First published in the Dec. 24 print issue of the Burbank Leader.
The City Council elected Konstantine Anthony as the new mayor of Burbank during the annual reorganization meeting on Monday.
The council also elected Councilman Nick Schultz to serve as vice mayor, and three newly elected councilwomen — Zizette Mullins, Nikki Perez and Tamala Takahashi — who took the oath of office.
“I am thrilled and honored to be here today, and particularly proud to be here in this historic time in Burbank where, for the first time, there is a majority of women on council,” said Takahashi in her inaugural remarks at Monday’s meeting.
Jess Talamantes, Burbank’s departing mayor, chose to retire from the council after serving for 13½ years. Councilman Bob Frutos also concluded his final term in office after nine years. Additionally, Councilwoman Sharon Springer stepped down last week after five years on the panel. Their vacancies were filled by Takashi, Perez and Mullins.
“Today, I want to promise to the people of Burbank that I will fully dedicate my entire time to serving you — to keeping the vision of the Burbank we love, while building for that future we deserve,” Perez said during the meeting.
Mullins echoed that sentiment in her address and said, “Whether or not we agree on everything, I feel it is my job to factor your needs and concerns into solutions for Burbank’s future.”
Mullins moved a seat up to the dais from her former position as city clerk, making way for Burbank Unified School District Executive Assistant Kimberly Clark to assume her new role as Burbank’s city clerk.
After a 4-1 vote with Mullins dissenting, Anthony was promoted from vice mayor to mayor. Prior to the vote, Mullins made a motion to appoint Schultz as mayor, but did not receive support from the rest of the panel.
“I appreciate the motion. It does mean a lot to me. If and when my time comes, I will be prepared to serve,” Schultz said in response to the nomination.
Ultimately, Schultz opted to advance Anthony to the mayor’s seat, issuing a vote of confidence in Anthony’s ability to meet the duties of the office.
Elected to the council in 2020, Anthony grew up in the small suburban town of Castro Valley, just outside of Oakland, California. He pursued a degree in film from San Francisco State University where he was immersed in a diverse network of students from all over the world. He’s been a member of the Screen Actors Guild American Federation of Television and Radio Artists since 2006 and the Service Employees International Union since 2019.
Anthony has a passion for social justice and garnered a record-setting total of 17,529 votes during his campaign for City Council. Anthony also proudly claims the title of first openly autistic mayor in the country.
“In August, I was officially and formally diagnosed as autistic,” Anthony said. “I have known for some time, but I finally got the papers. That was important. That was a long journey for me, so today, I become the first diagnosed autistic mayor in the country.”
Anthony is a member of the Domestic Violence Task Force. He also served on the Burbank Advisory Council on Disabilities since 2018, as well as on the executive board of Burbank PFLAG since 2019, and the Burbank Transportation Commission from 2017-2020, until he took his position on the City Council.
“It’s a privilege to serve as Burbank’s mayor and I appreciate the City Council’s confidence in me,” Anthony said. “Burbank is a wonderful city with a rich history and many opportunities for growth. I’m committed to bringing our community together for a more sustainable and equitable Burbank for generations to come.”