After issuing a proclamation denouncing prejudice, the Burbank City Council indicated its support for a nonprofit organization’s recommendation that the panel formally acknowledge and apologize for racist aspects of the city’s history. Early in the council’s Tuesday meeting, Mayor Sharon Springer presented a proclamation condemning “all forms of prejudices” and embracing “inclusivity, equality and diversity.” The decree also affirmed Burbank’s commitment to promoting equity and diversity in city programs and services, though it did not announce any new initiatives. But what could be new, if council members approve, is a formal recognition and apology from Burbank for its previous “sundown town” policies that discouraged people of color, particularly African-Americans, from living in the city.
Voicing some frustration that they hadn’t been consulted, Burbank City Council members voted this week to send a letter to Los Angeles officials to state their opposition to a potential Griffith Park project that could adversely affect local equestrians. The neighboring city is studying the feasibility of a closed-loop gondola system that would allow tourist access to the Hollywood sign in Griffith Park. Though the possible project is meant to decrease traffic congestion in the area and the system would not cross Burbank’s borders, council members expressed concern that it would scare horses on the trails of the park. “An overhead gondola traveling only a few feet above a horse is a predator in the mind of a horse,” Councilwoman Emily Gabel-Luddy, who rides horses herself, said during the Tuesday meeting.
Authors of a recently released report on a local rent regulation measure said supporters and opponents of the proposal both could identify portions of the findings that justify their positions. That was certainly true for the Burbank City Council, whose members insisted Tuesday the report was further evidence that Measure RC, which will be on the ballot in the Nov. 3 election, would hurt Burbank. The report is available on the city’s website, in the council’s agenda for the Tuesday meeting.
Burbank’s budget is anticipating a dour economic outlook due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic that could force the city to continue its hiring freeze and cancel events. Municipal staff members approached the City Council with an update during its Tuesday meeting, explaining that the city expects to operate at a General Fund recurring deficit of nearly $11 million this fiscal year, followed by additional millions of dollars in deficits annually through the 2024-25 fiscal year. Without intervention, by the end of the 2021-22 fiscal year the General Fund balance will likely be in the negatives. For the current fiscal year, city staff members project a decrease in “recurring revenue” of about $18 million from the original projection of $177 million, due to drops in sales, property, parking and hotel taxes.
After being suspended for months due to an ongoing statewide stay-at-home order, local enforcement of street parking rules resumed Thursday, with a grace period of sorts. The Burbank City Council voted during its Tuesday meeting to reinstitute citations for street sweeping and overtime parking violations, agreeing with the Police Department’s recommendation. Warnings will be issued through Oct. 14, with citations being issued for violations starting on Oct. 15. Council members generally agreed with the BPD that reinstating parking enforcement was necessary to allow the Public Works Department to clean street gutter lines. With the rainy season possibly beginning in November, according to the BPD, debris and trash blocking the flow of stormwater could lead to flooding.