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Burbank officials opt to continue to allow nonresident members on 2 commissions

Burbank City Hall
Burbank officials will continue allowing nonresidents to apply for positions on the Burbank Cultural Arts and Sustainable Burbank commissions.
(File Photo)

Residents of communities outside of Burbank will continue to have the opportunity to serve as members on the city’s boards and commissions — so long as it’s on one of the two that allow such appointments.

The Burbank City Council voted 3-2 last week to continue to let nonresidents serve on the Burbank Cultural Arts and Sustainable Burbank commissions.

Councilmen Tim Murphy and Bob Frutos cast the dissenting votes.

City Clerk Zizette Mullins said the city of Burbank has 22 boards, commissions and committees — 16 of which are adopted by ordinance and listed in the city’s municipal code, five that are regional advisory bodies and one that was created by the City Council.

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The Sustainable Burbank Commission was created by an ordinance in October 2008 as a 15-member task force to help the city on matters involving environmental sustainability.

The original makeup of the task force included nine members appointed by the council and six members who were representatives from the Burbank Chamber of Commerce‘s board of directors, Youth Board, Planning Board, Burbank Water and Power, Burbank Unified School District and Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport Authority.

Then, in August 2011, council members amended the composition of the group and converted it into a commission.

The members are now nine members chosen by the council — six members who are Burbank residents and three that can be either residents or nonresidents who represent different groups and businesses in the community.

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Those representing the Burbank Chamber of Commerce, Youth Board, Planning Board, Burbank Water and Power, Burbank Unified School District and Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport Authority were designated as nonvoting members.

The Burbank Cultural Arts Commission was created by an ordinance in August 2010 and originally had nine members, eight of whom had an expertise in the arts and one who represented the business community and was engaged with the arts.

In February 2016, council members changed the composition of the commission to six members who are Burbank residents and three who are either residents or nonresidents who have expertise in the arts.

Mullins said the makeup of the two commissions was changed to give those who are experts in certain fields a chance to participate, regardless of whether they live in Burbank.

She added that in September 2015, council members reviewed the makeup of the commissions, and the majority of them were in favor of keeping the two commissions as they were.

There is currently one nonresident member on the Burbank Cultural Arts Commission. No nonresident members serve on the Sustainable Burbank Commission.

Murphy, who asked for the topic to be discussed last month, said eager residents are looking to serve on the city’s boards and commissions, and he felt it was time to change the composition of the two commissions to give residents a better chance to serve.

“It doesn’t mean that nonresidents can’t participate,” he said. “It seems to me that it’s time to go back to appointing people that live here and want to serve.”

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Frutos concurred with Murphy, adding that even though the nonresident members are hard-working and have been an asset to the city, he thinks it’s time to allow residents who have applied multiple times and have not garnered enough votes for an appointment to be able to serve on these commissions.

“Our city is changing, and we have a lot of new residents that want to be involved and engaged,” Frutos said.

“If there [weren’t] qualified people, then I would agree to have an outsider … We should have a policy that only Burbank residents, voters in our city, should have the privilege of serving on our various boards and commissions.”

Vice Mayor Sharon Springer said the two commissions should be left the way they are and that she thinks the issue of having nonresident members will take care of itself.

Springer added that she was one of the original members of the Sustainable Burbank Commission and that it had nonresident members in the beginning, but now it is made up of Burbank residents only.

“I think we should have the option,” she said. “If we don’t have enough local candidates, we can appoint somebody who works here.”

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