Retired city official reminisces - East Valley Tribune: Phoenix & The Valley Of The Sun

Retired city official reminisces

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Posted: Friday, January 7, 2005 10:01 am | Updated: 9:13 am, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

January 7, 2005

Now that Barbara Burns is retired, leaving behind her former Scottsdale assistant city manager duties, she said she has the time to relax, do yoga, and contemplate a run for the City Council.

A run for what?

"People have said that to me: ‘You should think about running for council,’ " Burns said. "Actually, yes, that would interest me."

Don’t start printing the political signs just yet. Burns, 55, has moved to Cave Creek, which makes a run for the Scottsdale council unlikely.

However, a lot can happen between now and the next council race in 2006, she said. Mostly, Burns is pausing to look at what else she can do after working for Scottsdale for 29 years.

She was 23 when she moved to Arizona from Ohio. Shortly thereafter, she went to work in the human services department, she said. "At that time I didn’t have a passion to stay in local government. It was just a good job in a great community."

Burns said she soon began to view working for the city as a career rather than a job.

She said she stayed with Scottsdale because of the people she worked with — the city managers, the mayors and dozens of city employees, not to mention all the residents she served.

"Barbara can be distinguished by always having a smile and a supportive comment to make to her fellow employee," said Al Dreska, municipal services director, who worked with Burns for 19 years.

While Burns has worked on a number of projects for the city, she said none stand out as the most challenging.

Working with the former Los Arcos Mall site, on its way to becoming the ASU Scottsdale Center for New Technology and Innovation, was difficult. But so was building the Tournament Players Club golf course.

For now, Burns does not work for anyone. She said she has looked into consulting for local governments or perhaps going back to school to study something totally unrelated to running a city.

"I’m just going to take some time and figure out what I want to do when I grow up," Burns said.

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