Burbank City Manager Justin Hess announced this week that Courtney Padgett has been named as the new assistant city manager, succeeding longtime city leader Judie Wilke, who is retiring after 32 years of service to the city.
“I am honored and privileged for the opportunity to serve the city of Burbank as the assistant city manager and am excited to continue furthering the vision of our City Council and city manager and providing outstanding public services to our community,” said Padgett.
Having worked for the city of Burbank since 2017, Padgett “brings a wealth of 26 years of expertise in public service,” said city spokesman Jonathan Jones.
Padgett’s journey in Burbank began at the Burbank Police Department, where she worked in the department’s Mental Health Evaluation Team. Through MHET, she rose through various roles, including an accreditation manager and manager of the crime analysis unit, according to the city.
She was named police administrator in 2020, and her superiors said she has been “instrumental in overseeing the department’s fiscal operations, aligning with City Council and department directives, and spearheading the department’s strategic plan.”
Before her tenure with Burbank, Padgett garnered extensive experience in state and county government organizations in Florida. Notably, she held various progressively responsible managerial positions with the Orange County Corrections Department in Orlando, Florida.
Padgett holds bachelor’s and master’s degree in criminal justice from the University of Central Florida.
“Her dedication to professional growth is evident through her graduation from the Leadership Burbank program. She currently serves as a member and treasurer on the Leadership Burbank board of directors and is a member of the Municipal Management Association of Southern California and Women Leading Government. In addition, she plays an essential role as the grant coordinator for the Los Angeles County Police Chiefs Association,” city officials said in a statement on the Burbank city website.
Hess praised Padgett’s accomplishments: “Courtney’s experience, dedication, and fresh perspective make her perfectly suited to serve as the next assistant city manager. We’re excited and confident that her vast experience and innovative approach will further elevate the city of Burbank. We also want to express our deep gratitude for Judie Wilke’s invaluable service; her impact will be fondly remembered and greatly missed.”
Wilke held a variety of key management positions, including an elected post, during her three decades with the city.
She started with Burbank in 1989 as a management intern and swiftly worked her way into several analyst and administrative positions. She was elected City Clerk in 1997 and 2001. Following her time as city clerk, she served in a variety of roles, including deputy financial services director, management services director, and Parks, Recreation and Community Services director. In 2019, she was appointed the assistant city manager.
“Serving Burbank, my lifelong home, has been more than a career; it has been a journey of love, commitment, and shared dreams,” said Wilke.
“As I prepare to step into the next chapter, I carry with me the laughter of our children in our playgrounds, the spirited debates in City Hall, and the unbreakable spirit of our residents. Burbank is not just a place on the map; it is a tapestry of lives, stories, and enduring friendships that I’ve had the honor to be a part of. I leave with a heart full of memories, pride in our achievements, and an unshakeable belief in the bright future of our beloved community.”
First published in the November 11 print issue of the Burbank Leader.