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Burbank Unified officials bask in the afterglow of successful $110-million school bond

March 08, 2013
  • School board President Larry Applebaum, left, on election night. He was praised by his colleagues Thursday for being a driving force behind the successful Measure S campaign.
School board President Larry Applebaum, left, on election… (Cheryl A. Guerrero/Staff…)

Burbank school board President Larry Applebaum choked back tears Thursday evening as he reflected on the weeks of campaigning that went into passing Measure S -- the $110 million bond measure that more than 60% of city voters approved on Tuesday.

“It was a very long road to get there and the road started with trying to convince the people on this dais that it was a need because they were some of my harshest critics,” Applebaum said, adding that school board member Ted Bunch told him the Burbank community “will never do it.”

During Thursday’s meeting, however, Bunch publicly thanked Applebaum for initiating the discussion about going after the bond and then serving as a driving force behind the campaign.

“The reason that that measure passed was that [Applebaum] was a real pain in the backside for a long time, kept bringing it up and talking about it…and we got there,” Bunch said.

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Fellow school board member Dave Kemp also thanked former Mayor Marsha Ramos, who served as chairwoman of the campaign.

“She said at the very beginning she doesn’t do anything to lose,” Kemp said. “Good for you Marsha, you didn’t lose this one.”

Ramos later publicly called on the board and district staff to remain transparent as they oversee the districtwide projects the bond will soon fund, such as updating roofs, plumbing and making energy upgrades to school facilities.

“We all hope for increased transparency, accountability, efficiency and quality workmanship,” Ramos said.

Burbank Unified Supt. Jan Britz said in a statement earlier this week that it was “nothing short of remarkable” that voters sent the bond well over the 55% threshold needed to pass.

Of the 6,595 votes tallied, 4,053 residents voted in favor of the bond.

“Our success is a credit to all parties involved – most importantly the electorate who saw the need to pass this measure,” she said.

Applebaum encouraged those who opposed Measure S – 2,542 residents voted against the bond – to join its oversight committee.

“My challenge to those who voted no, is that if you want to be part of the process to make sure that things are done right, then be part of the process,” he said.

-- Kelly Corrigan, Times Community News

Follow Kelly Corrigan on Twitter: @kellymcorrigan

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