For anyone whose ultimate career goal is a secure, well-paid position in a stable, relatively affluent community, City Manager Mike Flad's announcement that he was leaving Burbank for the less attractive environs of South Gate would indeed induce “head-scratching.” But for those who continually seek new and greater challenges or simply the opportunity to make a difference, it's not such a big mystery.

Years ago, Barack Obama made a similarly curious career choice when, with a degree from Harvard Law (awarded Magna Cum Laude) and past president of the Harvard Law Review on his resume, he turned down offers of high-paying positions with corporate law firms to work for a small civil rights firm in Chicago — a decision which, in retrospect, turned out pretty well.

Perhaps there may be more to this story down the road, but for now, let's just give Mr. Flad thanks for his many years of service and wish him all the best.

Rita Zwern
Burbank