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Civic Pride Committee disbanded, will continue as volunteer group

Civic Pride Committee disbanded, will continue as volunteer group
The Burbank Civic Pride Committee will be disbanded but will continue as a volunteer group. (File Photo)

In order to make the work done by the city's Civic Pride Committee more effective, the Burbank City Council has agreed to disband it.

Council members voted 4-1 during a meeting Tuesday to do away with the advisory committee to the City Council that was in charge of organizing various events and activities to promote Burbank. Councilman Jess Talamantes was the lone dissenting vote.

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Though the Civic Pride Committee will no longer be a formal group, Burbank spokeswoman Simone McFarland told council members that the members of the committee unanimously voted on Jan. 22 to remain as a volunteer group that would work with McFarland and the city's public information office.

Also at that January meeting, committee members agreed that disbanding the group would be the best way for them to move away from the restraints placed on them by the Brown Act and continue organizing various events, such as the city's holiday decorating contests and National Night Out.

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Tamala Takahashi, who was the vice chairwoman of the Civic Pride Committee, told the City Council it was difficult for group members to get work done during their hourlong monthly meetings because they often did not have a quorum to hold a meeting.

During the past fiscal year, the committee did not hold meetings four times because it did not have the minimum six of the 12 members needed to call a meeting, McFarland said.

"On the days that we did have a quorum, we spent half of the hour working on process and about 30 minutes to actually discuss what we wanted to do," Takahashi said. "Because of these restrictions on us [and] despite our best efforts, we were this close to not having the Halloween [decorating] competition [last] year."

Now that the committee is a volunteer group, McFarland said the organization can have as many or as few members as needed, and that they will still have regularly scheduled meetings and have a chair and vice chair to oversee operations.

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She added that, although the committee is less regulated, it is required to organize several staple city events — the holiday decorating contest, Halloween decorating contest, National Night Out, Make a Difference Day and the Arbor Day Plant-A-Tree fundraiser.

To help the volunteer group with its work, the city's public information office will continue using $1,600 the department has put aside from its budget to support the new group.

Talamantes voted against the dissolution of the committee because he said he had concerns about giving city funds to a volunteer group.

City Manager Ron Davis said the city has similar arrangements with the Veterans Committee and the Burbank Athletic Federation, which are groups not controlled by the city but do receive city funding.

Twitter: @acocarpio

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