Interim City Manager Mary Alvord -- whom the city plans to court to
take the job permanently -- says she is up to the task of not only
following the blueprint left by her predecessor, Bud Ovrom, but to
leave her own mark as well.
Her goals that follow Ovrom’s include revitalizing downtown,
completing the South San Fernando Park Project and securing grant
funds for a new Central Library and renovations at the Northwest
“We have a lot of balls in the air that are going to keep me busy
for quite awhile,” said Alvord, who was Ovrom’s assistant city
The City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to begin contract talks
with her to assume the city manager’s post permanently. A Burbank
native, Alvord would be the first woman to hold the job in Burbank’s
She is taking over a city that faces the budgeting challenges with
unknown state cuts and a projected budget deficit for the city next
year, which Alvord will be working to balance.
“The next two to three years, we are going to be fiscally
constrained,” Alvord said. “A lot of bigger projects we won’t be able
These include plans for the Development and Community Services
Building, which are on hold. But Alvord aims to keep services to
She is also considering how to maintain a strong executive team,
since several members will be eligible for retirement in a few years.
Alvord plans to retire in three to four years.
“We have got to get our young talent ready to take over the
organization,” Alvord said.
“Once it was very clear [Bud] was going to go, I had several weeks
behind the wheel to take [the job] out for a test drive,” said
Alvord, 53. “It felt right.”
Alvord has already received support from others in the city to be
its new leader.
“She has the experience, knowledge of the city, and maturity of
judgment to do that job,” said Ron Davis, Burbank Water and Power
general manager. “We may have to face a lot of cuts ... she knows all
of our programs, the people who run them and the constituency they
serve. Who better to help you prioritize programs?”
Alvord’s career with the city started 33 years ago, working her
way from a junior recreation leader to her job since April 2000 as
assistant city manager.
The council could have sought outside or internal applicants for
the job, or made a direct offer to a candidate they selected without
formally recruiting. But the time and money involved in conducting a
search, the learning curve an outsider would have to navigate and
Alvord’s qualifications were cited by council members as reasons to
“I think she’s going to do a great job and she’s going to look
after her city,” Councilman Dave Golonski said. Alvord’s monthly
salary range as assistant city manager was $10,303 to $12,518. As
city manager, she will earn between $12,092 and $14,692.
An interim assistant city manager -- someone who has worked for
the city -- is scheduled to be announced next week, Alvord said. She
declined to give further details about who she plans to place in that