Letters to the Editor: Mailbag: A Pee-Chee story, two ‘no’ votes for Measure P and two thumbs up for city’s bike lanes
I knew I’d arrived at the corner of senescence and belated teenage reverie, when my wonderful primary care physician, Dr. Angela R. Adelman, an internist and gerontologist practicing in Burbank, handed a folder to me containing my prescriptions and various doctor’s orders. Her lovely folder reminded me of my Pee-Chee folders from high school.
I was instantly transported to a hallway on the James Monroe High School campus in North Hills, where after fumbling with the combination to my locker, and flashing a braces-filled smile at my boyfriend, he charmingly agreed to carry my cumbersome educational materials.
I feel confident Pee-Chee folders played a part in our years-long courtship: notes were passed and stored, drawings were shared and laughed at, and homework was carried to far-flung classrooms. This was a school supply marriage made in heaven.
I can’t think about this period in my life without remembering the yearly ritual of covering my new school books with homemade book covers. I’d take plain brown bags, cut them to size and create a virgin landscape upon which to draw or write.
These book covers and Pee-Chee folders were a roadmap to my teen life. They charted the highs and lows of the school year and were a billboard for young love.
I doubt Dr. Adelman knows her folder acted as a retrieval device for ancient memories, or that its utilitarian value was enhanced by the pricelessness of this journey, but her simple gesture speaks to her attention to detail and the unwavering kindness and care she shows her patients.
It’s no small thing to link the past with the present and in so doing, be a compassionate guide to the continuum of life.
Burbank City Council members and City Hall management personnel are banking on voters passing Measure P to pull the city out of the financial quagmire that council members past and present and department heads created with out-of-control, unaccountable spending of taxpayer dollars.
If the measure passes, it would authorize a three-fourth cent increase in sales tax, the increase to be used wholly in Burbank. And if passed, the sales tax here would be a double-digit whopping 10.25%.
It’s disheartening how many Burbank residents are unaware of this ballot measure. I speak to people at my favorite coffee house, at the grocery and drug stores, at my auto mechanic’s shop, and I ask them if they are Burbank residents and if they are registered voters. If they answer “yes” to my two inquiries, I ask if they’re aware of this ballot measure. Most are not, so I tell them what they might be facing next April if Measure P is enacted. Not surprisingly, no one I’ve spoken with wants to shell out more in sales tax. And why should they? City Hall created the multimillion dollar deficit. Now it needs to undo the financial mess and rein in excessive spending without placing an additional tax burden on residents. In June, voters already approved Measure T legalizing the transfer of $12.5 million of Burbank Water and Power income to the city’s general fund.
I urge ALL Burbank registered voters to vote on Nov. 6 and vote “No” on Measure P. Don’t let city officials instill fear about the possible reduction in police, fire and paramedic services if the measure is defeated. A retired police officer and a retired firefighter currently serve on the Burbank City Council. They and other three council members are not going to let emergency services be downgraded, not if they want to remain city leaders.
Measure P is a sham being perpetrated by the Burbank City Council. The deficit is the result of poor planning and wasteful spending. Supporters of the measure who believe the Council has been transparent are simply wrong. Nowhere in the text of Ordinance No.18-3,904 or the city attorney’s “impartial” analysis is there any historical explanation of the reasons for the shortfall. That is because such analysis would reflect badly upon past decisions of the City Council.
In recent pronouncements, the mayor and her minions refuse to identify how wasteful spending has been cut or eliminated. They only present a doomsday scenario if the voters reject what would be one of the highest sales tax rates in the nation. The ordinance does not even specify how potential revenue would be allocated. Vital services need to be prioritized but the cost of pay raises, accumulated pension obligations, private use of city vehicles and the overuse of outside contractors need to be part of the equation. Those costs, as well as frivolous expenses such as fireworks, have been ignored in any discussion of Measure P. How much potential revenue is lost to preferential tax treatment for specific corporations? The voters are being deceived by the intentional omission of such important information.
Importantly, the independent oversight provision provides no specifics. Who will comprise the oversight board and audit the revenues from Measure P? Also, what is the mechanism for ending the tax what will prevent this “emergency” tax from becoming permanent?
Nobody wants Burbank to be degraded or in a state of decline, but the City Council helped to create the current shortfall and needs to devise a better plan that does not place financial responsibility on the citizens. Do not reward poor financial planning and mismanagement. Vote NO on Measure P.
Regarding the Oct. 6 Mailbag and its letter to the editor about bike lanes on Verdugo Avenue being useless: Having spent over 35 years riding a bike in Southern California (still do), I can tell you that what letter-writer Davison considers a useless lane can be a lifesaver for us riders. That 4- or 5-foot wide bike lane gives us riders’ hope that someone in a 2,000+ pound car won’t send us to the hospital/morgue that day. The Verdugo Avenue lane and other bike lanes/paths give us riders a chance to enjoy our sport with just a little bit of safety on our side.
If Davison is bothered by this “useless lane” on Verdugo Avenue, I suggest he find another route that will be less painful to his eyes. We riders love the Verdugo Avenue lane even if the numbers don’t meet someone’s count. Thank you to the city of Burbank for continuing to build bike lanes/paths. We need more.
Hardly a month goes by without a bicyclist-hater like Michael Davison having a letter published in the Leader whining about bike lanes on Verdugo Avenue, which I and many other local cyclists are grateful to have there to help us safely navigate on our bikes through town.
In the recent past there have been two bike riders run over and killed in Burbank, one on Empire Avenue and another on Riverside Drive in the Rancho neighborhood. The city of Burbank, to their credit, responded to the latter fatality by installing a wide bike path along Riverside Drive, which gets now heavy use since local horseback riders were successful in having bicycles banned from using the Mariposa Bridge access to the L.A. River Bike Path.