This week Burbank's City Council undergoes its annual “reorganization,” the five choosing from among themselves one to serve as mayor. One contingent argues the decision must be premised upon an occasionally invoked formula that weighs placement in the most recent election. Others favor using only seniority and the record of who has not yet been mayor.
There have been many battles over the mayor's seat. Among those denied a “turn,” only to later be given the chance, were Mary Lou Howard and Dave Golonski. Others were blackballed and left office never serving as mayor. Others were blackballed and left office never serving as mayor, including Tim Murphy, Susan Spanos, Ted McConkey and, to date, David Gordon.
Some forget the job is entirely a figurehead position. With it comes wielding the gavel at council meetings and use of a larger office. Otherwise, the job is as Burbank's ceremonial representative, the “privilege” of the center seat at the dais, and signing proclamations. In 25 years of watching Burbank's mayors, I don't recall one incident wherein residents were abandoned, an employer closed, or a thriving business fled because of the mayor.
I'm no fan of Mayor Pro Tem David Gordon, and can document many incidents that reflect badly on his integrity. But he was elected, and even the well-founded contempt of some his colleagues is not cause to engage in a petty effort to block him from the mayor's seat he longs for.
That was my position when Tim Murphy, an amiable and dedicated councilman was shoved aside in the ’90s, and when the belligerent demagogue McConkey was raging from the dais in the 2000s. It's no different for Gordon.