Introducing the new mayor

Laura Sturza

The Burbank City Council's changing of the guard featured the

selection of Stacey Murphy as mayor and Marsha Ramos as vice mayor,

and the swearing in of newly elected councilmen Todd Campbell and Jef

Vander Borght.

Thursday's council reorganization included a lengthy farewell from

outgoing Mayor David Laurell, who punctuated his last day in office

by expressing at length his appreciation to the community and

virtually everyone in a crowded council chambers.

The selections of Ramos and Murphy signal the first time women

have served as mayor, vice mayor and city manager in Burbank at the

same time.

While Murphy and Ramos acknowledged the challenge the city faces

in balancing a budget deficit of nearly $10 million, both were

optimistic about Burbank's future.

"We faced this before, when we lost Lockheed, and we came out of

it very well," Murphy said. "I have no doubt that with all the

support we have in the city, we're going to do it again."

Ramos said the backing of an excellent executive team will help in

solving the budget crisis, and that "it has truly been a pleasure

serving the citizens of Burbank these past two years."

In a room filled with city employees, council members' families,

business leaders and other local officials, Laurell opened Thursday's

special meeting by asking if there was anyone who had handed in a

card to speak during the oral- communication period.

When no one responded during what can be a time for heated public

comment at council meetings, Laurell said that if it had been like

that for the past few years, "I would have stayed."

Laurell was joined by incoming and remaining council members in

thanking residents, city staff, their families and others for

support, input and -- in the case of family members -- understanding

the demands of their work.

"For me to be here is not because of my hard work, but because of

the hard work of many individuals," Campbell said.

Incumbent councilman Vander Borght won election in April after

being appointed last year to replace former mayor Bob Kramer, who

resigned.

"I appreciate everyone who's here today," Vander Borght said. "My

first thanks should also include the voters."

The new mayor and vice mayor will serve one-year terms.

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