Konstantine, Schultz Win Council Seats

Nearly a month after Election Day, the final ballot results from Los Angeles County are in: Konstantine Anthony and Nick Schultz are expected to join the Burbank City Council in December.

Anthony soared into first place early in the ballot count process, with 17,529 votes as of Monday, Nov. 30 — when the L.A. County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk certified the results. Schultz maintained a consistent lead for the second open council seat, with 13,105 voters having cast a ballot for him. The pair will be sworn in to the City Council at a reorganization meeting on Dec. 14.

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Challengers Lead in Council, School Board Races

Anthony Surges, Second City Seat Contested

Days after the election, Konstantine Anthony and Nick Schultz continued late this week to be the front-runners for two seats on the Burbank City Council, though Tamala Takahashi added suspense to the race by hovering in third place.
Anthony’s expected presence on the council would be only the latest development in his complicated relationship with the city: If he clinches victory, the disability services provider will have gone from suing Burbank this year to joining its lead panel in December.
As of the most recent update from Los Angeles County on Thursday evening, Anthony had 15,222 votes, or 20.7% of the total of votes counted, while Schultz had 11,328 votes, or 15.4%. If their leads hold, the two will sit on the council for the next four years.
Takahashi was not far behind, however, nabbing 10,862 votes, or 14.77%, in the Tuesday election in which eight candidates vied.

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City Council Votes to Condemn Azerbaijani Aggression

Photo courtesy Armenian National Committee of America Burbank
Advocacy group Burbank for Armenia held a fundraiser to raise money for Armenia on Monday. Attendees included Burbank Unified School District Board President Armond Aghakhanian, Armenian National Committee of America’s Burbank chapter chairman Sarkis Simonian, city Councilman Timothy Murphy and other supporters.

The Burbank City Council voted this week to condemn Azerbaijani aggression in the mostly Armenian region of Artsakh, a disputed area over which Armenian and Azerbaijani forces have clashed.
Artsakh, also known as Nagorno-Karabakh, includes the Hadrut province, with which Burbank declared a friendship in 2014.
Reported violence by Azerbaijani forces in Artsakh has been the focus of widespread protests and rallies recently, with the Armenian flag becoming a not-uncommon sight in the Los Angeles metropolitan area.
The panel’s unanimous vote also directed city staff members to send a letter of support from the council for a potential U.S. House of Representatives resolution, House Resolution 1165, that would condemn Azerbaijan’s military’s actions in Artsakh. The resolution’s authors include Reps. Adam Schiff and Brad Sherman, who represent Burbank.

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Local Candidates Appeal to Voters in Forums

The League of Women Voters of Glendale/Burbank held a virtual forum for City Council hopefuls this week on the Burbank Channel on YouTube. Burbank Unified School District board and city treasurer candidates were also hosted.

With only a month until the Nov. 3 general election, local candidates have shifted into high gear, fighting for the prospect of a seat in City Hall or on the Burbank Unified School District board.
The candidates participated Wednesday in a series of forums, hosted by the League of Women Voters of Glendale/Burbank, allowing the contenders to answer major questions posed by the group as well as some submitted by local residents. The forums were streamed and are available on the Burbank Channel on YouTube.
Eight people are looking to nab one of two open seats on the City Council. New council members elected in November will have their positions for four years. Four people are vying to win one of three open BUSD Board of Education seats, also held for four years.
Each candidate previously submitted a statement to the Leader. These statements can be found at outlooknewspapers.com.
Here is an abridged overview of the topics the candidates were asked about. For the City Council candidate forum, each question was given to only some of the candidates, though all had the opportunity to respond to any question at the end of the forum.

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Parents Irritated Over Construction Delay at Disney Elementary

Parents showed their vexation to Burbank Unified School District officials over yet another delay of the Walt Disney Elementary School modernization project during a virtual Governing Board meeting on Thursday, asking staff and board members for answers and to not keep its stakeholders in the dark.
“I’m grateful to everyone for every single sleepless hour that has gone into thinking, creating, planning and executing our current education plan,” an emotional parent told the board. “What I would like to ask tonight is that the same passion, drive, perseverance and take-charge attitude be used to get the construction started and completed at Disney Elementary.

