Town Hall Replaces Debate After Candidates Withdraw

First published in the Oct. 22 print issue of the Burbank Leader.

Civic Duty Media — a local nonprofit consisting of college and high school student volunteers who organized a debate for Burbank’s city council candidates — announced Wednesday that all five candidates vying for the three council seats on the Nov. 8 ballot had withdrawn from the debate.
“The CDM received a series of communications that confirmed what we had been learning in pieces throughout the afternoon. All five candidates for Burbank City Council simultaneously informed us they would no longer be participating in the first-ever Burbank City Council Debate,” the nonprofit’s spokesperson stated in a press release.
“It is with sorrow that we must inform the public, the press, our attendees and supporters that the debate as advertised will not take place this Sunday,” CDM added.
An email was sent on behalf of all five candidates to Civic Duty Media from Councilwoman Sharon Springer, stating: “We have each been advised by our campaign teams that, at this point, it’s best to spend time making direct voter contact.” The candidates have participated in several public forums during their campaign, but this would have been the first Burbank debate this election cycle.
In place of the candidate debate, CDM will hold a community town hall at the same time and location.
“This election is not just about the candidates. It’s about you. As the candidates will not be in attendance, our team has the opportunity to focus on what the community is thinking,” CDM stated.
CDM invites the residents of Burbank to attend their town hall event at 7 p.m. on Sunday at the Colony Theatre at 555 N. Third St. for a “frank and open discussion about the issues important to the voters and residents of Burbank.”
“The presumptive future mayor and vice mayor,” Vice Mayor Konstantine Anthony and Councilman Nick Shultz, will be attending and will sit on a panel of elected leaders, Civic Duty Media stated. They will participate in the town hall discussion and share their views, initiatives and what the city is doing to address residents’ concerns and priorities.
Event coordinators will be taking the questions prepared for the debate and repurposing those as guiding topics for the town hall. All attendees are welcome to speak about issues important to them and are asked to be open and respectful to all.