Vote for anyone but McDonald
Please vote in the school board runoff election. Do not vote for
the incumbent Michael McDonald. I was surprised that McDonald
received almost 2,000 votes in the last election. Several people I
asked told me they voted for him because, “He is a nice guy.” I will
give him the benefit of the doubt and agree that he is a nice guy. He
is just not the right man for the job.
At school board meetings, when he is asked a question, he sounds
like he doesn’t understand how the school system works.
There are good reasons to vote even if you are not directly
involved with the Burbank schools. Everyone is affected by our school
system. If we have a good school system, people will want to live in
Burbank so their children can attend the schools.
A good school system increases property values. A good school
system brings affluent people into the community, which benefits
local stores and businesses. And an educated community is less likely
to have gang violence. Good schools affect every one of us -- retired
people, people with no children and people who send their children to
private schools. We are all affected economically.
Please vote in the runoff election. Remember to vote out the
incumbent and to vote in a new school board that will benefit our
community, teachers, parents and students.
TOM AND SUSAN DEVIN
Coach explains his side of story
I’m writing this letter to squelch rumors or untruths that might
have surfaced in the past couple of months regarding my coaching
situation at Burbank High School. In meeting with Burbank Coach Greg
Sobiech, I inquired about coming back as the head freshman coach and
was told that it was the “natural progression” for the Burbank Viking
senior division head coach to have the head freshman football
coaching position at the school, so my position was no longer
available to me. At the time, he offered to me an assistant position
at the junior varsity level as well as an assistant position on the
After speaking with the JV head coach, he welcomed me with open
arms on his staff. When I notified Sobiech of my decision to be part
of the JV staff, he said no and that we would need to meet again.
Three days later, I was told that all those positions had been
filled. It seemed interesting to me that it was varsity assistant or
I am very saddened that I won’t be coaching at Burbank High
School, but look forward to the opportunity to coach at John
Burroughs High School as its freshman head coach.
I would like to express my heartfelt thanks to all the student
athletes who worked so hard on and off the field and to assure them
that I did not quit on their program. Congratulations to all of you
for completing the most successful season record in more than a
decade -- 8-2.
John Burroughs High School
Reader holding out for $100 land
I am writing in regard to the great deal the city of Burbank gave
the Cusumano family -- a parcel of land for $100. If the city has any
more, can I get in on it? Or is it just for a family that has a lot
of money vested in the city?
It is a crime for the City Council to do this. How many of the
City Council members have taken donations for their City Council
campaigns? It just isn’t right, city of Burbank. I understand that
the first half of the parcel was sold for $3 million. We couldn’t get
any takers for the other half that the council gave away for $100?
What is next? A new terminal for the airport?
I am afraid to live in Burbank.
Laying off teachers is not the answer
Do your readers know that 46% of the teaching staff at John
Burroughs High School received layoff notices last week? These
layoffs sever two-thirds of the school’s math and science teachers
and 60% of our English teachers.
These laid-off teachers are gifted, dedicated resources. Several
of these teachers were recently recognized in “Who’s Who Among
America’s Teachers.” One of these discontinued teachers was honored
as the Regional Occupational Program Teacher of the Year for Los
Angeles County. These teachers have helped Burroughs exceed its
target API scores three years in a row, an unprecedented feat.
Surely the district does not need to prepare for upcoming budget
shortfalls by decimating one of its most successful schools. What
possible good can come from this demoralizing meat-ax approach to
budget cuts? How will laying off almost half of the staff benefit
These teachers have mortgages to pay and families to care for.
They cannot gamble their livelihoods on the vagaries of the district
and state Legislature. In a time of real teacher shortages, who will
replace the well-qualified teachers we’ve chased away when money is
found to fund classrooms again?
L. BERNARD GANTZ
John Burroughs High School