Interim Assistant City Manager Dave Newsham, who was originally
expected to serve until September, will likely continue in his
present role until next spring, according to City Manager Mary
Newsham, a former Burbank chief of police, has served on an
interim basis since March, when Alvord replaced Bud Ovrom as city
As a retired city employee, Newsham cannot work more than six
months without jeopardizing his retirement benefits. City officials
expected to hire a permanent replacement by September but have yet to
do so, and Alvord said they have asked Newsham to work part-time and
take periods of leave that will allow him to work through the end of
the calendar year without losing benefits.
“There isn’t a lot about the city he doesn’t know,” she said.
“Having someone who already worked here and had been involved with
safety in the past -- we didn’t miss a beat.”
Alvord said she will consider some internal candidates and then
potentially conduct a search, but doesn’t anticipate a full-time
replacement coming on board until spring 2004.
With budget cuts dominating her time since she became city
manager, Alvord said having Newsham has allowed her to focus on more
“It’s made it a lot easier for me to not have to drop everything
and deal with [finding a permanent assistant city manager] right
away,” she said.
Newsham, a Burbank resident, said he chose to remain on the job
because he cares about the city and wants to see it make a smooth
transition. What makes the job of assistant city manager interesting,
he said, is that he and Alvord are working to redefine what its role
will be under her leadership style.
“Mary’s style and the issues facing the city are much different
than the issues that confronted Bud in his years,” Newsham said. “The
job of assistant city manager is going to evolve too.”
While he may be staying on longer than he intended, Newsham
emphasized that he does not plan to make his present job a second
“I’m retired and happy to be retired, but I’ll help out and make
sure it’s a smooth transition,” he said.