Sharon Springer

Why are you running for City Council?

I am an incumbent running for a second term. We've accomplished a lot in my first term and I would like to continue the items I started and engage in new ones. I have lived in Burbank for 30 years. In 2005-2006 I led a traffic calming project on my street. It was a fulfilling experience to lead my neighbors in a public process through to a positive outcome and a safer street. That process was the first time it entered my mind that one day I might run for office. As I became more and more involved in the community, I attended City Council meetings. I served 6 years on the Sustainable Burbank Commission and 2 years on the BWP Board. I saw much accomplished with many challenges. In 2015, I was at a point on how best to move forward with my life and I decided to run for City Council and impact the direction of my home city and help Burbank residents. I wanted to be a publicly elected voice, to speak up in a position where I could make a difference for change in an equitable manner for all. In a positive way, I wanted to use my education, experience and the strength and toughness I have gained in my life to serve my community. I never give up and I never quit. I lost the City Council race in 2015, ran again, and won in 2017. I'm running for reelection and asking for your endorsement.

What will you add to City Council that is needed?

With all due respect to my fellow candidates, I am the only candidate who has served on the Council. I have experience and understand the process, the demands, the work load and the myriad of challenges that have measurable effects on the City. I believe in the absolute need to reach out, fight for the community, meet face to face with residents and be transparent. The singular role of City Council is to function for the benefit of all of Burbank --- not to
independent or political bias. We have generational challenges facing Burbank in the coming years. More than ever before, my experience is essential in facing the challenging years ahead of us.

Gun Stores

Burbank is currently #2 in the US in the number of gun stores per capita. Residents are demanding that action be taken to reduce the number of gun stores here. What is your stance on the number of gun stores in Burbank? If you think there are too many, and if so, what actions will you take to reduce the number of gun stores? If you disagree that the number is too high, what action will you take to address residents’ concerns about public safety? Would you support a City excise tax on guns and ammunition?
There are too many gun stores in Burbank and I seek to cap and reduce the concentration. I supported a moratorium to prevent the establishment of new gun stores through July 2023. During the moratorium, the City will study zoning regulations and other measures in order to cap the current number and decrease the number through expedited attrition. Our residents and children are concerned and frightened. This is not a Second Amendment issue. With the concentration of gun stores, anyone qualified in Burbank can walk in any day, any time and buy a gun. Zoning changes must be approved to insure that any relocations by the existing stores are not located near sensitive sites like religious centers and especially schools. If an existing store does want to relocate it must be something that is presented to and approved, or not, by the Council. I will lead the zoning process that, through new zoning laws, will, once and for all, address the issue and permanently correct it. Any proposed excise tax must be considered by the City Attorney's Office.
Council Influencers

What Burbank organizations (Corporations, nonprofits, etc.) do you see as playing an influential role in Council decision-making? What specifically do you feel these organizations contribute to Council decisions that is productive? not productive? Please give some examples. If elected, what Burbank community organizations will you see as influencers in regard to your decisions as a council member and why?

First and foremost the entire Burbank community must be considered. No member of Council can properly perform his/her elected function without the input, pro or con, of the Burbank community --- transparency. Burbank is my base.
All the organizations, corporations, non profits, small businesses, city, political, unions play an influential role in Council decisions. I usually choose collaboration versus an "us against them approach." Collectively, they all represent a cross section of the population and provide a myriad of different opinions while alerting City Council of issues that otherwise would not be identified. An example: A decision made for the benefit of one entity but to the detriment of other entities in the City, is a bad and unfair decision. Another example is the work schedule/location of our media workers. If employees continue to work from home, at a micro level, our Burbank Bus Pink Route schedule might need revision. Also, we may face a surplus of office square footage and might consider adaptive re-use for the benefit of Burbank. The Council is the voice of the Burbank community. In most, if not all cases, what affects one will affect all.

