Burbank Needs Some Wikileaks

Here’s a thing: when you see pitchforks and torches on the horizon just let the incensed villagers know what they want to know. The city of Burbank disclosed that in the wake of budget shortfalls and the overuse of the phrase “tightening our belt” – city employees got a million dollars in bonuses last year. Who? Why? They won’t say. Enter Dan Evans columnist at the Burbank Leader and his new nemesis Juli Scott, the chief assistant city attorney.

Evans writes:

We told Scott that if her refusal constituted the city’s final position, the paper would be forced to file suit to obtain the records. And, if we win, the city will owe us our legal fees.

This, in turn, prompted Scott to reply that she would need to take up the issue with the City Council in closed session, given that we had just threatened legal action. The council, by the way, won’t meet until next year.

All of this is laughable. The city of Burbank is actually going to hold a closed session on whether to release public information?

The call did not improve after that point.

“Are we done?” Scott asked after a particularly heated exchange. “OK. Goodbye.”

On Thursday morning, I dropped by City Hall to give an envelope to Scott. Inside contained a new records request, a copy of a letter written by Olson that explained our position, and a copy of Gretchen’s original request. In my request, I asked for all forms of pay, including the bonuses.

In fairness one million bucks in bonuses for over 500 people isn’t Bell-ish by any stretch. However in this climate – and as professional tattletales…er journalists – bring on the sunshine!

Read Evans’ column here.