Various city departments in Burbank can now start filling the more than 150 vacant positions created by a hiring freeze implemented earlier this year.
The Burbank City Council voted unanimously during a meeting last week to end its six-month hiring freeze, which resulted in 156 positions department heads couldn’t fill due to the policy implemented in May, said Betsy McClinton, management services director for the city.
Council members opted to put in place a short-term halt to hiring as a way to avoid permanent staffing cuts while officials figured out how to address the city’s systemic budget deficit.
The hiring freeze had a negative impact on every city department, especially Parks and Recreation, which had the most vacant part-time and temporary positions during the six-month stint, according to city documents.
Some of the vacant Parks and Recreation positions included lifeguards, facility attendants, locker room attendants and work trainees.
The city’s police department also had to make do without several crossing guards, a crime analyst, forensic specialist and a parking-control officer.
McClinton said it will take about a year to fill all of the vacant positions. However, city staff members are implementing a plan that is projected to cut the hiring time in half.
Councilman Bob Frutos, who said he understood the difficulties each city department had to deal with while being understaffed for the summer, said he appreciated the city employees who had to take on heavier work loads.