Re: “In 3-2 vote, council opts against further protection for renters,” Nov. 2. I felt certain the Burbank City Council would do nothing to help desperate renters who will be evicted from their apartments before the state rent control law goes into effect on Jan. 1, 2020.
I had been petitioning the council for more than two years asking for similar protection, to no avail. Three of the five council members ignored the plight of renters in this city who have to move at the worst possible time, the holiday season.
Mayor Emily Gabel-Luddy said she didn’t believe an emergency situation existed so she saw no need to pass an interim ordinance to keep renters in their homes. If even one renter is unfairly evicted, it is an emergency situation.
Vice Mayor Sharon Springer believed the true victims are the “mom and pop” landlords who she said would be burdened more than the tenants. This emergency ordinance would not have affected the small landlords; it is the large rental companies with hundreds of units who are pushing out tenants due to unbridled greed who need to be stopped.
I do believe renters are also to blame for the predicament in which we find ourselves. Renters comprise the largest percentage of Burbank residents yet many of us do not participate in the democratic process because we do not vote.
Even though the ordinance did not pass, kudos to Councilmen Jess Talamantes and Tim Murphy, who showed compassion for those renters who might themselves be without a home at Christmastime. And shame on Councilman Bob Frutos who blindly followed the lead of Gabel-Luddy and Springer to deny the renters protection from the greed that has been allowed to poison this city.
Truly shame on the three members of the City Council who refused to protect Burbank renters from the current predatory tactic being used by unprincipled landlords without cause to evict reliable, responsible longtime tenants just so they can avoid obeying the new state law that takes effect on Jan. 1.
The council members have clearly told longtime Burbank residents that they do not care about them if they don’t own property, though their rent certainly helped pay the property taxes the city collected.
The irony is that the landlords these three council members are bowing to more often than not don’t even live in Burbank. There was a time when the Burbank City Council acted in the interest of those who live here, not just out-of- town investors.
I ask that the City Council do its job and please act to protect longtime, responsible and respectful Burbank residents from this despicable predatory action by the landlords, as many cities around the state already rightly have, including Los Angeles.
Dean St John