Burbank city manager announces plans to leave for South Gate

Burbank City Manager Mike Flad plans to leave the media city and take the top post at the city of South Gate, according to an email he sent Monday to the City Council and top-level staff.

“There is no easy way to say this, so I will just say it. After 22 years of service to the city of Burbank, I have accepted an offer from the city of South Gate to serve as their next city manager,” Flad said in his email.

Flad became the second-youngest city manager in Burbank’s history when he assumed the top job in 2008 and has worked for the city 22 years.

In a note to his executive team, he said that while the employment contract with South Gate wasn’t “completely final” yet, “I am extremely confident that in just over [one] month I will be making a difference in South Gate and you will have a new boss.”

The news came as Burbank is going through the process of finding a permanent police chief, meaning the city may have to fill two top executive jobs at the same time.

The terms of the contract could be finalized in time for a vote of the South Gate City Council Sept. 25, in which case Flad estimated his last day at Burbank would be Oct. 25.

It will be much different landscape — from movie studios and a solid economy with low crime rates, to a South L.A. bedroom community sandwiched between Lynwood and Cudahy.

South Gate, with a population of 94,396, is similar in size to Burbank, but that’s where the similarities end. South Gate is 94.8% Latino – compared to roughly 24% in Burbank -- and has an 11.4% unemployment rate, according to the U.S. Census.

If the contract with South Gate is finalized, Flad would be replacing George Troxcil who was appointed to the post just eight months ago after a nearly year-long stint as the interim city manager. Prior to that, Troxcil had been serving as the city’s police chief after a 30-year career with the department.

In a statement released to the public Monday, Flad said leading a city like South Gate “is a great opportunity for me professionally.”

“I’m ready for a new challenge and eager to make a difference,” he said in the statement. “I’m not just leaving a job, I’m leaving my hometown and saying goodbye to over 1,400 city employees of whom I could not be more proud.”

Brittany Levine contributed to this report.

-- Alene Tchekmedyian, Times Community News

Follow Alene Tchekmedyian on Google+ and on Twitter: @atchek

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