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Burbank City Council candidate Juan Guillen hopes third run is the charm

It’s Juan Guillen’s third attempt at a spot on the Burbank City Council dais, and he’s as determined as ever to become a council member.

Guillen, 37, chief financial officer of True Integrity Insurance Services in Burbank, said that even though he missed landing a council seat by 612 votes during the 2015 general election, he is not ready to give up on serving as a council member.

“If you’re in, you’re in,” he said. “You can’t be half in. So, I’ve remained engaged and advocated for the residents.”

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When he first ran for City Council in 2013, Guillen said he felt that council members were telling him and other residents what issues they thought the city was facing instead of listening to their constituents and addressing his and others’ concerns.

After being knocked out of the running during the primary election in 2013, Guillen said he would dedicate himself to the city during his spare time and whenever he could.

“I want to do this to make this place better,” he said at the time. “I love this city, and I want to make sure that we preserve the ‘Wonder Years,’ not create the Westside.”

What do you consider to be the biggest issue facing Burbank today?

Guillen said there is a lack of communication between residents and city elected officials and something needs to be done to improve that dialogue.

“We need to try and continue to change things and figure out what works,” he said. “Once we’re successful, we still need to communicate and figure out what the new things are.”

Additionally, Guillen said he is frustrated with the current City Council’s conduct toward residents who speak during public comments at meetings. He thinks that the majority of council members are not being proactive regarding their constituents’ concerns.

“What happened to public servants serving those that elected you?” he said. “It starts with clear communication and not being deceitful.”

How would you ensure that the members of the Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport Authority stick to what they told voters they would do?

The Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport Authority is moving forward with its project to build a 14-gate replacement terminal at Hollywood Burbank Airport after local residents approved Measure B during the November election.

Guillen said too many of the conversations regarding the terminal were held during closed sessions at City Council and airport authority meetings and that there was little discussion about plans with the public.

“They’ve got what they wanted, and now they’ve disappeared and you don’t hear from them,” he said. “How many times has the airport [authority] been to the City Council or been out to my Kiwanis Club or Rotary Club since they got their approval? None.”

Also, Guillen said the airport authority needs to change its meeting time from early Monday mornings to a time that is more reasonable for residents to attend.

He added that now that the project is moving forward, any dialogue about the new terminal should be made in public and not behind closed doors.

“You have to make it transparent,” Guillen said. “Not the allure of transparency, not just transparent when you want something else, it [all] needs to be transparent. We need constant updates on plan changes and site changes.”

How would you ensure that the city’s budget is balanced without pulling money from the General Fund?

Understanding that Burbank is facing a growing financial deficit over the next five years, Guillen said the city needs to do something more than just raise the utility rates on residents to balance the budget.

He said he noticed the Community Development Department does numerous plan and site checks every year and suggested looking into hiking fees for those services.

Additionally, Guillen said the city needs to stop accepting grant money for projects that city officials want and focus on addressing the city’s needs.

“We need to define our needs and our wants and then go from there,” he said.

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Anthony Clark Carpio, anthonyclark.carpio@latimes.com

Twitter: @acocarpio

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