Council Approves Vaccine Mandate for City Employees

First published in the Oct. 16 print issue of the Burbank Leader.

Despite concerns that employees could quit over the policy, the Burbank City Council approved vaccination mandates for municipal workers and some contract laborers.
The mandate that the council approved by a 3-2 vote on Tuesday will eventually require city employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19 or face termination. A separate policy for contractors, which passed with unanimous support, will require businesses to prove that their employees who come onto city property or interact with the public are vaccinated.
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City Settles Discrimination Case With Former BWP Worker

First published in the Oct. 16 print issue of the Burbank Leader.

The city of Burbank has settled a lawsuit in which a former Burbank Water and Power employee alleged he was unlawfully fired after his managers refused to accommodate his disability.
Plaintiff Evan Ayers filed the settlement notice with the Burbank Courthouse on Oct. 6; he had filed the complaint against the city last Dec. 15. In court documents, Ayers claimed his superiors at city-owned BWP fired him after pressuring him to perform jobs that required him to climb or work at “dangerously high heights” despite his severe anxiety, fear of heights and vertigo.
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Burbank Police Department Gets Traffic Safety Grant

First published in the Oct. 9 print issue of the Burbank Leader.

The Burbank Police Department will receive a $100,000 grant for overtime costs associated with enforcing traffic laws.
The reimbursement grant, from the California Office of Traffic Safety’s Selective Traffic Enforcement Program, will allow an increase in patrols and checkpoints for DUIs, according to a staff report submitted to the Burbank City Council. Some of the funds will also go toward purchasing four radar devices that will allow officers to track vehicle speed.
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Former Mayor Stamper Dies at 86

First published in the Oct. 9 print issue of the Burbank Leader.

The Rev. Larry Stamper, who served as Burbank’s mayor in the ‘80s and was a longtime pastor of a local church, died this week at the age of 86.
Stamper was on the Burbank City Council between 1981 and 1985, holding the seat of mayor from 1983 to 1984. He was the pastor of Burbank First United Methodist Church for more than 30 years, retiring in 2004, the Leader reported at the time. Stamper was also regularly involved in various local charitable events, such as collecting donations for the Burbank Temporary Aid Center.
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New Hire Seen as Important to Schools’ DEI Effort

First published in the Oct. 9 print issue of the Burbank Leader.

Though COVID-19 vaccines were at the center of discussion among stakeholders during the Board of Education meeting on Thursday, the Burbank Unified School District reminded the community that it remains hard at work in implementing its diversity, equity and inclusion initiative.
The district announced that one of many of its goals was achieved on Thursday with the hiring of Stefani McCoy, who will serve as the BUSD DEI consultant and coordinator. The board voted 5-0 in favor of the hiring, which board member Emily Weisberg called an “exciting step.”
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Local Women’s March Draws Dozens

First published in the Oct. 9 print issue of the Burbank Leader.

The Chandler Bikeway became a marching ground last weekend as a procession walked in support of women’s rights, participating in a national event largely responding to abortion restrictions.
Dozens of masked demonstrators attended the Oct. 2 event, holding signs and chatting with other protesters as they marched on the bikeway, which also is a pedestrian path. Many had a variety of concerns, with several mentioning anti-abortion laws recently passed in other states, and said they had come to ensure those worries did not go unheard.
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BUSD Discusses Possible Student Vaccination Mandate

First published in the Oct. 9 print issue of the Burbank Leader.

After imposing a COVID-19 vaccine mandate for employees last month, the Burbank Unified School District shifted the conversation this week to possibly extending a similar requirement for eligible students.
Any decision by the district, however, appeared to have been rendered moot by Gov. Gavin Newsom’s announcement last week that the state would become the first in the nation to implement a vaccine mandate for all students.
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TV, Film Union’s Members Support Strike Authorization

First published in the Oct. 9 print issue of the Burbank Leader.

Twelve hours a day, six days a week. That’s the usual work schedule for Joe Martinez, a Burbank resident and special effects coordinator.
His fiancee often points out that Martinez can’t plan any leisure activities, the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees Local 44 member said. He often doesn’t know how long he’ll be at work when he arrives there. He misses dinners, birthday parties and his son’s football games — frequently having to settle for text updates he receives while on the job.
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