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City Council, Treasurer Candidates Give Statements

There will be eight Burbank residents running for two open City Council seats in November, with three people looking to nab the position of city treasurer. Local voters will cast their ballots on Nov. 3, with the newly elected council members holding their seats for four years and the treasurer holding his or her seat for two years to finish the unexpired term of former City Treasurer Debbie Kukta. Each candidate submitted a statement to The Leader for publication, explaining why he or she should be elected to a city position.

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League of Women Voters, Council PTA to Host School Board Candidates

The League of Women Voters of Glendale/Burbank Unit and Burbank Council Parent Teacher Association will host a candidate forum for the Burbank Unified School District Board of Education race.
The forum will be held virtually on Wednesday, Sept. 30, from 2:45-3:55 p.m. The event is free and open to all. The forum will be broadcast live on the Burbank Television Channel and the Burbank Channel on YouTube and will be replayed until the election on Nov. 3.
The public is encouraged to submit questions for the candidates. To submit your question(s), visit Burbank Council PTA’s dedicated web page: burbankcouncilpta.org/candidate-forum. Due to time constraints and the number of candidates, not all questions will be asked. Questions should be on the issues and applicable to all candidates. No personal attacks or biased questions will be accepted.
The candidates (in ballot order) are:
• Armond Aghakhanian, incumbent
• Steve Ferguson, incumbent
• Emily Weisberg, middle school teacher
• Roberta Reynolds, incumbent
Burbank Council PTA President Wendi Harvel said, “The Board of Education makes decisions that affect all of our students, and they are our elected representatives. Our community has a voice when it comes to educating our children. Our voice is our vote. Both LWV-G/B and BCPTA believe that offering opportunities for community members to learn more about their candidates both empowers voters and encourages voters to show up at the polls.”
To learn more about the League of Women Voters-Glendale Burbank, visit my.lwv.org/california/los-angeles.
For information about the Burbank Council PTA, visit burbankcouncilpta.org.

BUSD to Embrace Distance Learning, Superintendent Says

Not long after the Los Angeles public school system announced it will begin the school year with distance learning, Burbank Unified School District Superintendent Matt Hill made a similar declaration via Facebook Live on Monday, telling the local community that the district made the “difficult decision to go with 100% online learning.”
Hill cited safety as a primary concern, and follows suit with a slew of other districts who have opted for distance learning, including those in Glendale, Pasadena, San Bernardino and San Diego. Los Angeles County’s infection rate among people who have been tested is 9%, and a record 4,592 new cases and 2,173 hospitalizations were reported on Thursday.
“I know these are frustrating and challenging times,” Hill said Monday. “We get new information every single day. … But we are seeing a dramatic spike in COVID cases in Los Angeles County.
“For example, gyms have been following amazing, strict guidelines with masks at all times — gloves, social distancing, 6 feet apart, limiting people in the gym — and now they have to close again. … If a gym cannot even guarantee the safety of its clientele, if a restaurant can’t do that, how can we with a clear conscience do that right now at the school district? The answer we came up with is no, we can’t.”
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BUSD: Deep Budget Cuts Call for Parent, Political Advocacy

Photo courtesy Ryan Hirsch

The Burbank Unified School District Board of Education issued a call for activism to its community members after revealing financial cuts totaling more than $13 million to local schools with Gov. Gavin Newsom’s current state budget proposal.
“We are going to be facing a substantial reduction and need to be realistic about that right now and make sure our parents and constituents understand that,” said board Vice President Steve Frintner.
During a special meeting on Tuesday, Assistant Superintendent Debbie Kutka and Director of Fiscal Services Alyssa Low presented to the board how the revisions to the state budget would essentially gut local districts, estimating a total $13.65 million in less LCFF funding for Burbank schools.
“As we start highlighting a menu of options for reductions, it is going to be shocking,” Superintendent Matt Hill said on Tuesday. “We’ve been looking through this. We’re talking about a lot of deep cuts that will completely transform this district in a negative way. That’s why we’re getting the information out there.
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