Former chief will provide back up

Laura Sturza

In his first days as interim assistant city manager, former police

chief Dave Newsham said he is busy “reading a mountain of paper,

trying to get back up to speed” on the city’s operations.


Newsham was pulled from a retirement that had him and his wife Pat

dividing their time between Burbank and Florida. He joins Interim

City Manager Mary Alvord as she transitions to her new post.

“I was a little surprised to get the call, but the reality is I


know the people, I know the process, and I know Mary really well,”

Newsham said of his temporary job, which started Wednesday.

Alvord is negotiating terms of a permanent contract as city

manager, replacing former city manager Bud Ovrom, who started work as

the head of the Los Angeles Community Redevelopment Agency on March

1. Alvord was Ovrom’s assistant city manager.

"[Dave has] been a part of the executive team in the past,” Alvord

said. “He’s a go-to, get-things-done guy,” Alvord said. “We needed


somebody that’s interim, that doesn’t reach into our organization and

leave a hole in our executive staff.”

Newsham’s contract is for up to six months. As a retired city

employee, he cannot work more than six months without jeopardizing

his retirement benefits, he said. Newsham, 60, will earn between

$10,303 and $12,518 each month in the interim position.

“This is strictly a temporary assignment ... I’m very happily

retired,” said Newsham, who was police chief for nine years, followed


by a five-month stint as interim information technology director in

2000. “If I can help Mary be successful and take a load off of her

during this transition, then that is 100% of my interest.”

Some of his duties include helping to coordinate issues that

concern more than one department, and managing the City Council’s


In searching for a permanent assistant city manager, Alvord will

meet with department heads to determine the traits they are looking

for in a candidate.