On her first day as the consultant hired to search for a permanent city manager for Burbank, Bobbi Peckham got right down to business. Last Tuesday, February 19, Peckham conducted two public forums to gather input on what are the “qualities and experience” most needed for a candidate to be able to successfully handle the duties of a city manager in Burbank — a small city with “complex issues” and diverse community. Later, Peckham gave a report to the city council on the feedback collected at the forums.
In a letter/announcement about the forums, Burbank Interim City Manager, Ken Pulskamp, gave a job description of the position: “The City Manager is a very important position in city government. He/she is responsible for the City’s day-to-day administrative operations while supervising all departments carrying out the policies set by the City Council. In Burbank, that means overseeing a staff of more than 1, 400 employees and a 2012/13 budget of over $635 million.”
Pulskamp says the forums, conducted by the Peckham and McKenney executive search firm, will seek input “from interested groups and the general public.” Also, he says “… comments will be incorporated into the overall evaluation of potential candidates.”
I attended the second forum on Tuesday, which had representatives from local non-profits like Burbank Community YMCA, the entertainment industry (example the Cartoon Network), and the private sector — including Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center. The comments I heard suggested a new city manager for Burbank should be an experienced, accessible deal maker willing to attend community events and even live in B-town. As one speaker stated: “…it’s more than a job — (it’s) a life style.” In other words, “be a part of the community” not just someone looking for a steady paycheck.
Peckham, articulate and confident, says her firm has placed 30 city managers in the “last three years.” Peckham expects to have all candidates’ resumes in hand by April 29, final interviews completed by May 30, and a new city manager on board by this coming July.
The third and final public forum is today, from 4:30-6:00 p.m., in the Community Services Building, 150 North Third Street, Room 104. If you cannot attend the forum, but would still like to offer comments, you are asked to call (818) 238-5840.