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THE818NOW
By Alene Tchekmedyian, alene.tchekmedyian@latimes.com | May 15, 2013
Roughly 100 Burbank employees are slated to receive raises this coming fiscal year after a city-commissioned survey showed their salaries were well below average when compared to those in a dozen other local cities, officials said. Officials say the move will actually save Burbank money since the contracts will require employees to contribute more to their pensions. Department heads will receive a 2% salary hike, while roughly 85 employees not represented by unions will see their compensation jump between 1% and 5%. In July, those employees will also start paying half of the 8% member pension contribution, according to a city report.
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NEWS
April 23, 2013
I commend those involved in two major decisions for the good of Burbank. The appointment of Chief of Police Scott LaChasse, which was too long in coming, and cracking down on nepotism, which also took way too long. It is good to see our interim city manager take the bull by the horns and get something done. How about Ken Pulskamp as permanent city manager? Denise Ruhlow Burbank
THE818NOW
April 19, 2013
At long last, the city of Burbank has put the kibosh on nepotism within City Hall, with the City Council acting this week to put into place strict changes to existing policies. Division heads will no longer be allowed to hire family members into their departments. Nor will relatives of council members, the city manager, the assistant city manager or the management services director be hired. There are even new restrictions involving dating situations. To some, that might seem overreaching; but now that city leaders are taking the problem to heart and taking steps to correct something they were apparently too timid to do earlier, it's understandable that the policy is so all-encompassing.
THE818NOW
April 18, 2013
After years of discussions and months of revisions, Burbank officials have made final a set of strict changes to the city's nepotism policy. Designed to eliminate favoritism and improve morale, the policy now prohibits the hiring of relatives of any and all department heads, in addition to relatives of the City Council, city manager, assistant city manager and management services director. Division heads - including those filling assistant director and deputy director roles - also cannot hire family members for their departments.
NEWS
March 29, 2013
I've written to the Leader previously on year-round swimming at the public pools and it would be interesting to know about the City Council candidates' positions on this issue. However, there is a larger issue that has a greater impact on Burbank that has not been examined, to my knowledge, for several years. That is the failed $10-million investment in Lehman Brothers securities by the city of Burbank. I understand there is pending litigation on this issue, but some unknown part of Burbank's claims were dismissed by a New York court last October.
NEWS
March 15, 2013
Your correspondents' attacks on Dave Golonski raise some interesting points. How is it that Golonski has kept his seat on the City Council for 20 years? Because voters have been satisfied with the job he has been doing. He acts like a dictator, writes Arthur Booth. I say that is hard to do when you are one vote out of five. Other than that absurd accusation, there is no substance to either attack on the mayor. What can be substantiated, and in fact should be well known to at least those citizens who bother to vote, is that the city is confronting serious issues that will need council members who know the law, know how City Hall and Sacramento work, and are prepared to put in the time to read the documents and fully grasp the alternative courses of action and their consequences.
NEWS
By Alene Tchekmedyian, alene.tchekmedyian@latimes.com | March 1, 2013
Robert Frutos' City Council victory Tuesday marks the first election since 1999 in which the rare act of an incumbent being unseated is a certainty. Frutos' win in the primary leaves four candidates - including three incumbents - to compete in April for the two remaining seats, meaning one incumbent is guaranteed to lose his seat. Having lost the City Council race by a mere 86 votes two years ago, this year, Frutos surpassed the next-highest vote-getter by more than 550 votes, suggesting Burbank residents are ready to ditch the status quo. “They never forgot about me from two years ago,” Frutos said of voters when reached Wednesday.
NEWS
February 15, 2013
The Burbank City Council invites residents to one of three upcoming forums to gather public input in the search for a permanent city manager. I began serving as your interim city manager on Dec. 3. One of my assignments has been to help guide the city while City Council searches for a permanent replacement. 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 in carrying out the policies set by City Council.
THE818NOW
February 11, 2013
Burbank officials have scheduled three public forums this month as they seek input from residents on the qualities they'd like to see in a new permanent city manager. All three forums will be held in Room 104 of the Community Services Building at 150 North Third Street. The first two are scheduled for Feb. 19 at 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. The third is slate for 4:30 p.m. Feb. 21. Each meeting is slated to last 1 1/2 hour, according to the city. Ken Pulskamp was appointed Burbank's interim city manager late last year after Mike Flad stepped down to take the top job in the city of South Gate.
THE818NOW
January 29, 2013
Burbank will host a series of public forums in the coming months to get input from residents about the impending permanent city manager selection. The City Council hired executive search firm Peckham & McKenney to spearhead recruiting efforts for the top post. But the city wants insights from residents on what makes the “ideal candidate,” spokesman Drew Sugars said in a statement. Applications for the position will be accepted between March and mid-April. The screening and interview process will wrap up in May and the Council will likely hire someone in June, officials said.
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