioner Robert Frutos by 86 votes.
The unofficial tally showed Gabel-Luddy receiving 4,400 votes to Frutos’ 4,314. The 16% voter turnout was below average for municipal elections in Burbank since 2003, but higher than the 14.3% of registered voters who cast ballots in the Feb. 22 primary.
As results rolled in Tuesday night, the lead see-sawed several times, with Frutos and then Gabel-Luddy ahead, often by fewer than 100 votes.
Gabel-Luddy, a former city planner in Los Angeles, said she would focus on bridging the city’s anticipated $8.3 million budget gap in the coming year and on keeping Burbank’s business community vibrant.
She said she was “pleased and honored” with the outcome. Gabel-Luddy, who has been on the Planning Board for 10 years, said it was nerve-racking to watch the lead shift back and forth, but said she felt confident toward the end that her late lead would survive. She will take office in early May.