Mike Flad

Burbank City Manager Michael Flad speaks at a groundbreaking ceremony of the new Memorial Field at John Burroughs High School in Burbank on Saturday, February 25, 2012. (Cheryl A. Guerrero / Staff Photographer)

Burbank City Manager Mike Flad will assume the same post in South Gate after the city council there approved his new $215,000 annual contract on Tuesday.

The confirmation came just a week after Flad surprised Burbank city officials with the announcement that his new job had all but finalized, and that the smaller, poorer city “seemed like a good fit for me.”

At the council meeting, Flad addressed the reasoning behind his move.

“I got into this business to make a difference, not to become the city manager of the largest city,” he said. “If your goal is to make a difference, you see this move in a totally different light.”

Before the meeting, South Gate Mayor Bill De Witt said his city had been looking for “a new person to help us out for a number of years, and [Flad] seemed to fit the bill.”

“We hope he will stay five, six, seven years, something like that,” he said.

Flad will start his new job as South Gate city manager on Dec. 3, with the term of his contract being for an “indefinite period of time.”

He’ll be replacing George Troxcil, who is retiring after a three-decade career serving the city as a police officer, police chief and city manager.

“Welcome to the city of South Gate; this is a family that works together as a team,” said South Gate City Councilwoman Maria Davila. “You're going to love this city.”

“I can tell already that I'm going to,” Flad said later outside council chambers.

Flad will be making $2,400 less annually in South Gate than he would have made in Burbank. In February, Burbank extended Flad’s contract until December 2016, with an initial salary of $18,117 monthly — $217,404 annually — and a yearly 3% increase beginning in January 2014.

“He seemed to be very pleased with the city of Burbank,” De Witt said in an interview before the council meeting Tuesday. “But it appears that he would like an additional challenge, and we’re quite a different city than Burbank.”

Flad was one of about 50 applicants, and one of eight chosen to be interviewed by the South Gate City Council in special meetings held during the last couple of months.

“He’s very knowledgeable in the profession of city management,” De Witt said. “He seems to be very thorough.”

In addition to salary differences, Flad’s contracts with Burbank and South Gate have other disparities. In Burbank, Flad has a $3,000 annual technology allowance; in South Gate, it will be $1,200. In Burbank, Flad’s life insurance policy amounts to $500,000; in South Gate, it will be $150,000.

According to the contract, Flad has 10 days to review and sign the agreement.

Follow Alene Tchekmedyian on Google+ and on Twitter @atchek.