I read with deep interest the letter from Burbank School Board member Audrey P. Hanson. I too question the process used by the city employee labor unions to make endorsements for candidates running for the school board and City Council.
I was the only candidate who had been a member of AFSCME, the general employee union. And, for the record, my husband is a founding member of the Burbank Police Officers Assn. and a retired 30-year Burbank police officer.
I was never asked once by any employee association what my goals for the city were or what I believe in. I was not even granted the privilege of an interview with the unions to be considered for their endorsement.
My husband and I are members of the Retired Public Employee Assn. Yet, when I called the association's president, Lois Wellington, whom I have known for over 30 years, to request support in my bid for City Council, she told me she would have to ask Councilwoman Mary Lou Howard.
Mary Lou Howard later asked me whether, if elected, I would fire the city manager and city attorney. I would not commit myself to answering these questions because I believe people's lives and careers are at stake and I would need a lot more information before making such a decision.
It is a sorry state of affairs when politics in Burbank sinks to such a low level. One must wonder what the stakes are when people can act this way.
MARY JANE STRICKLAND
Strickland is a former City of Burbank public affairs coordinator. Martinez Column on Moorpark
While it is understood that columnists are allowed a certain license, the March 21 piece of Al Martinez concerning the card room in Moorpark demands rebuttal.
It is difficult to discern just where he obtained his misconception of Moorpark, although his categorization of the residents is clearly from the mind of a bigot. Perhaps Mr. Martinez might care to clarify his meaning when he employs the term "condo people." Exactly how do they differ from any other resident?
Assuming that the man is or has been a reporter, he might be able to distinguish a small problem with the statement that the new people want to change the city. Not so. Those who did not want to change the ordinance included Mayor Al Prieto, a resident for most of his life.
Had Pavlov's dogs' reflexes been as considered as the council's there would be no phrase "Pavlovian response" available for Martinez's misuse. Moorpark City Council members are the representatives of the people who have elected them, and in this case three of the five felt that the majority of the people wanted no change in the law.
The card room operation of the past was not at issue. The issue was that of legislation for the special purpose of allowing two new applicants to have an exclusive franchise for gaming in Moorpark. One of the two, a state employee, resides in Sacramento. Neither has been taking an active part in the business. The primary concern was the possibility of a legal challenge with the potential for great financial cost to the city. On balance it seemed extremely shortsighted to court such a possibility.
As for the club's being a part of town history, 30 years is history only for those under 30. Further, for 27 of those years, the closing of the card room at the death of the owner was accepted fact.
ELLEN A. BROWN
Moorpark Cutting of Orchid Tree
Why did The Times print a picture (March 21) of a young woman looking smug with a saw in her hand, sitting over a tree she mutilated? I assume the photographer asked her to pose like that. Why provide notoriety for a callous and stupid act?