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Rising to the top of Burbank

May 15, 2004

Jackson Bell

Mayor Marsha Ramos wants city officials to work more closely with

residents, and she wants the city to do more long-term budget

planning.

Now that her City Council colleagues have elected her mayor this

year, three years after Ramos was first elected to the council, she's

got a lot more say on those issues.

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Ramos, 46, moved to Burbank from New Mexico when she was 6 and

graduated from William McKinley Elementary, David Starr Jordan Middle

and John Burroughs High schools. She and her husband, David, have two

adult children, Richard and Steven.

Ramos is a managing partner for the Glendale-based firm Geosystems

Inc., which provides geotechnical consulting. She volunteers for the

Burbank Family Services Agency, and has been a member of the Burbank

Human Relations Council for more than 20 years. In addition, her

hobbies include gardening around her home, which she tries to make

time for on weekends.

Ramos sat down with the Leader this week to talk about her new

role on the council.

LEADER: What are your ideas or goals?

RAMOS: This year, I want to build a solid foundation by reaching

out and connecting with community members. I would also like to see

financial stability. This year, the council will look forward with a

five-year budget plan. Also part of that solid foundation is to

create a designated team that hopefully will get people to address

issues such as traffic and transportation, updates on land-use

elements, the budget and so on. Another component to success is to

build collaborative efforts that will achieve maximum efficiency by

calling together different groups of community leaders and

representatives in addition to working with specific focus

neighborhoods. I plan to meet with the community to listen to what is

important and hear feedback on if the city is effective and how it

could do better. Collaborative efforts bring together everyone for

good discussions, to find out what is important and to get the best

results.

LEADER: The city has a big push to revitalize downtown -- new

theaters, shops, etc. What is the next area of the city you would

like to focus on?

RAMOS: I think we still need to work on the focus neighborhoods

[such as ones along Elmwood and Verdugo avenues], and specifically

address housing and neighborhood services in those areas. We're also

evaluating the success of other focus neighborhoods.

LEADER: People move to and stay in Burbank because of its

small-town feel. How will the city balance redevelopment and bringing

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