Unlike many years, when the city’s top New Year’s resolution was
related to the Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport, Burbank officials
in 2003 will be forced to turn their attention to another concern --
fallout from the state’s budget crisis.
Like cities across California, Burbank officials are holding their
breath awaiting Gov. Gray Davis’ plans for adjusting to the state’s
projected $35-billion deficit. Meanwhile, they continue to plan for
the buildings and services that will keep Burbank a thriving
The challenge of balancing the city’s budget “is going to be
huge,” Financial Services Director Derek Hanway said.
“I don’t think anybody knows yet how [the state’s deficit] is
going to impact us, but it will,” Hanway said.
Expecting a busy year for his department, Hanway said he also is
mindful he might have a smaller staff to do the work.
“The focus will be on reorganizing and redistributing duties,”
In the city’s Human Resources department, director John Nicoll is
braced for up to a 10% cut to the city’s workforce of 1,450
“Our intent is to ... continue to provide effective service and be
as humane as possible in the job losses,” Nicoll said.
Even with the dark forecast, many remain optimistic about projects
that are in the works.
By year’s end, Public Works Director Bruce Feng looks forward to
seeing “that families are enjoying the new Chandler Bike Path and
Feng also wants to keep making progress on the design of the new
Municipal Services Building and the DeBell Golf Course clubhouse so
they “are as successful as the Buena Vista Library,” he said. Public
Works is the department responsible for the earliest work on all city
projects after conceptual planning -- the design phase.
Skateboarders will welcome the new year at their state-of-the-art
facility, scheduled to open Jan. 11, said Mike Flad, director of
Park, Recreation and Community Services.
Flad was joined by City Manager Bud Ovrom, Feng and Vice Mayor
Stacey Murphy in their goal of breaking ground by year’s end on the
2-acre, $6-million South San Fernando Park Project, which will serve
one of Burbank’s most heavily populated and economically
Advancing business is on the mind of Ovrom and Community
Development Director Sue Georgino, who cited openings of the new AMC
Theatre and Urban Outfitters as highlights of the coming year, along
with helping to attract more business to the Media City Center by
working with its new owners.
Though initial projections of up to $23 million in cuts to the
city’s affordable-housing budget no longer appear likely, other
redevelopment funds are in jeopardy, including subsidies for
businesses interested in filling vacancies in Burbank Village and
funding for street improvements.
Making peace in negotiations with the airport, to mitigate noise
and traffic problems, hasn’t gone off the radar.
“I always have the goal of resolving the airport impasse,” Ovrom