Victory for David Gordon, Jess Talamantes

Dave Golonski — who first took office a few months after Bill Clinton became president — lost his bid Tuesday for an unprecedented sixth term.

Golonski, who established himself on the City Council dais 20 years ago, lost out to fellow incumbents David Gordon and Jess Talamantes on Tuesday, capping a defeat foreshadowed by his worst primary finish ever in February.

Out of 11,123 votes cast, Gordon and Talamantes received 5,411 and 5,268, respectively, according to the unofficial results. Golonski ended with 4,557 votes to David Nos' 4,355. The results were expected to be verified on Friday.

Gordon walked into City Hall just before 10 p.m. with his two thumbs up.

"I feel great," he said. "This is a taste of what the people in Burbank can do when they come together."

Gordon and Golonski often butted heads during their collective time on the council, most recently after the latter's push to consider outsourcing city services to save costs and avoid raising fees or cutting services. Gordon was strongly against the idea.

"I think the people have spoken and indicated they want to see a new direction of the City Council," he said. "It's very clear."

Golonski, for his part, was absent from the election scene Tuesday night.

At his home at 11 p.m., daughter Randi Lowery, 31, answered the door, saying her father was going to bed and would not be making a statement.

"I'm a proud daughter," she said. "He's been an incredible contributor to our community."

During the campaign, Golonski had defended his decades-long tenure during the campaign as a validation of his work over the years.

And if that support ever eroded for him or his colleagues, he noted, "I think voters have the capability to vote them out."

During the February primary, Bob Frutos was elected outright, bypassing the need to compete in Tuesday's general election and forcing the three incumbents — Talamantes, Gordon and Golonski — to a match-up in which only two seats remained.

Burbank resident Rachel Peters, who dropped off her ballot just before 7 p.m. on Tuesday, said she felt it was time for a change on the council.

"Golonski has been on the City Council for years. I think it's time for new ideas," Peters said.

Talamantes and Golonski also had to contend with the business end of unions ticked off by their positions on hot-button issues like budget cuts, impacts to city employees and a proposed Walmart adjacent to the Empire Center.

Burbank Residents Opposed to Jess Talamantes Slashing Public Safety reported receiving another $5,000 during the most recent filing period from the Local 770 United Food and Commercial Workers Union political action committee.

The PAC had previously poured $20,000 into a hard-hitting opposition campaign, pitting the retired firefighter's budget spending priorities against feared impacts to public services. The union-backed spending outstripped Talamantes' fundraising apparatus, which pulled in a total $18,983 over the entire course of the campaign.

But in the glow of re-election, Talamantes said the opposition didn't appear to hurt his campaign.

"If anything, it might have turned people off to them, to their message, because people just didn't believe what they were saying," he said. "I've been in the community too long for those people to not trust me."

Golonski also felt union heat. This came from the Burbank City Employees Assn. political action committee, which retracted its endorsement last week over his comments about outsourcing city jobs to save money.

While the union's move didn't translate into a huge financial hit, it came late in the campaign, and the episode didn't help the longtime incumbent, who was already seen as vulnerable.

Also failing to gain muster with Burbank voters on Tuesday was Measure S, which fell well short of the two-thirds majority needed to pass, with 4,910 against and 3,795 in support out of 8,705 votes cast, according to the city clerk's office.

The measure would have taxed customers 2% of their trash and sewer bills, or roughly $10 to $15 a year, to subsidize trash and sewer services for low-income seniors and disabled people. Roughly 1,900 out of about 44,000 Burbank households currently benefit from the program.

The city will now have to decide whether to continue the programs — which have been in place for more than two decades — at an annual cost of $413,000, or scrap them completely.




Follow Alene Tchekmedyian on Google+ and on Twitter: @atchek.


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