The Starbird Philosophy That Guided Glendale for 14 Years
Don’t bother saying
thanks to Jim Starbird — he’s been living a dream for the past 14 years as
Glendale city manager.
A day after disclosing plans to retire at the end of the year, Starbird talked
about his love affair with the city and how he set his eye on becoming its city
manager more than three decades ago as his career as a public servant advanced
from Duarte, to Monrovia, to West Covina.
“I never had a
plan past Glendale, never visualized anything else,” Starbird said. “We’ll see
if there’s life after Glendale.”
At 62, in good health, happily married with his first two grandchildren just a
few months old, Starbird has the rest of his life to look forward to with the
security of a substantial public employee pension and a reputation as one of
the most effective public administrators in Southern California.
Personal reasons played a role in his decision, but the more important factors
were a sense that the City Hall organization was strong, with capable younger
people ready to step up, and that the city was through the worst of the
financial problems posed by the bursting of the housing bubble and the economic
“I wanted to get through this budget cycle. This has been tough, the toughest
year,” he said. “There are still big challenges and rising pension costs, but I
think every year after this is going to be better, because we’ve made a number
of structural changes this year that will put us in a position to see the light
at the end of the tunnel.
“We’re beginning to see a turnaround. We’re seeing it in our development
community. We’re seeing it in our revenue numbers. Each year is going to get
better, thanks to the considerable sacrifices made by our police, our managers,
our non-safety workers. They’ve given up pay and benefits and put new
retirement programs in place. This is a turnaround year.
EDITOR;S NOTE: Here’s video of what I told the City Council Tuesday when it rejected Bill Rosendahl’s effort to bring transparency and honesty to the deal with AEG for a downtown football stadium. Below that is a column written for Nina Royal’s North Valley Reporter on the stadium subject.
We Lose, AEG Wins — Are You Really Surprised?
Let‘s play “Heads I win, tails you lose” or, as AEG‘s Tim Leiweke calls it, “You borrow, T profit,”
That is what is at the heart of the proposal for a downtown NFL stadium that has city officials
scrambling to come up with an acceptable story for public consumption by Leiweke”s July 31 deadline.
For his part, Leiweke is running all over town holding meetings with community groups in an effort to drum up support that will drown out all the questions being asked about
public gives away its land, pays for the infrastructure needed for a stadium, nearly doubles its enormous debt on the white elephant
Convention Center and gets nothing in return for allowing AEG to potentially reap billions of dollars in profits from bringing football back to Los Angeles for a third time.