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Laura SturzaInterim City Manager Mary Alvord --...

Laura Sturza

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

to pursue.”

These include plans for the Development and Community Services

Building, which are on hold. But Alvord aims to keep services to


residents untouched.

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

choose her.

“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