Take pride in the city's open doors

Where else in the greater Los Angeles metro area do residents get a one-on-one session with their city council to voice concerns over everything from the local hookah bar to a neighbor's brown hillside? Burbank, of course.

There are few places left in a major metro area where residents — the electorate — can still have such a direct dialogue with their leaders. There may be some who say the same opportunity exists nearly every Tuesday night at City Hall when the City Council meets to discuss official business, but anyone who's ever attended those meetings can attest to the fact that A) they can drag on for hours over the most mundane of minutiae, B) not everyone can work Tuesday night into their schedule and C) let's face it, the prospect of standing at a podium in front of the dais, on television, can be intimidating for many.

So this week, it was at three forums hosted at locations across the city that residents could enjoy some face time with their elected leaders and other city officials in more informal settings to discuss their concerns, gripes and questions.

What of discussing the public-smoking ordinance further? What happened to that red curb? What can be done if neighbors refuse to water their hillside properties, leaving them dry and brown?

These are all the day-to-day issues affecting everyday residents who may sometimes feel that their own worlds don't fit into the City Hall galaxy of sweeping policy decisions and prolonged hearings on the fate of IKEA or Walmart. And it is for that reason that residents should be glad that they live in a dying breed of a city that still takes the time to reach out.

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