Council members reorganize chairs

CITY HALL — The Burbank City Council rotated posts Thursday morning, unanimously naming Councilman Dave Golonski as mayor during a ceremony that also installed Councilman Gary Bric as vice mayor.

Golonski, a 12-year veteran of the council whose previous tenure as mayor included the 1995-96 and 1998-99 terms, accepted the bid of support from colleagues with a nod toward the future.

“I look forward to working with all of you,” he said. “We have a lot of things to do, to follow up on. It’s an honor and a privilege. I served as mayor twice before, and I promise to get it right this time.”

Minutes after Golonski was installed, Councilman Gary Bric accepted the unanimous call for him to serve as vice mayor a year after he was elected with 62% of the vote, one percentage point ahead of Councilwoman Anja Reinke, and two years after Councilman David Gordon filled the vacancy of then-Councilwoman Stacy Murphy’s seat after she had been charged with felony cocaine possession and misdemeanor child endangerment.

“It didn’t matter whether I finished first or finished second, I wouldn’t be up here without the support of so many people,” Bric said. “I’m looking forward to being the backup quarterback for next year.”

The council’s decision to go with Bric went against the convention of voting in the senior member of the council — in this case Gordon — as vice mayor.

The reasons were practical, professional and not out of line considering the current political climate, Bric said.

“I researched the last 15 years. There has not been one person nominated for vice mayor that was going into an election cycle,” he said. “Every single time, people had at least two years on their terms. No one is coming out and saying they won’t be re-running. If [Gordon] is running, there’s no guarantee he’ll be elected.”

Ramos has already said she will not seek another term as a council member. Bric and Reinke have three years left on their four-year terms. Neither Golonski nor Gordon, who joined the unanimous votes, has said whether they will seek re-election when their terms are up in 2009.

But the decision to go with Bric may have also stemmed from frustrations council members may have had with Gordon’s last-minute presentation of documents related to airport and water issues, Bric said.

For example, during Tuesday night’s council meeting, Gordon presented a letter dated April 9 from Rep. Adam Schiff regarding the funding of a new security apparatus for Bob Hope Airport.

At the meeting, some council members expressed frustration that they did not have an opportunity to review the correspondence sooner.

Gordon was poised to present the letter during the April 22 council meeting but did not because of Burbank airport commissioner Don Brown’s absence for the regularly scheduled report on airport activity that night, Gordon said.

“Some of the actions he’s taken, I don’t appreciate. I don’t think they appreciate it either,” said Bric, referring to the other council members. “But we all try to work together. We have five independent thinkers up there. I don’t think anything is rubber-stamped.”

Gordon called the post of vice mayor “ceremonial” and said he is prepared to serve the people of Burbank this year.

Before the council changed leaders, a lavish ceremony for outgoing Mayor Marsha Ramos was marked by the presentation of gifts, commendations and speeches highlighting her year as executive leader of Burbank.

Gifts from city officials included plaques, photos and a framed han-bo, a traditional Korean dress Ramos received during her visit with City Manager Mary Alvord to Incheon, South Korea, in October as Burbank’s emissaries to the International Sister Cities Conference.

Ramos also presented 17 gifts and flowers to members of the secretarial and executive staff, including Mike Flad, expected to be named the next city manager when Alvord resigns that post near the end of the year.

“I know you will do more and be more,” Ramos said. “Thank you.”


 JEREMY OBERSTEIN covers City Hall and public safety. He may be reached at (818) 637-3242 or by e-mail at jeremy.oberstein@ latimes.com.

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