AS IF YOU ASKED
Will school board candidate Paul Krekorian be visited by the ghost
of Gary Olson’s 2001 City Council campaign? When a presumed
front-runner bursts on the scene with scads of backers and loads of
promise, then seems to vanish, for a long time to come, local
election observers are reminded of Olson’s 2001 council run.
Olson burst, had the scads, and was deemed all but a sure winner.
Then he puttered about, and his supporters celebrated their good
fortune instead of getting out to knock on doors to assure it.
Everyone thought Olson was doing so well that he didn’t need their
help, too. Helping was an especially icky idea if it meant walking
the streets to knock on the doors of strangers, hoping one in 10
would submit to a campaign spiel.
Olson’s critics roasted him, and his opponents promoted
themselves. What Olson and his posse were up to during that time
isn’t known. They were invisible, only making a last-minute push with
a series of big advertisements. But it was too late, and Olson did
what many thought impossible. He lost.
At least by the view from my couch, Krekorian seems to be running
a similarly stealthy campaign. If it weren’t for the Burbank Teachers
Assn. naming him in the trio they’re endorsing to oust incumbent
board members, it’s hard to find a sign with Krekorian’s name that
wasn’t already in place before the holidays. Back then a lot of
people (including myself) shouted, “Hey, look at this guy!” He seems
to have responded by ducking behind a tree.
This week he held a fund-raiser, and I saw literature advertising
another for next week. But I haven’t heard a word about candidate
coffees, opportunities to meet or call the candidate, or door-to-door
campaigning. Beyond the BTA’s signs now turning up -- lime-green
monsters urging votes for Dave Kemp, Larry Applebaum and Krekorian --
I’m hard-pressed to spot indications he’s in the race.
At the other extreme is council candidate Jef Vander Borght, who
holds a council seat he was appointed to. Vander Borght has an army
walking neighborhoods every weekend, and he’s out there with them.
Councilwoman Stacey Murphy, who won re-election despite exerting
notoriously little effort, has been among those touting Vander
Borght. In fact, she recently told me she’d spent the afternoon going
door to door. Noting it’s proof of her commitment to Vander Borght,
she said, “I spent more time walking for him today that I did for
myself through my whole campaign.”
A KICK IN THE GLASS
A caller griped about my Wednesday column, a dissection of the
school board’s supposed review of energy-saving windows for use in
new or remodeled schools. A woman who said she’s a parent of a
student at Burbank High was angry that, while the absurd show put on
by staff and the board was a one-sided campaign tactic, I didn’t do
enough research to discover a particular, major contradiction.
“You should have learned the same board did once plan to put
dual-pane windows all through Burbank High School,” the woman said.
“When that plan changed, it had nothing to do with the baloney about
technology problems the board just fed us!”
I did know about the early plans, and even wrote about the
conflicts with board and staff now claiming that not using the
windows was a choice made long ago based on research of the products.
Ticking off points overlooked in the recent report and discussion, I
wrote this: “No one mentioned that plans for Burbank High once
included many more dual-panes than were finally installed. The
difference was cut in what board member Elena Hubbell said last year
was a cost-saving move made reluctantly when it was the only
alternative to building smaller rooms. Cutting planned features is
one tool used to protect BUSD claims its projects are on budget. They
boast a dollar figure, failing to mention the project is greatly
reduced from the one originally attached to the number.”
Alas, that point and other gems, along with some bad jokes, had to
be cut. Editors have a firm rule that I’m not to consume this entire
newspaper with my columns, and early drafts of Wednesday’s might have
come close. We had to find some cuts, and the Burbank High section
was among them.
This week’s caller urged me to make sure readers are made aware of
that example of what the board said once compared to what it says
now. I’ll try, but darn it, just can’t promise I’ll find a chance to
slip it in.
CALLING ALL QUESTIONS
Do you have questions for one or all of the council or school
board candidates? If so, a local chapter of the League of Women
Voters wants to hear from you today.
Along with the Burbank Council PTA, the LOWV is sponsoring a forum
for all candidates Feb. 12, and they invite you to submit questions
for the event. Organizers say the most valuable are those that would
be of interest to the general community, not just you and one
To submit a question, you can send it by e-mail to Carsonlwv@
earthlink.net, or call 247-2407. Please specify whether your question
is intended for all the candidates, and for which office, or if it
applies to a specific candidate. Please note, to be considered, your
questions must be received by Monday.
POINTS FOR HONESTY
Council candidate Brian Malone is another hopeful doing his duty,
being diligent about knocking on doors and distributing literature.
Every last Malone piece boasts just one endorsement, that of Mayor
David Laurell. The endorsement is trumpeted so grandly it implies a
significance to voters I suspect is wildly overestimated.
Malone’s literature is much like Laurell’s speeches. Out of
politeness, I won’t characterize those as infamous or renowned. Wait,
I change my mind. They’re infamous, largely because Laurell pads
every sentence with countless soaring adjectives and corny images.
Witnessing a freeway car fire, Laurell might say, “The community must
gather together in unity around the flaming wreckage to warm our
hearts as our grief melts away, certain in knowing the fire’s orange
glow will one day fade to the crimson sky of a dawning new day.”
Malone’s literature is packed with flowery excess, and I asked
Laurell whether he helps write it. He said he does, and I expressed
relief that he’d told the truth, because it was obvious.
“No. You’re relieved because you were afraid there could be two us
out there who speak and write that way,” Laurell said. Touche.
* WILL ROGERS’ column appears in every edition of the Leader. He
can be reached 24 hours a day at 637-3200, voice mail ext. 906, or by
e-mail at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.