Burbank Mayor Will Rogers Dead at 60
Burbank Mayor Will Rogers has lost his battle with Stage IV liver cancer and non-alcoholic cirrhosis. The mayor passed away Thursday at the age of 60.
Rogers moved to Southern California from the Midwest in 1979. In 1990, he became a columnist for the Burbank Leader and received several distinguished awards for his writing. He was elected to the City Council in 2015 and began serving as mayor on May 1 of last year.
Rogers was known as a champion for government transparency and civic engagement. One of his key accomplishments included revamping the agenda format for council meetings to boost resident participation.
Last September, Rogers announced that he had been diagnosed with cancer for the fourth time, but that the latest diagnosis was unique in its severity. Despite his illness, Rogers continued working.
"He was very determined to finish his year as mayor, regardless of the personal cost to his health because he believed in service to others above himself," said City Councilman Bob Frutos.
"He really was at the top of his game," said Vice Mayor Emily Gabel-Luddy, who is now fulfilling Rogers’ duties as mayor. "He was funny, witty and had that self-deprecating humor. That's how I want to remember him — how much joy and laughter he brought to the community as a whole and certainly how he kept the council laughing."
The city has 30 days to fill the vacancy on the City Council. The new member will serve out the remainder of Rogers’ term, which ends April 2019.