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Newsham to stay on

Ben Godar

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

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Alvord.

Newsham, a former Burbank chief of police, has served on an

interim basis since March, when Alvord replaced Bud Ovrom as city

manager.

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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

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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

pressing issues.

“It’s made it a lot easier for me to not have to drop everything

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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

career.

“I’m retired and happy to be retired, but I’ll help out and make

sure it’s a smooth transition,” he said.


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