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Letter: Public should be part of Council decisions

January 17, 2014

Once again, the City Council shamed themselves last week by voting to revise the Housing Element of the General Plan 2035 without outreach to the community about the impending vote. Mayor Gabel-Luddy and her cohorts on the Council have failed to learn the lesson of the last election, when incumbent Dave Golonski was essentially ousted for cronyism and lack of transparency.

And what will it take for the Council to grow a spine and stand up against controversial legislation from Sacramento? At last week's meeting, Councilman Talamantes said he voted to revise the housing element because he was protecting the community from potential lawsuits. Where has he been then as the city spent millions defending itself from lawsuits from members of our own police force?

Failing to give citizens substantial notification of possible changes in legislation does not “protect,” but instead excludes us from the process and creates an environment of suspicion and distrust. When will the City Council learn that Burbank residents expect transparency and a voice in determining the future of their city? Or maybe that's a lesson for the next election.

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Tom Abrams
Burbank

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