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City Council Disregards Brown Act

It is against the Brown Act to discuss a topic that hasn’t been placed on a [city council] agenda and made public. This helps protect interested parties.

At the City Council meeting, a highly organized group of renters flooded the council chamber and demanded the council put in place a citywide eviction moratorium. They were prompted by approximately three property owners who had given notice that they would be doing a major renovation and had given those residents notice to vacate, which the law allows under the Tenant Protection Act of 2019 (Assembly Bill 1482).

Led by Mayor Konstantine Anthony, Councilwoman Nikki Perez and Vice Mayor Nick Schultz, the council pushed through and were able to get the topic on the agenda for discussion.

This was historic, it has never been done before in our city’s history.

However, equal representation was not allowed, and the procedure to notify the community was not followed. What precedent does this set? It opens the door to any special interest group to violate the decorum and procedures set in place to protect the community.

To the credit of Councilwoman Zizette Mullins, she was noticeably taken aback by this action, as was Councilwoman Tamala Takahashi. Both of them care deeply for the community and are actively engaged.

Some members of the group of renters, led by several activists who are likely not residents, labeled Burbank landlords as greedy and self-interested with no regard for their tenants. This blanket characterization and vilification was hard to listen to.

One commenter even went as far as using the often-used trope of “this is violence against us.”

Really? Is everything that is uncomfortable or unfortunate now a violent act that necessitates such aggressive and unprecedented action by the council? And what about the effects on the hundreds of apartment owners? How will they be able to protect themselves? This takes from those who this group feels have something that they want.

Welcome to the Democratic Socialist of America’s agenda! In my opinion, this is in line with the mayor’s self-avowed, ultra-socialistic agenda to further his rent control and impose it against the wishes of the residents of Burbank. The entire hearing was recorded, as is the practice. Go watch for yourself. If you think it’s important enough, get involved and make your voice heard.

Otherwise, a highly organized group of people may end up deciding for you. And before long, the Burbank you’ve grown to love will change before your eyes.

David Donahue, president/owner MH Properties & Investments, Inc.

First published in the April 29 print issue of the Burbank Leader.

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