Bergfeld should stop boo-hooing Rogers
It always amuses me that letters to the editor from windbags
unhappy over being skewered in Will Rogers’ column usually
demonstrate precisely the faults and flaws he wrote about.
City Council candidate Michael Bergfeld gave me the latest
example. In his recent letter, he complained that Rogers made
“personal attacks” against him instead of talking about election
issues. It’s irrefutable that Rogers did not write about the issues
Bergfeld wants him to. But many Burbank voters think that candidates
manufacturing controversy at council meetings and taking advantage of
the television cameras that taxpayers pay for to advertise themselves
as candidates is a legitimate campaign issue. For many people,
exploiting meetings the way Bergfeld and some of his friends do
definite- ly speaks to a candidate’s lack of integrity and concern
for the taxpayer’s dollar.
Bergfeld complained Rogers wrote that he talks almost exclusively
about airport issues. Claiming “that is not correct,” Bergfeld
followed up by describing the issues he talks about. In the four
paragraphs that followed, three were dedicated to airport issues. The
one-paragraph exception was Bergfeld’s promise to protect Burbank
hillsides from million-dollar mansions.
Does anybody know of hillside developments being considered by the
Burbank City Council or developments on the horizon? I guess he
thought it would be a hot topic for voters here, after seeing how
hillside preservation won elections for so many council people in
Glendale.The only issue I’ve heard him talk about that didn’t involve
the airport was his criticism of business development downtown. He
didn’t mention it in his letter, but at a couple of meetings, he said
it has all been a failure. I have a few complaints about business
development downtown: The city has given away too much money, parking
is still hidden and traffic is terrible. But anybody with two eyes
and a brain can see Bergfeld’s complaint about it being a financial
or commercial failure is absurd.
I was surprised by one part of Bergfeld’s letter. He complained
because Rogers “coupled” him with former councilman Ted McConkey.
Bergfeld said he’s a past politician who has been “discredited.” It
seems to me that little show he puts on almost every week is intended
for and encouraged only by the little troop that idolizes McConkey.
Last, Bergfeld didn’t like what Rogers said about how people react
to seeing his council meeting commercials. It doesn’t happen a lot,
but this time what Rogers said reflects my thinking and that of
everyone I know who can stand to watch Burbank’s circus meetings.
Bergfeld comes off like the spooky host of a cheap Saturday afternoon
horror movie on a small-town TV station.
BTA candidates are beholden to union
For months now, we’ve been hearing accusations that the school
board violated the Brown Act. They’ve come from Will Rogers and from
partisans of the ex-school superinten- dent. Yet there has not been
one iota of proof -- nada, nothing, zilch. The obvious reason is
because as much as people want to believe it happened, it never did.
Basically, to violate the Brown Act, three of the school board
members would have to work in secret to push an agenda. It’s
interesting that with so many people concerned about it, the Burbank
Teachers Assn. would now be pushing its own threesome: Dave Kemp,
Larry Applebaum and Paul Krekorian. Or, to shorthand it, the “KAK
Let’s understand how the KAK Clique came about. Repre- sentatives
of the BTA invited each of the board candidates into a room to answer
ques- tions. The BTA is a teachers’ union, and these were teachers’
questions. It would seem Kemp’s, Applebaum’s and Krekorian’s answers
were the most union-friendly, so they became the “chosen ones.”
The BTA’s agenda is to promote teachers’ issues, not the welfare
of children. Parents might be mystified that teachers’ issues and
student welfare could be at odds, but it happens all the time. You
only have to go back to bilingual education for a prime example. A
few years ago, bilingual education was a cancer to our system,
holding back the assimilation of Spanish-speaking students into the
student body and costing the district thousands of dollars. Even when
it was pronounced a failure by the state, the BTA defended it. Why?
Because bilingual teachers were being paid more than nonbilingual
If the BTA is successful and the KAK Clique gets elected, I don’t
know how these candidates cannot be beholden to the teachers’ union.
After all, they’ve accepted the lawn signs, the phone-call canvas-
sing and everything else. Even Rogers says Krekorian’s campaign would
be nonexis- tent if it weren’t for the BTA.
Everyone agrees the economy is in a budget crunch that will mean
tough negotiations between the district and its unions. Who are you
going to vote for to make your tax dollars count? I say, fight the
KAK attack. There are plenty of independent candidates, not the least
of whom are the current board members. The one thing we know about
them is that they are beholden to no one.