Council’s Board Appointment Process Is Appalling

First published in the Sept. 17 print issue of the Burbank Leader.

On Tuesday night the Burbank City Council was scheduled to appoint new members to the Police Commission and the Planning Board. The Planning Board appointment had been rescheduled from a month earlier because one of the Council members was out of the country, unable to participate in the vote.
At that August meeting they had two applicants for Planning Board, and a motion to reopen the applications for that position was voted down. Essentially, they were waiting a month until all Council members could be in attendance to decide from the two applicants. Tuesday night they voted quickly to appoint a new member to the Police Commission and the mayor apologized to all the other applicants, stating that it is always hard picking one person when so many people had applied for the one seat.
Almost in the same breath, the mayor went on to say he didn’t think they had enough applicants to make an appointment to the Planning Board. Remember, they had voted a month earlier to postpone the appointment and voted NOT to open more applications for that position. One of the applicants attended both meetings to speak during public comment to express his interest in the position.
Rather than appoint one of the two applicants who had completed all the necessary forms before the deadline and waited a month, Council Member Frutos made a motion to again postpone the appointment and to reopen applications to the public. Council Member Springer, who had voted against reopening applications at the August meeting, reversed her position and seconded the motion and voted in favor of it. Council Members Anthony and Schultz voted against the motion to postpone but lost the vote.
How is this possible? How is this fair to two applicants who complied with the process before the original deadline and were told a decision would be made that night? What does this say to other people who follow the rules and wish to volunteer their time to sit on these boards? I am appalled at this behavior, especially as two of the three are stepping down at the end of this year.

Jim Casey
Executive Officer of Preserve Burbank