The Burbank City Council this week decided to appoint interim replacements for City Clerk Margarita Campos and City Treasurer Donna Anderson — both of whom plan to retire from their elected posts early — rather than hold a special election.
Campos and Anderson, who each have held their elected positions for more than a decade, will be retiring on June 1 and July 7, respectively — roughly a year before their terms are set to end in May 2013.
Campos, who has worked for the city in various capacities since 1974, said in an interview that the time was right for her to go.
“The time comes in everybody's life when they need to make a decision in their personal life,” she said, adding that it was about priorities.
Campos declined to elaborate on what she said was a personal reason to leave office early.
“I have made this decision for my own personal reason and my priorities at this time,” Campos said. “I'm not walking away or leaving a large amount of time on a term.”
Campos was appointed to fill an unexpired term as city clerk before being elected twice to the office — highlighting the political advantage her interim replacement would have going into the April 2013 citywide election as quasi-incumbent.
Anderson, who began working for the city in 1986 before being elected treasurer in 2001, said she made the decision to retire because of illnesses in her family.
“When your family needs you, you want to spend time with them,” Anderson said, adding that she knew she wasn't going to run for office again. “I thought really hard about it and I think my family needs me. I decided to go ahead with it.”
Anderson joked that she is not young, and that she is past the retirement age.
“I thought, ‘I'm ready,'” Anderson said. “I'm still worried because I've been in the office 25 years; I have not been the elected city treasurer that long, but I've been [in this office] for 25 years. I can't do it forever, either. I decided to [retire] now.”
Anderson added that she would be willing to train her replacement and be available by phone, although her family would take top priority.
The City Council considered four options for how to fill the posts, ranging from holding a special election to appointing successors for Anderson and Campos. Council members opted to fill the posts via appointment.
On Tuesday the council unanimously agreed to have interested candidates submit applications to the City Clerk's office and produce a three-minute video discussing their qualifications, which would be made available to the public on the city's website and Burbank TV6.
Candidates will also be asked to make five-minute presentations at a council meeting, where each will be asked questions about their application.
A majority vote of the council would appoint the person to each position.
A special election would have cost $130,000, according to a city report.
And the need to provide at least 144 days notice would force the city to operate without the two positions for about four months. A special election would have also been very close to the city's general election, said Management Services Director Judie Wilke.
Anderson said she had been wondering about how to get the word out to her constituents about her retirement.
“I want to thank them for all their support and trust,” she said, adding lightheartedly that, “the city is stable, there is money to pay the bills — we are stable, financially secure. There is nothing to worry about.”