Councilman David Gordon looks to 'preserve Burbank's traditions'

The longest-tenured member on the Burbank City Council, David Gordon believes that his 11 years on the council have given him the tools and knowledge to serve the city.

After more than a decade of being involved in city government, Gordon, 61, shows no sign of slowing as he campaigns for his fourth term on the City Council.

"I decided to run for reelection to continue providing a strong, unwavering voice for neighborhood protection, preserve and apply institutional knowledge and leadership to confront the many challenges facing our city today and to ask the hard, undiluted questions and insist on receiving the clear, unambiguous answers necessary for a truly open, transparent government to earn the public's trust," Gordon said.

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Because of his lengthy stay on the council, Gordon said that he has learned to "recall when similar issues came up in the past, how they were previously handled and what were the outcomes.

"My time on the council has taught me how to carefully listen to public speakers so I can better understand their concerns and how best to reply to them," he said.

Out of the 11 years on the council, Gordon has missed only one meeting. Despite that one absence, Gordon said that he will continue to thoroughly research the facts on every issue that comes before council members.

"I will never hesitate to call for change when change is needed, preserve Burbank's traditions and character when preservation is threatened and never hesitate to always put the people first," he said.

What do you consider to be the biggest issue facing Burbank today?

Economic development, housing and infrastructure are among the issues Gordon considers to be the biggest in Burbank.

He has been a major proponent for creating workforce development and career technical education "so that today's and tomorrow's workforce have the high-tech skills necessary to competitively obtain and keep steady, good-paying local jobs," he said.

"We must likewise move quickly to provide attainable housing across a broad range of household needs and incomes," Gordon said. "Workforce housing and economic development are critically linked. By demonstrating local leadership in providing adequate, private-sector housing for first-time homeowners, seniors and families seeking multifamily residential options, the city can offset state mandates to provide dense, low-cost housing projects that bypass local control."

Additionally, Gordon said that the city's infrastructure, which includes streets and public utilities, must be fixed and maintained to better serve residents.

"Doing so will keep our lights on, our water flowing and help mitigate traffic congestion and gridlock," he said.

How would you ensure that the members of the Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport Authority stick to what they told voters they would do?

Though many Burbank residents still have questions about what the Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport Authority will do in regards to a 14-gate replacement terminal project at Hollywood Burbank Airport, Gordon said that those issues "should have been addressed and the assurances memorialized in writing before the airport terminal project was approved.

"Unfortunately, detailed plans were never provided to the decision-makers or the public prior to the entitlements being vested and [the] city's powerful land-use easements were given away. So it is difficult to hold the airport authority accountable to stick to a vaguely defined 'conceptual project," he said.

"Any verbal assurances given to voters may well evaporate and be forgotten by the time the first shovel of soil is turned on the project some seven to 10 years away, and all the project proponents are comfortably retired and/or living out of the area," he added.

How would you ensure that the city's budget is balanced without pulling money from the General Fund?

Gordon said he and his colleagues are aware of the projected increasing deficits that the city faces over the next five years should it not address the city's revenues and expenditures.

He said that the City Council needs to stop "giving millions of taxpayer dollars away by writing down a city property's value, then selling it at a fire-sale price.

"This occurred with the recently approved Talaria project, creating a multimillion-dollar windfall for the favored developer, but burning a big hole in the pocketbook for Burbank's General Fund," Gordon said.

Additionally, Gordon said that the city must continue to attract new businesses and manufacturing companies to Burbank to increase revenues, and officials must make sure every city department is working efficiently while maintaining a level of quality.

"The city must continue to work closely with its labor groups not only to ensure good wages and benefits for its employees, but to pay down pension liabilities as aggressively as possible," Gordon said.

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Anthony Clark Carpio, anthonyclark.carpio@latimes.com

Twitter: @acocarpio

Copyright © 2017, Burbank Leader

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