Letter to the Editor: Resident Unhappy With New City Attorney’s Contract


Letter to the Editor:

Dear Fellow Burbankers:
The City Council will vote to approve (or not) this agreement:
This is for Joseph H. McDougall’s employment agreement as he takes over as City Attorney.
A few things to consider:
The current City Attorney and her staff participated in the blank check actions that resulted in Burbankers spending more than $287,000 on the Tinhorn Flats abatement. See here: https://myburbank.com/?s=tinhorn
The current City Attorney allowed her attorneys to spend four hours at a time, sitting in traffic court, for a single case to fight $20 cell phone tickets. See: Case No. E134936, in which her staff sat in court for four hours, on the clock, to prosecute one $20 cell phone ticket.
The current City Attorney has an employee sitting in on every board and commission meeting which is not a requirement under the City’s Charter, and this costs Burbankers massive money.
The current City Attorney hires outside attorneys to handle cases that they could handle in-house which costs Burbankers huge money.
The current City Attorney has a budget of $4 million which is an astronomical figure. What other City our size has such a massive budget for the City Attorney?
Have you ever been paid 9 months severance for being fired for doing a bad job? The whole point of a job is, you do a good job today, you get to come back tomorrow. But the above proposed contract does just that. If Mr. McDougall is fired for doing a bad job, this contract permits him to get paid nine months salary. A salary that is already $100,000 more than the governor is paid per year.
How about we audition the incoming City Attorney and ask Mr. McDougall to perform his services without such a contract? He is a current employee of the City, why does he need such a document? A simple salary increase and title change is enough. Why does anyone need such a deal?
letter. That is not okay. No wonder the City of Burbank has to siphon off a portion of your utility bill to make up for an unbalanced budget. Didn’t know? Check the “in lieu transfer” line item on your water and power bill. That’s what the City has to use to pay for an unbalanced budget.
Make your opinion known by emailing the City Council: citycouncil@burbankca.gov

Christopher Matthew Spencer
Burbank resident


    1. Mr. Christopher Matthew Spencer – Thank you for sharing this information with the neighbors. I think some oversight on how Burbank spends their money might be needed after reading your letter.

      • You’re welcome. It is suspect to me that rushed, closed sessions are used in closing deals for high-level executive positions at the City. Here is yet another example, the contract for the city manager that also offers nine months severance if the city manager is terminated for good cause. https://bit.ly/3c2n64v

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