New Burbank Council Members Take Oath, Bob Frutos Appointed Mayor
The city council was reorganized in a virtual meeting this morning.
Burbank’s City Council unanimously appointed Bob Frutos Mayor and swore in two new members this morning via Webex.
The meeting, which was attended by Representative Brad Sherman and Assemblymember Laura Friedman, began with a virtual Invocation led by Father Francis Mendoza of Saint Finbar Catholic Church. A pre-recorded flag salute from Burbank Police Department’s honor guard followed.
Outgoing Mayor Sharon Springer highlighted Burbank’s recently passed Anti-racism Proclamation and Resolution. Of the Burbank channel bikeway, Springer said, “We remain committed to the success of the channel bikeway phase two for everybody.”
Councilmember Tim Murphy, who lost his reelection bid, thanked his wife and children. Councilmember Emily Gabel-Luddy, who did not run for reelection, thanked her husband and commended Mayor Springer’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Konstantine Anthony, a formerly unhoused housing activist and Uber driver garnered the most votes in this year’s City Council bid with 17,529 votes.
In his opening address, Anthony noted that he is the first openly-autistic elected official west of the Mississippi and emphasized, “It’s time to come together and help the citizens of Burbank and the residents who live and work here, and that is my goal.”
Anthony ran perhaps the most progressive campaign for city council Burbank has ever seen, earning him an endorsement from the Democratic Socialists of America. During his campaign, Anthony focused largely on the issue of housing. In addition to building a homeless shelter, the councilmember supports requiring that 20% of all new housing units be made affordable to low-income residents. Anthony will be the only renter on Burbank’s city council, which represents more renters than homeowners.
Nick Schultz, a Deputy Attorney General with the California Department of Justice, and Vice-President of the Burbank Democratic Club also won office with 13,105 votes.
During his remarks, Schultz, who appeared in person, thanked the outgoing Mayor and councilmembers for their service and reiterated his vision for Burbank. In part, Schultz said, “It will be an honor to be a small part in working alongside all of you, including staff in the coming months and years to ensure that we bounce back from this pandemic and that our future remains brighter than ever.”
Schultz, during his candidacy, focused on economic recovery while emphasizing his experience as a prosecutor. He proposed that a “Burbank Economic Recovery Taskforce” be formed to mitigate the economic impacts of the pandemic on Burbank’s small businesses. Schultz has also spoken in favor of a Right of Recall and Worker Retention Ordinance like those in the city of Los Angeles.
The new councilmembers shared endorsements from several Democratic clubs and local housing organizations, including the Los Angeles County Democratic Party, and Abundant Housing LA. The two were elected in the November election which saw unusually high voter turnout in Burbank. Both councilmembers support building a homeless shelter in Burbank, environmental reform, and police reform.
Jess Talamantes, who will now serve as Vice Mayor, said, “I look forward to the interaction from both of you in terms of putting things on the table for discussion,”.
Newly appointed Mayor Bob Frutos said, “You’ve got a steep learning curve in your first year. I definitely would like to be a mentor,” and “Let’s be tough on the agenda. Win or lose, it doesn’t matter because I know the next agenda we can work together (…) Let’s put politics aside, but let’s put the people of Burbank first to move our city forward.”
The Council’s reorganization meeting can be viewed in full below.
Colin Haskins is the editor of Valleyspeak. Follow him on Twitter here.