Pandemic Response and Planning

Critique the response of Burbank elected officials and Staff to the Covid pandemic starting in March 2020 to the present. What do you think worked best for the community and what needs to be improved? Do you support the City creating a formal Pandemic Response Plan for future contagions? What factors do you feel are crucial to be incorporated in a comprehensive plan?
I was Mayor during the first year of the COVID pandemic and appeared in weekly videos for the benefit of Burbank residents and businesses. At times, the situation was rapidly changing and it was a very stressful time for many. We, as the collaborative City of Burbank, staff, residents and City Council kept people informed, provided financial assistance, fed, housed, vaccinated and provided residents with the services they needed. Burbank delivered thousands of meals, participated in food drives, provided over $500,000 in tenant and landlord assistance, paid utility bills, kept seniors and our disabled connected with the award winning Project Hope program, provided free public transportation, connected workers with unemployment assistance and more. I propose coordinating with Providence St. Joseph's Medical Center on a Pandemic Response Plan for all of Burbank Critical factors will be determined by the City's collaboration with St. Joseph Medical Center. Factors: communication, reports, targeted messages, vaccination protocols, protection of our most vulnerable.


If elected, what will you change in regard to the actions the city has taken to obtain additional funding for homelessness services such as the MHET Team, housing and other necessities?
Do you think the homeless in Burbank are getting the services they need? If so, what are those services? If not, what more is needed?
Describe what actions your would take to help the most vulnerable homeless, such as teenagers, LBGTQIA, substance abusers, domestic violence survivors and those needing mental health services.

I will continue to press for a local return on Burbank's Measure H contribution to the County. Burbank provides services to our homeless if they are willing to accept the services. The challenge is  service resistance. City Council approved the Burbank  Homelessness Plan. The City proactively works with our homeless population to provide housing, provide needed services, get our unhoused on their feet, and integrate them back into their families and society. Burbank has engaged StreetPlus. Through this collaboration over 100 of our unhoused residents have been reunited with families or relocated into housing. Burbank works closely with Family Service Agency, Home Again LA, Ascencia, and Burbank Temporary Aid Center to help our unhoused residents.
Burbank is moving forward with a Tiny Homes Village. The Village is proposed to have 27 units with capacity for 48 to 50 adult individuals. Burbank does not discriminate against our homeless. We extend help, programs and services to all our unhoused residents. We do not exclude anyone based on age, LGBTQIA or other characteristics. We work with the aforementioned non profits so that no one slips through the cracks. As noted in a previous paragraph, there are often service resistance issues.
Interesting article - less than
of homeless will accept group shelter. I think we’re on the right track with a Tiny Homes Village and wraparound services.  In September 2021 Burbank opened the SAFE program which provides a location for homeless adults to store their possessions while they are being provided case management and wrap-around services from local partners such as the Burbank Temporary Aid Center, Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center and the Salvation Army, which oversees the program. There is capacity for 60 people to store their possessions at the SAFE.

Public Transportation

Do you support the creation of a public transportation system for Burbank residents that would be focused on transporting residents throughout Burbank only? If so, why and if not, why not?
What incentives would you support to promote this public transportation use by Burbank residents that is not limited to being part of residents’ commutes?

There will be overlap. Pre-pandemic, the Pink Route exceeded all ridership expectations. It was used by media workers to reach the studios. Personally, I use it to shop at Wholefoods and to access the Universal Studios Red Line. Seniors are asking for transportation that will take them to Burbank  locations and also into nearby cities, for example, to doctor
appointments. Metro Micro is being used and that service will be improved moving forward to best meet the needs of Burbank riders. Public transportation is expensive to provide and I often think about the best way to improve access. I will move forward the study of providing shared ride subsidies for our low income, and mobile phone training so
riders know how to access the service. I do not own a car and I enjoy the freedom that comes with being car free. I lead by walking. I will move forward the following goals: Move 20% of vehicle users to public, shared ride and active transportation. Negotiate with Amtrak for a Downtown Burbank stop which combined with Metrolink will achieve 15 minute train frequency.
Support and advocate  rehabbing the Olive and Magnolia bridges as cross town “people crossings.” Further implement our Bicycle Master Plan 001.pdf/53be8720-2d59-19ad-bd4a-168ac74d7d22?t=1612567201263and projects

