COUNCIL RUNOFF ELECTION FIGURES TO GET PERSONAL.
Incumbent Councilman Ted McConkey and magazine editor David Laurell will face off in the April 13 general election, but it may end up being more personal than political.
Laurell, who came in second in Tuesday's primary contest, said Wednesday that he agrees with McConkey on most of the major issues facing the city. However, he said McConkey's demeanor at council meetings and his inability to get along with council colleagues suggest it's time for a change. Laurell has been endorsed by the three City Council members whose seats were not up for election Tuesday - Stacey Murphy, Bill Wiggins and Mayor Dave Golonski.
``For the past 3-1/2 years, I have been embarrassed by the way this man behaves. He's not a positive force for the city,'' Laurell said. ``Voters are sick and tired of politicians who are more involved in game playing than doing the work of the people.''
But McConkey fires back that there's a reason why his council colleagues want him ousted.
``They resent anyone who questions their decisions. So the plan is out I go and in comes someone who is going to play footsie with them and smile,'' McConkey said. Laurell, he said, will be a rubber stamp for the other members of the council.
Unofficial final returns for the race for two seats on the City Council on Tuesday showed Councilman Bob Kramer winning a second term outright by taking 68.3 percent of the ballots cast. Any candidate winning 50 percent of the ballots cast avoids the general contest.
Seven candidates sought the two open seats.
As the next two top vote-getters, Laurell, who received 39.9 percent of the vote, and McConkey, who received 37.6 percent, will face each other in the general election.
Burbank Vice Mayor Stacey Murphy has been actively supporting Laurell and was pleased to see him come in second Tuesday night.
``Ted is a mean-spirited person,'' Murphy said. ``There are ways to get things accomplished without insulting people. The meetings are extremely difficult.''
McConkey denies that he and Laurell are the same except for the personality issue. He said Laurell supports a 19-gate expanded terminal at Burbank Airport, while McConkey only supports 16 gates. Both oppose expansion with a curfew on night flights and a noise budget. But Laurell said 19 gates is a good compromise. ``It's what needs to be done to be reasonable,'' Laurell said.
McConkey was first elected in 1995. He and Kramer swept into office as residential activists opposed to airport expansion. Since their election in 1995, the city has been involved in an intense and expensive legal battle with the Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport Authority. City officials oppose expansion without protections in place to prevent unlimited growth.
The Laurell-McConkey battle will be the only one on the ballot April 13. All three seats in the school board race were filled in the primary.
School board members Elena Hubbell and Mike McDonald were re-elected. Flooring contractor Richard Raad was elected to his first term. Each candidate won because each was selected by more than 50 percent of the voters who cast ballots Tuesday.
The election drew a low turnout, with less than 16 percent of the registered voters showing up at the polls.
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|Publication:||Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)|
|Date:||Feb 25, 1999|
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