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Q&A: Sue Georgino

August 17, 2009|By Christopher Cadelago

On the eve of her retirement, Sue Georgino strolled a hallway of the Community Services Building, pointing to photographs of volunteers, smiling families and newly minted residential and business developments.

In one, city officials unveil a housing project. In another, children play.

"I have said over and over again how lucky we are that our mission statement is two words and it's the name of our department: Community Development," she said. "That has given us the opportunity to create such value for this community and this city."

After nine years at the helm of the Community Services Department, where she oversaw everything from license and code services to planning and transportation, Georgino retired last week, handing the reins to interim Director Greg Herrmann.

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Now a grandmother with graduate degrees in public administration and theology, Georgino held several jobs with the city before leaving for Brea in 1989 to become director of redevelopment services. She returned to Burbank in 2001 to assume the directorship.

CHRISTOPHER CADELAGO: Why now?

SUE GEORGINO: It's the right time. I think the department is in a very, very good place. The city is well positioned to go through what's a very tough economy. And it's time for me to do other things. I have a couple of masters, and I enjoy other things besides what I do for a living. My husband, we've been married for more than 20 years, he's been very patient to have every Tuesday night be City Council meetings. It's time for him not to have to say, 'Well, I can't do that because Sue's got this, or Sue's got that.' And I am still young enough to really enjoy my life and to enjoy doing other things. I am looking forward to that.

Q: What are you thinking of doing? Have you made any commitments?

A: First of all, I am really excited that I have been asked to be part of the team that's going to be the next facilitating group with Woodbury University for Leadership Burbank. I think we are a very, very fortunate city to have Leadership Burbank the way it is. Our program, I think stacks up with any leadership program in the state, and I am excited to be a part of it and take it to the next level.

Q: I'll throw out an area of the city and, based on everything that you've started the ball rolling on, tell me what the area will look like in 2020?

Downtown.

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