in our Complete Streets Plan.  I have asked staff for an update on our Complete Streets Plan progress. And as a member of City Council and Walk Bike Burbank advocate, will ask for a Bicycle Master Plan update. Examine Burbank Bus routes and maximize efficiency - change if necessary. Do everything within the context of Universal Design - Access for people with all disabilities and abilities. I support rapid expansion of EV charging stations in Burbank. BRT Bus Rapid Transit is proposed through Burbank. I use the Orange Line and support the BRT through Burbank, but with mixed flow until a  threshold ridership is achieved. This will allow time to retrofit the Olive Bridge so that there is a regional connection with the DTN Burbank Metrolink, the second busiest station in the system. This will also provide equity to our senior and disabled population. They also want access. Retrofit of the Olive Bridge will provide safe and equitable access.

Mental Health in the Community

The pandemic and economic crisis have taken an emotional and mental toll on our residents. While there are teen programs as part of BUSD for mental health support, there are no programs for adults in Burbank that allow that type of access to help. Do you think that City Council should take action on finding ways to provide this access? If so, what is your plan for assisting residents who are mentally and emotionally struggling?

I think we as individuals could always improve on being good neighbors. We must stay engaged with our friends and neighbors and make sure they have what they need. Burbank is a full service city and our programs are award winning and I will continue to work diligently so that our residents are connected with those services and that network. We have the Joslyn Center, Parks and Rec, the Library, BPD and BFD. Staff is trained and has contacts with a comprehensive mental health network. We must work hard to make sure our residents are connected and aware. Family Service Agency helps our youth and families, adults, single moms, domestic abuse victims. For seniors we have: Project HOPE is a free program that assists Burbank residents age 55+ with grocery shopping, picking up prescriptions, dropping off items at the post office, and other essential errands. Phone Pals is a City of Burbank volunteer program that pairs adults 55+ with a volunteer who provides regular social phone calls. I have senior friends who rely on Project Hope and Phone Pals and I know one friend who was connected with a city employed social worker for more in depth assistance.

Affordable Housing

What additional steps would you take to expand access to affordable housing in Burbank?
What has not been done by City Council that you see as helping to solve the housing crisis and comply with the State mandate to build more housing?

Develop policy to bring the housing supply up, costs down and make progress on increasing home ownership with a goal of 60% within 20 years. Move forward with our 100% renewable energy goal in mind - 100% electric on new construction. Continue to advocate for local control. Focus on housing in the following Specific Plan areas: Burbank Center Plan (including Civic Plaza), Media District Plan and Golden State Plan. Lead on the ownership program and have a working program/policy in place, that continues into the future. The goal is to extend home ownership and provide the opportunity for generational wealth building and stabilized housing costs to first time home buyers. Have adequate rental supply so that affordable units are available for different income levels. Exploit and maximize the voucher system so that we can include as many needy residents as possible. Locate housing close to employment opportunities and transportation.

Water Use

What plan would you implement to increase public awareness of our water crisis and effectively decrease public consumption of water by residents and businesses?
What changes can be made to decrease water consumption by Burbank City agencies?

Climate change and water restrictions have gotten our resident's attention. Water restrictions reduce consumption.
Water - Extend our recycled water infrastructure, help residents set up gray water systems and have a goal of 20% gray water systems. Accept that drought is permanent and develop long term plans to continue the flow of water. Suggestions include gas pipeline bring transitioned to bring water from far away, wet locations. Collaborate with Los Angeles on stormwater capture. Use and re-use every imported drop of water. Move forward with direct potable recharge as quickly as possible.

