Disclosure statements showing that a union spent roughly $42,000 to support Bob Frutos’ bid for the City Council should pique the interest of voters. After all, the voters are the ones who will be affected by very hard decisions at City Hall in the coming weeks regarding — yup — unions and their members.
As it stands, Burbank’s model of allowing many of its employees to not contribute to their retirement costs is unsustainable. Next fiscal year, the cost of retirement benefits is projected to increase by $10.7 million, more than the $8.3-million budget gap that the City Council will have to close.
And so when a union, such as the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 18, spends so much to elect someone to that decision-making authority, it raises questions about why.
Unions spending money on elections is nothing new, but they can’t accuse one candidate of being beholden to special interests — in this case candidate Emily Gabel-Luddy— while supporting the opponent. The irony of that argument is glaring.