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.