Housing Development

Describe what you see as the ideal housing development project for Burbank – what would be included, excluded, emphasized and successful
The ideal housing development would require an assemblage of smaller parcels, probably improved with old single or two story office buildings. If not historic, they would likely have to be demolished. The intersection of Angeleno and Glenoaks comes to mind as a future redevelopment site. It is within walking distance of Metro, future BRT, the Bus depot, employment opportunities, the library, shopping. The site is proximate to the Courthouse parking garage and there is the possibility of shared residential use of the structure. • Affordable units: current city requirement is 15% of units must be affordable. There are some offsets such as density bonus. The important factor is to continue to recognize and implement the project commitment to affordable housing. It is also important to spread the affordable housing units throughout the development and not to house them all in one section. • Location close to a transportation hub: an example would be a train/bus hub to which tenants can walk and therefore not take a car or bus. Good for the environment and reducing traffic. An absolute must. • Universal Design to accommodate our seniors and disabled. • Environmental: nothing less than Leed certified gold. City should always push for platinum. State of the art air conditioning/heating, MERV filtration, utilities, safety windows, noise sound soaking, sound walls where necessary (near freeways). • Parking: must comply with all parking codes. Chargers and wired for electric vehicles. Space for bicycles. Handicap spaces. Easy in/out ingress and egress. • Development must be compatible with the surrounding neighborhood if not over ridden by SB35. • If not SB35, there must be community outreach: prior to the project going forward to public hearings. • Provide in house amenities: retail stores, pool and entertainment facilities on roof, health club, cleaners, work/home apartments on ground floor. Emphasize the development is, in and of itself, a community. • For rent/for sale: encourage for sale units vs. for rent. Increase the number of for sale units so that residents can buy a home and have the opportunity to build generational wealth. • Infrastructure: whether residential or commercial, always be aware of the absolute need of the city to provide and upgrade the necessary infrastructure for new growth. In its’ continuing intrusion into local control, Sacramento is demanding building of residential properties without regard to infrastructure capacity. Burbank is committed to an initial goal to build 12,000 residential units in 15 years. The time period is now down to around 13 years with an estimated 2,000 units entitled or under construction. Water, power, school facilities, streets are all operational and financial challenges. Burbank is facing tens of millions of dollars in unfunded infrastructure needs while forced to comply with state laws that strip us of local control. There is a need for housing. I will continue to work with our elected representatives in Sacramento to further their understanding of the consequences of SB35 and insist that they work more closely with Burbank.

Business Development

How do you plan to focus beneficial development on under served areas and neighborhoods in Burbank to revitalize those business districts? Examples are Burbank Blvd., Olive, and Victory.

Small businesses in Burbank are still struggling. Describe your plan of action that would help these locally owned businesses survive the present challenges and build a stable future

There is no question but that small businesses are struggling. While Covid has made the situation more challenging, there is hope and a lot of work to do. One important thing to do is to recognize and empower leaders who have a vision for their neighborhood, both residentially and commercially.  Next is for the city to commit to the neighborhood and vision, establish a timeline, and move that vision forward.  We must build up small business, and entrepreneurs, not stymie them and inadvertently tear them down with bad policy.  I will continue to implement programs so that individual talents of our business owners and workers are allowed to flourish and that we all benefit from their creativity and innovation.  Small business is a route out of poverty for someone with a good idea and the stamina to make it happen.  We need to help them.  We need to shop, dine and patronize Burbank small business.  I will continue to work with The Burbank Chamber of Commerce to help our businesses flourish and encourage regular Chamber "reporting out" at City Council meetings. This is not something that involves just the Chamber and the businesses. I will continue to work with our Community and Economic Development Departments to further the wellbeing of our businesses and help new ones get up on their feet.  As a former business owner, I know that a very important factor is the availability and the cost of debt.  I will continue make sure that our City programs are informative for our small businesses and are provided links to resources that they need. Therefore, my plan is first micro rather than macro. The Chamber, Community Development and the Council representatives are a strong united team from the first day. Our first assignment is to reach out separately to each sector and ask for a neighborhood team of an agreed upon number of members. Nothing can be achieved without, individually, everyone at the table. That plan must be accepted, not imposed.

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