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Preserving city’s hometown feel

Laura Sturza

When 32-year-old Todd Campbell took his seat on the City Council

earlier this month, he faced the daunting task of working with his

four colleagues to balance the city’s $10-million budget deficit.


Campbell, a third-gene- ration Burbank resident who won election

with 31.7% of the vote, is policy director for the Coalition for

Clean Air. He recently sat down with the Leader to talk about his

first few weeks in office.


BURBANK LEADER: Why did you run for City Council?

TODD CAMPBELL: The next couple of years are going to be very

troublesome due to the budget and a couple of other challenges that

we are going to be facing in terms of growth and traffic. I thought

that given that I have a background in transportation and my

profession deals with trying to create livable communities, [the

council] would be a perfect match.

BL: How are you making decisions about budget cuts?


TC: With a lot of help from my colleagues ... and with the

terrific staff that the city of Burbank has. Also, by listening to

all sides. I really try to listen to ... what management has to say.

I’m interested in hearing what the rank and file has to say, and

certainly, the union leaders.

BL: Do you have any specific plan for addressing concerns

surrounding the airport?

TC: I’m trying to get our fleets at the airport turned over into


[more] alternative fuels and lower-emission vehicles. I think the

authority can go much further in what they are attempting to do. I’m

trying to work with the national community groups ... like Aviation

Watch, that I think could possibly help us get [a] legislative fix.

Right now, the Federal Aviation Administration has way too much power

over small communities.

BL: What has been the most fun for you about your new post?

TC: Meeting the people who make this city what it is today. You

can tell that everybody has pride in what they do. I was at the

sewage treatment plant. They took a real interest in their work and

showed me all their innovations. You learn things you never thought

about, like how a fireman puts together a firetruck.

BL: What do you most hope to accomplish as a councilman?

TC: I hope to enhance or preserve our hometown feel, which means

not allowing out-of-control growth that will create traffic problems,

and to retain and improve upon our excellent city services.