Proposal Aimed at Reining In Mylar Balloons

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

The Burbank City Council advanced a potential ordinance this week that would severely restrict the sale of metallic balloons, a policy that the local utility believes would reduce power outages.
The potential ordinance, which the council unanimously approved on Tuesday, would ban the local sale of balloons made of “electrically conductive materials” — commonly called by the brand name Mylar — unless the balloon is filled with air and attached to a post or other decorative structure.
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Local Kiwanis Club, With New President, Celebrates 100 Years

First published in the Oct. 2 print issue of the Burbank Leader.

Let’s step back in time about 100 years to when President Warren G. Harding made the first presidential radio address, ribbons were cut for the opening seasons of the Rose Bowl and the Hollywood Bowl, and actress and television personality Betty White was born.
In Burbank, a transport from Graysville, Ohio, named James Crawford as the city’s fifth mayor, and a charter was issued for Burbank’s first service club: The Kiwanis Club of Burbank.
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Council Rejects Parcel Tax Idea After Fierce Debate

First published in the Oct. 2 print issue of the Burbank Leader.

Following an intense discussion, the Burbank City Council voted this week not to pursue a ballot measure that would tax the city’s biggest parcels to fund the school district and municipal services.
Little information regarding the potential tax was available at the council’s Tuesday meeting, as city staff members had brought only a first-step agenda item to gather input from the group about how — and whether — to craft it. If approved by both the council and more than two-thirds of Burbank voters, it would likely have taken aim at the parcels on which Burbank’s major corporations, such as Amazon and Warner Bros., are located.
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Council Wary of Law’s Impact on Local Housing

A visibly frustrated — and at times, seemingly defeated — City Council dove into the weeds at its meeting on Tuesday as it sought to clarify the requirements of state Senate Bill 35 and its potential repercussions on housing density across Burbank neighborhoods.
Ultimately, however, the council voted 5-0 to resume discussion of the subject at its next meeting, on Sept. 14, after requesting that the city staff provide more details on the bill’s language and key provisions.
SB 35, which took effect in 2018, streamlines approval of housing development project applications that meet specified criteria, bypassing the conditional use permit requirement in cities — like Burbank — that have failed to develop enough residential units as required under the Regional Housing Needs Assessment. The legislation essentially removes local control in the approval process and prohibits the often nuanced decision making through which the council and Planning Commission decide if a proposed development is appropriate for a site or meets a neighborhood’s character. Continue reading “Council Wary of Law’s Impact on Local Housing”

Tallyrand Named District’s Small Business of the Year

Photo courtesy office of Assemblywoman Laura Friedman California Rep. Laura Friedman poses with Karen Ross, co-owner of Tallyrand. Ross and her brother, co-owner Mark Thomas, attended an event in Sacramento this week recognizing Tallyrand as the 43rd Assembly District’s small business of the year.

Praising the diner’s resilience despite pandemic-induced restrictions, California Assemblywoman Laura Friedman recently named Tallyrand the small business of the year for her district.
The longtime owners of Tallyrand, siblings Karen Ross and Mark Thomas, visited the state Capitol this week for a presentation of the award. Friedman, California’s 43rd Assembly District representative, also celebrated the sister-brother duo, who inherited the business from their parents Al and Delores Thomas, in a ceremony at the roughly 60-year-old restaurant last week.

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City Explores Possible Vaccination Rule for Its Workers

Data: City of Burbank

This article was originally published in the Burbank Leader on Aug. 14

The Burbank City Council decided this week to consider requiring municipal employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19 or undergo regular coronavirus testing.
The council’s unanimous Tuesday decision made no immediate additions to city policy, only directing staff members to bring back options for a potential requirement at a future meeting. If approved, the rule — which would follow somewhat similar announcements in Los Angeles County and Pasadena — must include accommodations for city workers who do not get vaccinated for medical or religious reasons.

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City Council Sets Goals for This Year

Economic recovery, tackling climate change and promoting diversity were just some of the ideas City Council members put forth during their annual goals-setting meeting this week.
The purpose of the Wednesday meeting, city staff members reminded the council, was to provide direction to the city manager and his/her team about what aims they should pursue for the year. As per their annual practice, council members also approved an agreement with the city manager outlining the expectations for both sides.
“Enough detail to make it understandable,” said Betsy McClinton, management services director, of the council members’ task. “But, again, we’re not looking for a detailed plan.”
Common goals suggested by council members included restoring a local economy shaken by the coronavirus pandemic, promoting diversity and equity within city commissions, upholding eviction moratoriums and increasing housing affordability.

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