How long have you been a FCCMA member and why did you join?
It was January 2019 as a full member.
Are you an ICMA member, why did you join, and how long have you been a member?
Yes, I joined ICMA because I wanted to be part of the changing face of local government. I have been a full member of ICMA since 2003.
Please describe your areas of formal/advanced education (if applicable).
I hold a BS Degree in Criminology from the Florida State University and an Master’s Degree in Public Administration degree from the University of West Florida.
Why did you select a career in public service?
I had an affinity for local government from the time I was a child, watching the garbage men pick up the garbage in my neighborhood. I would see my grandparents during holidays give gifts to these public servants. I quickly realized their work was of tremendous value and impact to the community. After Hurricane Frederick, garbage and trash pick up was suspended and we quickly recognized how invaluable these workers were to the organization and to the community at-large. The seeds of public service have been planted in me since then.
Have you always been in the public sector or have you had experience in the private sector?
Yes, I have devoted over 25 years of service in city and county government.
Please tell us about your current position and give a brief job description if you are not a City Administrator/Manager.
I currently serve as the first permanent Village Manager with the Village of Indiantown. I have occupied this position for nearly two years. I serve as the Chief Executive Officer in a Council-Manager form of government. The Village of Indiantown is Florida’s 413th municipality and is located on the Treasure Coast of Florida.
Please describe your typical day.
Organized Chaos. I consider myself a master conductor in an orchestra of chaos on any given day. I resolve conflict, manage emotions, put out fires, and pay the bills on time without failure. On a more serious note, I am very focused starting my day around 6:00 a.m. and ending it sometime around 8:00 p.m. Starting a new municipality is tough work which forces me to be highly organized and think out of the box for innovative solutions. I recognize the council’s policy has to be broad based and inclusive with the goal to enhance the community and improve each resident’s quality of life.
What is your favorite part of the job?
Directly impacting and enhancing people’s quality of life. I like to be a change agent or turn-around expert either way I enjoy getting things done.
What is your least favorite part of the job?
Dealing with disciplinary actions and personnel issues. It’s time consuming, distracting and requires an enormous amount of energy; some would say it’s par for the course.
If you are involved in any volunteer or leadership activities in your community, please share with us a bit about what you do and why it is important to you.
I am involved in the Boy Scouts of America and have been part of this organization either as a child, Scout Master, Board Member, etc since 1981. I really enjoy being around people and see young people learn new things and how they are excited about learning about the outdoors.
What is your most memorable experience on the job?
When I promoted an individual to department head who was a natural leader but had been overlooked for many years. He hit the ground running and transformed that department. I knew this individual was ready and proved that I made a great hire. Another memorable experience is seeing two subordinates that I personally mentored go on to become city manager.
What are your hobbies/interests?
Golf, camping, fishing. I am also an ancient weapons enthusiast.
If you could give one piece of advice to people interested in a career in public service, what would it be?
Always ask people for three pieces of advice. I would ask a seasoned manager for three pieces of advice.
Who were your mentors and how have you passed this information down to other aspiring public administrators?
Alfred Lott, City Manager, Bowie, MD and Tom Combiths, City Manager, retired. I’m always ready and willing to share my good and bad experiences with people in the profession. Lord knows I have made my shares of mistakes and have gained valuable experience along the way.
What career would you pick if you were to pick another? If you are a student or new to a career in local government management, did you have any other career paths you initially considered, and why did you ultimately choose public service?
Probably positions in food science and engineering.
Do you have a story you can share about how being a member of FCCMA has helped you or impacted you in a positive way?
Having worked as a city manager for many years in California and Oklahoma, FCCMA gives me a Florida perspective and insight from other seasoned Florida city managers across the state as we work collectively to manage our municipalities.