New man, new year

As the holiday season subsides and the new year begins, residents of the city of Burbank will be asked to select a representative to serve on the City Council for the next three years. In this particular election there is one candidate that clearly stands out from the rest: Bill Wiggins.

Since the early 1990s, Bill Wiggins has played a vital role in enhancing the excellent quality of life that Burbank offers to those who live, work and visit here. He has done that by steeping himself in the issues that face our city; being responsive to those whom he serves; and, perhaps most importantly, by possessing the unique quality of being able to work with divergent interests to identify what is best for our city, our neighborhoods and our overall quality of life.

Bill Wiggins has been an effective leader in protecting Burbank from the negative impacts of an expanded airport. He has been, and continues to be, diligently committed to seeing the now voluntary nighttime curfew at Bob Hope Airport become one that is mandatory and enforceable. He successfully worked to retain the 818 area code in Burbank and can take credit for the implementation of citizen and youth surveys. Bill was also a major force in the establishment of the Chandler Boulevard Bikeway; the Buena Vista Branch Library, and the Magnolia Power Plant. During my City Council term it was an honor to have served with Bill and to have had the opportunity to appoint him to serve as one of our city's representatives on the Airport Authority. As a commissioner Bill was able to put a halt to years of animosity by establishing an excellent rapport with commissioners from Pasadena and Glendale. Through those relationships he has been able to help them understand that negative impacts of noise, traffic and pollution generated by the airport must be reduced; that Burbank residents do not want a larger airport; that plans for any replacement terminal are to be completely halted for at least 10 years; and that if ever the airport authority were to request any relocation of the terminal, that approval must come by a vote of the residents of Burbank.

Under the balanced leadership of Bill the city of Burbank moved forward with great success while retaining a close eye on neighborhood protections and quality-of-life issues. As the new year begins and we access the successes our city has seen over the past decade, it is clear that we still face challenges. While today's Burbank gives us the opportunity to shop, see a movie and dine in an array of restaurants, Bill knows it is vitally important to diligently work to improve traffic flow; maintain the integrity of our single-family neighborhoods and to continue to implement neighborhood protection measures.

Bill possesses an excellent understanding of these challenges, and of all the issues we face. Most importantly, unlike any other candidate running in this election, he has earned the endorsement of the Burbank Fire Fighters and Police Officers for his experience, knowledge and understanding of how to get those things accomplished.

* DAVID LAURELL is a Burbank resident and former city councilman.

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