Former Burbank Mayor Leland Ayers, who was instrumental in acquiring Bob Hope Airport and creating the city’s paramedic service during his three terms on the Burbank City Council, died Monday at his San Diego County home, his family and friends said.
He was 80.
The two-time mayor was first elected to the council in 1973 and served until 1985, city officials said. During his tenure, he was involved in passing the joint powers agreement between Burbank, Glendale and Pasadena to acquire the Bob Hope Airport from Lockheed Corp.
Ayers, a hobbyist pilot, served as an Airport Authority commissioner for 13 years starting in 1977.
“He was very popular in the community,” said former Mayor Mary Lou Howard, who sat on the council with him in the late 1970s. “He was a wonderful councilperson.”
When Ayers was in office, one gadfly would picket him at City Hall with handwritten signs. Tired of the drab signs, Ayers had professional picketing posters created.