Letter to the Editor: Rancho Residents Should Invest Their Money Instead of Dependent on City Taxes
Letter to the editor:
Last month, the Burbank City Council passed the city’s budget for the 2022-23 fiscal year. This budget is a balanced budget, which is surprising given the City’s financial instability and deficits over the past two years. Staff also project a balanced budget for the next five years for which they and the Board deserve praise.
Unfortunately, there is a certain neighborhood in our city that has made it clear that they believe the city’s revenue is meant to be spent primarily for their benefit. Their sense of entitlement is now posed to push Burbank into a precarious financial deficit that would impact all residents.
I agree with Council’s vote to deny development of the Pickwick property. Frankly, they were in a “damn if we did and damn if we didn’t” situation where the City would be sued either by the residents of Rancho or the developer, and Council decided to side with the residents. . It was a decision that would allow a judge as a neutral arbiter to make the final assessment regarding this impasse.
But because of the rejection of state law that was implicit in that vote, there was still the possibility of a lawsuit against the city by the state attorney general’s office. Now, it has been reported that this possibility will soon become a reality.
As former Mayor Michael Hastings stated in his letter to Council, the financial impact of an AG lawsuit could be a devastating blow to our city just as we finally achieve financial stability. The millions sucked from our budget to fight an AG action and pay the resulting fines could potentially impact all of our municipal services. We’re barely making ends meet right now.
Additionally, Rancho residents expect the city to purchase the Mariposa Stables to halt a development project. Again, they assume that millions of dollars of city money will be used to appease their demands. The stables were for sale for two years, during which time those residents could have found a way to buy the stables themselves. But no, why should they invest their own money when they can demand that the taxpayers of Burbank foot the bill. A Rancho realtor told the Burbank chief, “We haven’t lost a fight yet.” It’s clear that they expect the city to pour as much money as they want into the battles they have whenever they say so.
As a resident of Burbank for nearly 30 years, I call on our elected leaders to put the needs of all residents and the financial stability of our city first in their decision-making. We must finally reach the point where the necessities of a city of 100,000 people will not be set aside for the desires of a neighborhood of 15,000 people.