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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Anthony, Schultz Take Early Lead in Burbank City Council Election

With millions of votes counted in Los Angeles County, some local candidates have appeared to take the lead in their races, while a controversial rent regulation measure faces steep opposition so far.

The Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk’s Office last updated figures at a little before 3 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 13. The office said Tuesday night that there was an estimated 142,715 ballots left to count, not including votes postmarked by Election Day and received through Nov. 20. About 69,500 of the ballots left to count were mail-in ballots, including those deposited in a drop box.

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Council Candidates Report Donations Totaling $191,000

Source: City of Burbank

The eight candidates for Burbank City Council received a total of roughly $191,000 in campaign donations by mid-October, according to final pre-election disclosures.

According to publicly available filing records, donations, during Burbank’s 2017 primary election, which also featured eight council candidates, totaled less than $81,000.

Two council seats will be decided in the election on Tuesday, Nov. 3.

Though contributions wound down across the board during the most recent reporting period, from Sept. 20-Oct. 17, real estate broker Paul Herman again raked in the most money — more than $16,600, bringing his total to nearly $52,700. He spent nearly $14,500 during that reporting period, making his total expenditures through Oct. 17 more than $46,600.

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Donations Surged for Council Candidate Herman

In the first six months of this year, City Council candidate Paul Herman had raised only $2,500 — a single loan he himself had given to his campaign.
Less than two months later, he had raised more than $36,000.
With that total, Herman became the candidate with the largest campaign coffers through Sept. 19, the most recent contribution reporting deadline, and surpassed Nick Schultz, the previous leader in contributions this year, who trailed at about $32,700. Close behind him was Konstantine Anthony, who had raised roughly $31,600.
Contributions totaling tens of thousands of dollars for the local election are nothing new; in 2015, current Councilwoman Emily Gabel-Luddy’s campaign collected nearly $25,000. But records available on the city’s website, which go as far back as 2013, don’t show dollar figures as high as the ones seen in this year’s race.

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City Releases Report on Rent Regulation Measure

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.

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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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Council Candidate Schultz Reaped Most Early Donations

Burbank City Council hopeful Nick Schultz raised more than $25,000 in campaign contributions from May 3 to June 30, according to city records, by far the most for any current council candidate for the first period in which donations were reported.
The California deputy attorney general’s campaign gained $7,000 of those funds through a loan from himself and an additional $500 of his own money during that period. Contributions could not be received before May 3.
Among donations of more than $100 — which require identification of the donor — only $550 came from people with Burbank addresses, not including Schultz himself.
Disability services provider Konstantine Anthony had the second-most campaign dollars at nearly $15,500, including a total of $1,000 from himself and his treasurer. He also had the highest percentage of small-dollar donations, with about 27% of contributions he received during the period being less than $100.

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Judge Rules Against City on Proposed Rent Measure

Photo courtesy Miki Jackson
Konstantine Anthony, who hopes to win a Burbank City Council seat in November, speaks at a rally near a Los Angeles courthouse. For months, Anthony has been embroiled in a legal battle against the city over a potential rent regulation ordinance for which he petitioned.

After a lengthy legal process between Burbank and a City Council hopeful, a judge has ruled against the city, likely placing rent control on the ballot in November.
In a decision announced a day before the official hearing on Friday, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Mary Strobel said the city failed to make a “clear showing” that a proposed rent regulation ordinance would require the rewriting of its charter, a move that would need more voter signatures than were collected in the petition for the potential ordinance.
The Burbank City Council met Friday afternoon to decide whether to adopt the proposed ordinance or place it on the ballot, but had made no decision by The Leader’s deadline. The council, however, did not appear likely to adopt the measure.
“Although [the] City asserts reasonable arguments in support of its position, Petitioners also assert reasonable counterarguments,” Strobel wrote. “For the reasons discussed above, City’s substantive challenges to the Initiative should not be resolved prior to the election.”

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Council Hopeful, a Renters’ Advocate, Wins Suit Against Burbank

Photo by Christian Leonard / Burbank Leader
Konstantine Anthony, who plans to run for Burbank City Council, speaks at a June protest, announcing his lawsuit against the city for denying his petition to put rent regulation measures on the ballot. More than a month later, a judge ruled in his favor.

After successfully suing the city clerk for denying his petition, a tenants’ advocate planning a run for City Council is one step closer to putting a rent regulation measure on the ballot in November.
Konstantine Anthony and his campaign manager Margo Rowder, co-founders of the nonprofit Burbank Tenants’ Right Committee, sued City Clerk Zizette Mullins and the council in June. Mullins rejected the plaintiffs’ petition, which included more than 7,700 valid signatures from voters, in May, saying it had not included a “statement of reasons” explaining the necessity of the proposed ordinance.
However, Anthony’s attorney, Fredric Woocher, argued that Mullins and the city attorney had misinterpreted the Elections Code, relying on a version of the law that was changed in 1987 to remove the requirement the clerk cited.
The judge agreed, approving the plaintiffs’ request to require Mullins to approve the petition on Thursday.
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Protesters Encouraged to Seek Change at Ballot Box

As with demonstrations around the nation, recent Burbank protests have been driven by a serious purpose: demands for racial justice and police reform. But as a Tuesday march through the city highlighted, there can also be an expression of solidarity through music and movement.
“Things like music connect us every day,” said Benjamin Abiola, an organizer the protest. “Everyone feels that soul in their body, and it just shows people that there’s nothing different between us besides our skin color. And if we can both dance and sing to music, then why can’t we stand in solidarity against people who want to oppress us?”
But even as protesters danced the “Cupid Shuffle” in 95-degree heat, the signs they carried bore grim references to the issue that led to their presence in the street: the recent killings of black people. Continue reading “Protesters Encouraged to Seek Change at Ballot Box”