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Mayor Makes Bid for Supervisor Seat

Burbank Mayor Konstantine Anthony announced Wednesday his bid for supervisor for Los Angeles County’s 5th district, taking on Kathryn Barger who has been on the Board of Supervisors since 2016 and is running for a third and final term in the March 5, 2024 primary election.
In the role, Anthony would serve as one of five County Supervisors, the executive and legislative heads presiding over the largest and most complex county government in the country. The Board of Supervisors is the governing body of Los Angeles County.
Anthony’s vision for his work on the board includes bringing his experiences and successes from Burbank to the county level, with an emphasis on housing solutions, green infrastructure, and community-based policing.
“I feel we’ve gone far at the city level, but if we really want to address homelessness, housing, transportation, environmental and green technology, and community-based policing, there’s only so much the city can do. I believe the next level of support comes from the county,” Anthony told the Leader.
Anthony is determined to break up the internal gangs of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department by “replacing deputy stations in over-policed neighborhoods with local law enforcement joint powers agreements,” Anthony said in a press statement announcing his campaign.
Anthony argues that local police forces like the Burbank Police Department are more effective in providing community-oriented services at a lower cost.
His proposal: Work with local municipalities to form a “joint powers authority” that would effectively seek to replace the presence of local sheriff’s stations in contract cities such as Montrose with police from nearby towns like Burbank, Glendale and Pasadena, who have their police forces.
“The Sheriff’s Department costs these small cities a lot of money,” Anthony said.
Jury awards for bad behavior by the sheriff’s deputies have skyrocketed, he added. “We don’t see those same million-dollar jury awards against smaller police departments like Burbank, Glendale and Pasadena. Now, insurance companies are charging a much higher price to have a contract city maintain their police force with the sheriff’s deputies,” Anthony said.
According to Anthony, costs are increasing for small cities who hope to maintain a contract with the Sheriff’s Department for law enforcement service. A single sheriff’s deputy now costs the taxpayers $358,000 per year, a figure double what it was 10 years ago, according to department data.
“There’s no reason why the County Board of Supervisors can’t take the money that it would spend on the sheriff’s deputy station and directly fund an expansion of say, the Glendale police force to contract with a city like Montrose — they’re right next door,” Anthony told the Leader.
“If the county were to help those smaller police forces, which do a much better job at community relations, at keeping their uses of force very low, keeping their officer complaints very low, then that’s what I believe the Board of Supervisors should be doing.”
In addition to reforming the structure of policing in L.A. County, Anthony also has a plan to tackle affordable housing construction and endorses massive investments in homeless services.
“In Burbank, one of the great successes that we’ve had with homelessness is our services-first approach,” Anthony told the Leader. “A lot of other cities tend to think that enforcement needs to come first. And I’ll say that a few years back, Burbank had the same policy. When we switched our approach and started with compassionate services and outreach, we became very successful in bettering the homeless situation.”
Burbank partners with local service providers like Home Again L.A., Ascencia, and Street Plus to identify the needs of those living on the streets and proactively offer available services such as emergency and supportive housing, employment case management and addiction services. This approach, Anthony says, has resulted in a lower number of individuals experiencing homelessness in Burbank as of the most recent count.
“In fact, Burbank was one of the few cities in L.A. County that actually reduced their homeless population last year. Given my background, having been homeless myself and having also worked on the city level to help our unhoused population, I think that makes me uniquely qualified to sit on the Board of Supervisors, because this is a regional problem. It’s not just within the borders of one city,” Anthony said.
Recently, Anthony voted to allocate more than $1.8 million in federal funding toward the creation of Burbank’s first homeless shelter.
Anthony also hopes to bring his experience in green technology to aid the county in advancing environmentally friendly practices and infrastructure throughout Los Angeles. In his statement, he added that he “looks forward to approving the construction of solar and wind farms across Antelope Valley and the High Desert region to create good-paying union jobs.”
On Monday, April 3, Anthony will host an event to launch his campaign for supervisor at the Inkwell Tavern in Burbank. For event details, visit konstantineanthony.com.

First published in the April 1 print issue of the Burbank Leader.

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