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From The Bullpen: Don't vilify families that work together

February 04, 2011|By Craig Sherwood

OK class, your vocabulary word this month is “nepotism.” Wikipedia defines nepotism as favoritism granted to relatives or friends regardless of merit.

What it seems to mean in Burbank is if you have a relative also working for the city, you are guilty of some crime, or you have no ethics.

From what I have experienced, the real definition of nepotism exists only in two areas. One is the studios. Let’s face it, there seems to be nowhere for you to go and fill out an application or submit a resume for a job in the studios — it’s all about who you know and how well you can network for most of the everyday jobs. Of course, once you get in, you better get your job done or you will find yourself on the outside.


Secondly, nepotism can be found in family businesses. A father who runs a business is always happy when his son or daughter grow up and show interest in the business and some day takes it over. It gives him a sense of pride.

In many businesses you will see members of a family working.

As a son gets older, he may take an interest in the same line of work as his father, who has worked many years at the same company. When it comes time to look for a job, the son will look at finding a job at the same company due to his familiarity with the type of work and the company.

You see it all the time when it comes to police and fire personnel. Many kids follow their parents into the same line of work because they grew up around it. It is not wrong; it is American life.

Now people are looking at the city of Burbank and accusing officials of nepotism just because members of the same family are working in various departments.

A lot of this involves the bonuses that have been paid out for various reasons. Everyone automatically thinks that Burbank is another Bell and there are crooked things going on.

Everyone thinks that since the L.A. Times broke the Bell story (and the Times was tipped off about it), that every city is like Bell and now they will bring down that city the same way that Woodward and Bernstein took down Nixon.

Yes, I agree with and applaud The Leader and The Times for holding Burbank accountable for the bonuses, but only because I want to make sure not one person or group of people got unfair sums. I do not want to see every amount paid to every worker. Anyone who was paid 5% or less of his salary as a bonus probably deserved it.

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