HomeCity Government NewsLongtime Civil Servant Seeks Burbank Council Seat

Longtime Civil Servant Seeks Burbank Council Seat

Burbank civil service veteran Judie Wilke announced in a letter Tuesday her candidacy for the upcoming November City Council election.

Wilke seeks one of two soon-to-be expired seats on the dais — those currently held by Mayor Nick Schultz and Councilman Konstantine Anthony. The two incumbents were on the ballot in separate races in this week’s primary election.

While Schultz is headed for a runoff against Republican Tony Rodriguez in November for the 44th Assembly District seat, Councilman Konstantine Anthony has not announced if he will seek reelection in Burbank after placing a distant third in his bid for the L.A. County 5th District supervisorial seat.

Wilke is a lifelong resident of Burbank. She grew up in the hallways of Burbank High School and spent her 32-year career in public service in the corridors of Burbank City Hall.

“This isn’t a decision I’ve made lightly; it’s the culmination of a lifelong journey filled with love and dedication to the place I’ve called home since I was 3 years old,” Wilke wrote in a letter to the Leader. “These experiences have done more than just shape me; they’ve reinforced my belief in the power of inclusivity, open conversation and teamwork to bring about real benefits for us all.”

Wilke held a variety of key management positions during her three decades with the city, including an elected post.

She started with Burbank in 1989 as a management intern and swiftly worked her way into several analyst and administrative positions. She was elected city clerk in 1997 and 2001. Following her time as city clerk, she served in a variety of roles, including deputy financial services director, management services director, and Parks, Recreation and Community Services director. In 2019, she was appointed the assistant city manager until her retirement in November.

“With the experience I’ve gained and a deep understanding of our city’s unique challenges and opportunities, I’m ready to get to work. My objective is clear and full of passionate purpose: to make Burbank a better place for everyone. This mission is deeply personal to me,” she wrote.

For Wilke, service is generational. Her father, Larry Stamper, served as mayor from 1983 to 1984 during his four-year term on City Council. Wilke said watching his work as a child instilled in her a “deep-seated desire to follow in his footsteps and contribute to our city’s growth and success.”

As assistant city manager from 2019 until her recent retirement and in her terms as City Clerk before that, Wilke has sat through countless City Council meetings over the decades. It goes without saying that Wilke has witnessed no end to political squabbles and disagreements. In her letter, she positioned herself as the unity candidate, seeking to bridge those conflicts with kindness and consensus-building, adding that doing so is more important now than ever.

“What’s crucial is how we handle these differences. Let’s tackle our disagreements with kindness and let forgiveness lead us back to peace if we falter. After all, we’re more than just citizens; we’re part of a shared dream for the Burbank we love,” she said.

Wilke added that she is filled with hope for the future, and asked for the support of the Burbank community as she seeks to build a city that future generations will be “proud to inherit.”

“Let’s take this journey together, united by a common goal and unstoppable resolve, to make our beloved Burbank a beacon of community and progress. Thank you for your trust and I look forward to dedicating myself to serving our beloved hometown on the City Council.”

First published in the March 9 print issue of the Burbank Leader.

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