Burbank Mayor George Battey Jr. has won a seat on the Burbank Airport Commission in a split City Council vote despite criticism that he had discouraged more capable applicants from applying.
“Many people who were qualified did not apply because it was considered a done deal,” said Ted McConkey, leader of a local homeowners group.
McConkey told Battey before the vote that Battey should withdraw his name and reopen the nomination process.
However, by a show of hands, the City Council on Tuesday night voted for Battey 3-2, favoring the mayor over retired Lockheed Corp. engineer Walt Mears in a second round of voting. Council members Dave Golonski and Susan Spanos voted for Mears. Vice Mayor Bill Wiggins and Councilman Bob Bowne voted for Battey, who voted for himself.
Battey defended himself Wednesday afternoon against criticism that council members should not be on the commission. Most other commissioners, representing Burbank, Glendale and Pasadena, are current or former city council members.
“If anything I see a better level of accountability by having elected people serve on that board,” Battey said.