Burbank Water and Power General Manager, Ron Davis, will soon be on top as the city employee with the biggest salary and the most power. One-foot-out-the-door City Manager, Mark Scott, the previous holder of both titles, officially moves on to San Bernardino in early February. Yesterday a city news release announced the selection of Davis as the new interim city manager.
“Ron Davis has a proven track record of success here in Burbank,” said Burbank Mayor Bob Frutos in the release. “Council was unanimous in our decision to select him to lead City staff during the recruitment process. We believe Ron Davis and Assistant City Manager Justin Hess form an outstanding team with the ideal experience to guide the City through the upcoming budget process and leadership transition.”
Davis is a skillful City Hall player with the uncanny ability to dazzle and persuade the city council. Unfortunately, he has been known to put personal gain ahead of the interest of residents. Who can forget back in June of 2010, when many residents were struggling to recover from the recession, at the insistence of the BWP honcho, the city council majority voted to include utility rate hikes in the budget. Then the very next month, Davis returned to city council with a demand for hefty salary raises for himself and his senior executive team at BWP. The city council majority again rolled over and approved those raises.
Also, Davis has given the impression to some that he is above the rules that apply to the rest of us. Remember the swimming pool drama of 2011? Davis outraged some of his Burbank hillside neighbors who complained that water from his pool filled the street for a day. Oh, and Davis did not bother to get the required $28 permit to drain his pool. The violation carries a $25,000 fine. City officials opted not to levy the fine nor any kind of reprimand to Davis.
“I’m looking forward to working with the City Council, staff and members of our community,” said Ron Davis in the news release. “Burbank is a renowned city and I consider it an honor to be entrusted with helping maintain the high standards we’ve come to expect here.”
Davis reportedly will not get a bump up in salary as interim city manager. The city council is set to vote on an employment agreement with Davis at its next meeting, Tuesday, January 26.