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City may loosen job qualifications

Ben Godar

City officials are hoping that by loosening the minimum qualification

standards for filling management positions they will be able to keep

qualified candidates from being eliminated before they are even



Under a resolution expected to be adopted at Tuesday’s City

Council meeting, applicants for all management and executive

positions not represented by a union would be given more flexibility


in the areas of work and education experience that would qualify them

for a job.

“We can have qualified individuals with years of experience, but

they may not have completed the right level of education,” Management

Services Administrative Officer Joanne Koch said.

In addition to helping experienced individuals who are lacking in

education, Koch said it would benefit many entry-level candidates who

lack experience because they have pursued advanced degrees.


The search for a new superintendent for the Burbank Animal Shelter

was an example Koch said demonstrated the need for more flexibility.

Before eventually assigning the position to a police lieutenant, city

officials twice broadened the type of experience necessary after some

potentially qualified candidates were eliminated automatically.

Councilman Todd Campbell said loosening the minimum qualifications

could only be a positive thing for the city.

“There are a lot of CEOs out there who don’t have a master’s in


business administration,” he said. “The same is true of any

profession. If you have someone who’s qualified, why would it hold

you back?”

The proposed change would affect about 250 positions, and Koch

said management positions represented by unions already receive such


Since individuals who do not meet the specified requirements for a

position would still have to pass interviews and other screening

procedures, Koch said the change will not mean less-qualified people

will be hired.

“This means we’re going to exclude fewer people in the very

beginning,” she said.