Fiscal responsibility, economic development, infrastructure and traffic were common refrains Thursday during a meeting to set the priorities for the coming year.
The City Council opted to expand its annual list to include seven items, compared with six last year, in order to continue internal improvements and reach out to the community.
Reforming the Burbank Police Department, which made the list last year, continued to be a top-three priority for almost all council members as each reviewed their primary concerns for the upcoming fiscal year.
While the phrase “fiscal responsibility” was referenced in some form on each council member’s list, Councilman David Gordon was the only one to specify ending the city’s employee merit bonus program.
He lobbied for returning the money budgeted for the bonuses to the General Fund to help bridge the projected $8.7-million deficit.
The Burbank Leader has filed a lawsuit to obtain information on how much individual employees made in bonuses — records that the city attorney’s office has refused to disclose.
The City Council on Thursday also appointed Mayor Jess Talamantes and Councilman Dave Golonski to a new Economic Development Subcommittee, in hopes that regular meetings with the economic development team would ensure timely updates about business growth in Burbank.
“It should not just be about bringing other Southern California businesses to Burbank,” said newly elected Councilwoman Emily Gabel-Luddy, who advocated courting new industries.
Community engagement and environmental sustainability also topped the year’s list.