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Top stories of 2013: Political shifts topped Burbank headlines

A shake-up of leadership positions led a year also marked by private tragedies.

December 28, 2013|By TCN Staff
  • Mark Scott, 63, who has worked as city manager at four other cities, most recently in Fresno, Ca., is shown at the Burbank City Hall on Wednesday, July 24, 2013. Scott began his job as the Burbank City Manager on Aug. 1, 2013.
Mark Scott, 63, who has worked as city manager at four other… (Raul Roa / Staff…)

Burbank marked a busy, busy year in 2013. The City Council welcomed a new member and ushered out a five-term councilman. Many of the top positions in city government — police chief, fire chief and city manager — were either hired or had their position made permanent. The long-awaited Verdugo Pool opened, voters approved a $110-million school bond measure, and a Burbank police officer, involved in a strange love triangle, was indicted for supposedly lying to investigators.

The city was not without its tragedies, too. A body of a missing Burbank man was found off the Angeles Crest Highway, and five teenagers died in a fiery crash. The driver of the car had evidence of drugs and alcohol in his system, which investigators say may have been responsible.

Election

In this year's municipal election, voters brought a new face to the City Council, while also booting out a familiar one, changing the dynamic of the city's governing body.

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During the February primary, Bob Frutos was elected outright, bypassing the need to compete in the general election, forcing the three incumbents — Jess Talamantes, David Gordon and Dave Golonski — to a match-up in which only two seats remained.

Golonski — who first took office a few months after Bill Clinton became president — lost his bid in April for an unprecedented sixth term.

Since taking office, Frutos has aligned more with Gordon, a controversial figure who often stands alone on issues.

It's a stark contrast from the council dynamic before the election, during which Gordon and Golonski often butted heads.

Also, for the first time after seven years on the council, Gordon was selected as the city's vice mayor.

The largely ceremonial post, which requires the approval of the council, is almost always the step prior to becoming the city's mayor, an annual rotating position that has so far eluded Gordon.

Management changes in top city positions

The different makeup of the Burbank City Council wasn't the only change among top city leaders.

The council in June hired Mark Scott as the city's top executive after a six-month search that included months of closed-door meetings and public forums.

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