Photo: from city of Burbank website
I don’t know if Burbank Mayor Gary Bric plays any street basketball, but it’s pretty clear he can trash talk. Earlier in the week, I popped over to Jim Carlile’s Burbank blog and discovered a post from last Tuesday, June 30 about some caustic e-mails he got from the mayor. The town is abuzz with chatter about these e-mail zingers.
Mayor Bric apparently got steamed under the collar after reading one of Carlile’s letters in the Mailbag section of The Burbank Leader newspaper. Here’s a sampling of the mayor’s e-mails to Carlile.
“Jim or may I call you Jimmy like your mommy probably did. Never heard back from you and even left you a phone message, you do return calls don’t you. I’ll forward this to Chris at the Burbank Leader so next time you submit a letter to the “MAILBAG” they can get additional info on you and we can find out more about you. Look forward to hearing and meeting with you, I won’t need much of your time, trust me.. Have a nice day.” Your friend Mayor Gary Bric 6/24/09.
“Hope mommy didn’t take your computer away, still haven’t heard back from you. Your quite the letter writer with WORD PRESS.COM. Are you still having problems sleeping at night, please let me help you with your problem (s), I’m their for you pal.” Your friend Gary.
“… Don’t forget let’s hook up for coffee one morning, I’ll make you some hot chocolate. Don’t know if I told you but I’m learning more and more about you every day, can’t wait till the reader’s at the Leader learn about you, any skeleton’s in your closet old pal, old buddy. Health and happiness always.” Your friend Gary.
You know, it sounds like the Burbank mayor is threatening to “out” this Burbank Blogger. Gee, what happened to free speech? Also, is this really the kind of conduct you expect from a top city official? The two men have never met face to face. From the vinegar in these e-mails, I guess one can understand why Carlile hasn’t accept the mayor’s invite for a coffee date.
Meanwhile, Carlile tells me he’s taking this e-mail barrage from Bric very seriously:”In all my years of city-watching, this is the first time I have ever heard of a Burbank resident being threatened by the mayor because of protected activities like ‘letters to the editor.’ And threaten me Bric did– he clearly stated that he was going to get the Leader to smear me because of my criticisms, and twice he also physically threatened me. First he claimed that if I was having a hard time sleeping at night, he would help me get to sleep– which sounds like a line in a Humphrey Bogart movie, right before they throw him in the trunk of a car.”
Carlile had a letter to the editor published in The Burbank Leader on June 20, 2009 and that appears to be the one that made Bric flip-out. In his letter, Carlile takes the Burbank City Council to task for its decision to remove newly-appointed police commissioner John Brady, allegedly because Brady is on probation for a DUI. Carlile’s letter dishes out some specific criticisms of Council Members Gary Bric and Anja Reinke for their involvement in Brady’s ouster.
If Bric thought his e-mails would silence Carlile’s well he was wrong. Carlile posted another story about the mayor on Wednesday, July first and it’s a doozy. Carlile points out that Bric’s restaurant doesn’t really have a Burbank address. It’s actually in Sun Valley. The website for Gary Bric’s Ramp claims the restaurant is Burbank’s #1 steakhouse. The site lists the address as 7730 North Hollywood Way, Burbank 91505.
Carlile is not the only one who has noticed this discrepancy. Apparently some city business owners have been complaining for a while, because Bric’s restaurant has been allowed to enter The Burbank Leader’s “Best of Burbank” contest. The Ramp restaurant is not the only business pretending to be in Burbank, but it’s probably the most high profile offender because, you guessed it, the owner is the mayor of Burbank!