Burbank, CA – Burbank Mayor, Will Rogers, delivered the State of the City address at a luncheon organized by the Burbank Chamber of Commerce. Mayor Rogers emphasized the theme, “dreams and imagination”, looking both at Burbank’s history and towards its future. The event was held on Wednesday, October 25th, 2017 at the Los Angeles Marriott Burbank Airport Convention Center. The event was attended by over 500 City residents, workers, community leaders, and public officials.
Mayor Rogers acknowledged several of Burbank’s historical icons and achievements. “In Burbank, we have benefited from the visionaries,” said Rogers, paying homage to the Lockheed Skunk Works, which occupied the space that is now Hollywood Burbank Airport, and Walt Disney and his many creations. He also noted equally important, but less heralded, accomplishments, from joining the Metropolitan Water District in 1928, to establishing One Burbank, an extensive fiber-optic network that provides high-speed Internet connectivity and data transfer to much of the entertainment industry.
The Mayor then recognized the City’s more recent milestones, achieved over the past year. He celebrated the voters’ approval of a replacement terminal for the Hollywood Burbank Airport, after many years of discussion and discord. He noted the City Council’s unanimous approval of the “First Street Village” project, which will include shops, apartments, and green space, including 14 affordable housing units, subsidized by the developer.
Rogers applauded the City on passing a budget, and implementing the PASS Program, which provides Burbank residents, who are in need of financial assistance, the opportunity to engage and apply for Burbank programs, activities, and services. He shared that the City had provided easier technological access to City Hall information, including implementing OpenGov, a “government performance management system” designed to increase transparency and efficiency.
Burbank’s many new businesses were highlighted, including IKEA, REI, Yard House, Boiling Crab, Cascabel Taco Shop, Chronic Tacos, Drybar, Fresh Brothers Pizza, Grilliant Salads and Kabobs, Hilton Garden Inn, Urban Press Winery, Juice Bar, Morphe, Wine & Design, Red Maple Cafe, Blizzard Arena, WeWork, and the Carving Board Sandwiches. Several businesses “coming soon” were also highlighted, including H&M, Shoe Palace, Target Express, Naimie’s Beauty Center, Touchstone Climbing, Cost Plus World Market, and Whole Foods Market.
Mayor Rogers also addressed several of the challenges facing Burbank over the coming years. Top among these is the City’s looming budget deficit, which he said would be a City Council priority over the next two years. “No more kicking the can down the road for someone else to deal with,” said Rogers, “We want to be known as dreamers and achievers.” Rogers further discussed challenges such as the job/housing imbalance, traffic, parking, and the growing “infrastructure debt” resulting from aging infrastructure and deferred spending.
In a video presntation, Rogers highlighted several of Burbank’s most notable businesses, including:
- Next Generation ESports (NGE), a national leader in e-sports gaming & broadcasting
- Canon Burbank, a hub for professional photographers, videographers, and entertainment companies.
- The new Nickelodeon Headquarters, establishing Burbank as Nickelodeon’s long-term home
- Applied Minds, an aviation and defense company that blends technology and design, and has over 1,000 patents pending
- Coloredge, a national leader in high-end visual marketing solutions
Mayor Rogers struck a tone that was simultaneously somber, inspirational, humorous, and grateful. He reflected, in light-hearted terms, on his own personal challenge of dealing with advanced liver cancer. He encouraged Burbank and all its citizens to apply long-term thinking to building our community. “We owe it to [our City’s children] to build with purpose,” said Rogers. The Mayor gave thanks to the City Council for the mutual respect and camaraderie they have shown over the past months. He thanked the City Staff for their unique and innovative research, ideas, and solutions. He thanked the community for their outpouring support for him personally, and for the City as a whole. And he thanked his wife, a rare guest at City functions, for her unwavering support over the years.
The luncheon was concluded with a strong show of emotional support for Mayor Rogers, as he battles advanced liver cancer. The City Council presented Rogers with bouquets of pink flamingos, and one large inflated pink flamingo, while the crowd waved pink flamingo pinwheels. The pink flamingo has become a sign of support for Will – having long been featured on his front lawn, neighbors started placing them outside City Hall as a gesture of tribute and caring.
The State of the City Luncheon was organized by the Burbank Chamber of Commerce, and was sponsored by: Burbank City Federal Credit Union, Burbank Town Center, Crown Realty & Development Corp., Cusumano Real Estate Group, Hollywood Burbank Airport, La Terra Development, LLC, Overton Moore Properties, UCLA Health, The Walt Disney Company, Warner Bros. Entertainment, Inc., Worthe Real Estate Group, Athens Services, Burbank Association of Realtors, Comcast/NBCUniversal, Logix Federal Credit Union, Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center, SoCalGas, UBS, Woodbury University, Burrtec Waste Industries, Inc., Community Chevrolet, and Counterintuity.
The Burbank Chamber of Commerce is the leading public policy advocate for business, promoting economic growth and initiatives that enhance and preserve quality of life in the Burbank Community. The Chamber represents nearly 1,000 members businesses, and their 33,000+ employees, in and around Burbank. For more information, or to join the Chamber, please email Chris Hunter (firstname.lastname@example.org).