Kudos to the League of Women Voters Glendale/Burbank for hosting an excellent candidates forum that actually dealt with many of the issues Burbank residents are concerned with ("Council hopefuls plead their case," Jan. 22). If you didn't get a chance to see it, please try and catch a replay before casting your ballot in the upcoming primary election.
I came away most impressed by Police Commission Chairman Robert Frutos, who has an outstanding record of community service. His years of law enforcement experience at the Los Angeles Police Department makes him the best candidate by far to deal with the Burbank police mess and to institute real reforms, including an independent inspector with wide-reaching oversight powers who would report directly to the City Council.
He also seems to have what I consider a fiscally conservative approach to dealing with many of the financial issues we face. He spoke strongly against the more than $1 million in bonuses to Burbank public employees, as well as the pay increases handed out to senior utility executives just weeks after our rates were increased.
In short, Frutos gets it. He understands the financial hardships many are facing paying their mortgages/rent and utility bills, and is especially sensitive to the needs of our seniors. I like his humility, and the fact that he shares the same values we do.
I've seen so much grandstanding, anger and hostility at recent City Council meetings, and he would be a refreshing change for the better — a voice of reason, a voice of the people.
Eric Michael Cap
Residents should insist on open books
The letter by Molly Shore regarding merit-based bonuses to Burbank city employees ("Residents should be filling council chambers," Jan. 1) is disturbing in that the deputy city attorney said that names and amounts given cannot be divulged due to confidentiality issues. I say hogwash.
The Daily Chronicle, our local paper in Centralia, Wash., published names, salaries and bonuses upon request. One such disclosure revealed a past city manager whose salary was higher than that of the state governor. For a city of under 15,000 residents, people were outraged, as well they should have been.
So Burbank, take your city fathers to task. Money paid to city employees must be revealed when requested as part of the Freedom of Information Act.