City officials are using the services of Arcus Public, a Pennsylvania-based staffing firm, in the search.
“We went with an outside recruiting firm to look for newcomers,” Alvord said, noting that many of Hansen’s staff members are close to retirement themselves while others in the department are not ready for the role.
“They don’t have the experience to step in to the director position,” she said.
The new director will be paid between $126,000 and $153,000 and will start the job with a full plate of ongoing projects, Hansen said.
A major area of focus will be the ongoing design and upcoming construction of the $8.2-million Ovrom Park, in the South San Fernando area. A new clubhouse at De Bell Municipal Golf Course will also demand attention, as will the $14.2-million track and field improvements at John Burroughs High School, Burbank High School and Jordan Middle School, he said.
“This is an exciting department,” said Alvord, a former director and deputy director of Burbank’s park and recreation department.
Assistant City Manager Mike Flad is also a former park and recreation director, having filled that post before his move to the city manager’s office in 2003.
“It’s a good training ground for managing a city,” Alvord said. “We have a lot of experience with this department, but we will try not to micromanage.”
Hansen retired in December but stayed on to ensure a smooth transition until a new director is hired, he said.
While he is looking forward to a retirement filled with travel and exploring his love of photography, Hansen will remember his time in the department fondly, he said.
“It’s very engaging and time-consuming, but also very rewarding,” he said. “I never would have anticipated working for 35 years. But it’s never stale, it’s always exciting. This was a fantastic opportunity for myself, and I enjoyed working with a great staff and for a community that appreciates this department.”