First published in the Nov. 19 print issue of the Burbank Leader.
The race for three Burbank City Council seats is coming to a close. Social worker Nikki Perez and environmental advocate Tamala Takahashi lead the pack with 24.63% and 21.59% of the votes respectively. It is likely that the two will take seats on the dais this December.
The competition for the third seat is still too close to call, with just a .77% gap between current City Clerk Zizette Mullins in third place with 20.05% and incumbent Sharon Springer who currently holds fourth place with 19.28%. Carmenita Helligar currently has 14.46%.
Three of these five candidates will take seats on the council joining Vice Mayor Konstantine Anthony and Councilman Nick Schultz. In a historic first, women will outnumber men on the panel by a ratio of 3-2.
“It’s hard to express my appreciation and gratitude to the voters of my hometown of Burbank for their strong support of my candidacy,” Perez told the Leader. “As the first indigenous and openly LGBTQ+ woman elected to council, it’s a tremendous honor to bring a unique perspective and representation to our city government. I’d like to congratulate my colleague Tamala Takahashi, and I look forward to working alongside her to serve the people of our city.”
Takahashi addressed her supporters in a statement to the Burbank Leader. “I am honored and humbled to be chosen by the voters as a member of our next Burbank City Council leadership team. I want to thank our outgoing council members for their commitment to our city and my fellow election-mates for a kind, clean campaign season. I’d also like to thank all of the volunteers, supporters, and friends who helped in this campaign,” Takahashi said.
“Together we created momentum to address our housing challenges, improve our transportation network, prioritize environmental policy and recover our small and micro businesses. I am anticipating a productive and effective next two years as we work on these and other pressing issues,” she said.
The two BUSD School Board seats have been claimed by Abby Pontzer Kamkar who took the lead this week with 21.88% of the votes and incumbent Board President Char Tabet with 20.63%. The two are the likely victors, with a significant gap between the third place Larry Applebaum with 18.79%, and fourth place Brian Smith with 18.23% votes. Candidates Harutyun Ketikyan, James Morrison and Michael Morgan share a less than 23% of the total vote collectively.
Burbank voters were more decisive in the race for city clerk. Kimberly Clark currently leads opponents Viviana Garzon and Jamal El-Amin by about 20%.
Incumbent Krystle Palmer ran uncontested for city treasurer and will continue for another term.
The most recent Los Angeles County ballot count update was Friday and included 2,286,624 ballots counted, which is 40.63% of registered voters. Election results can be viewed on lavote.gov.
The estimated number of outstanding ballots to be processed is 174,313. According to the county registrar’s office, that estimate also includes ballots that are pending signatures from voters whose signature on the Return Envelope was missing or did not match their registration record. These voters have been notified with instructions on how to cure their ballot to be counted.
Los Angeles County plans to release result updates every Tuesday and Friday until Dec. 2. It is possible the outcome of many races will not be clear until each vote is tallied. A total of 5,627,796 Angelenos were registered to vote at the beginning of the election cycle. Ballots cast in vote-by-mail precincts were counted in the first bulletin, and officials are still working through ballots cast on election day.