My Life in Presidential Terms with Will Doerfer

In this series, ELGL members reflect on how their life has changed from 2008 to 2016, and look forward to where they’ll be in 2024. ELGL members can sign up to share their experiences at My Life in Presidential Terms

By Will Doerfer – LinkedIn and Twitter

AAEAAQAAAAAAAAUQAAAAJGRlMmFmODg0LTEzODctNGMxMC05YTA3LWVmMjU3ZjY3OWEyNAI am going to flip the script a little…I am going to start with now:  Presently, I am regretting signing up for the first slot for this series of guest contributors. I am also hoping that this series is not pulled after the first article flops on account of my story-telling (in)abilities…

I am currently in a transition phase of my local government career. I have just completed a very long year as the ICMA Local Government Management Fellow in Hyde County, NC – one of those places people go to be off the grid. While I thoroughly enjoyed the experience and learned a great deal about county government in NC, traveling to and from Hyde County twice a week was very difficult.

As a result, I’m taking a bit of a breather while I await the ideal opportunity in local government. I am continuing to increase my skill set by doing consulting work for Martin-McGill, Inc., a firm based in Asheville, NC.   I am also continuing to participate in the ICMA Local Government 101 online certificate program, and reading ELGL articles and Twitter posts.

My Life in 2008

2008 was one of those years in my life that causes an immediate, deep and conflicted emotional reaction. It was a year of personal lows, personal highs, and a national historic election.. During the presidential campaign, I remember putting an Obama sign in my yard because all my neighbors had McCain-Palin signs.

imagesFor those of you who have not read my previous articles, I am an Iraq war veteran. I served with the 82nd Airborne Division as an infantry team leader from As Samawah to Fallujah to Baghdad. 2008 was the year that I realized you cannot avoid your demons indefinitely, hence the personal lows. In the words of Forrest Gump, “that’s all I have to say about that”.

2008 was the year when I became a father! My son, Wesley William was born two days before Thanksgiving. Talk about a memorable, life-altering moment.

In 2008, I was  one of “those people”, you know, the person who turns the water on and flushes the toilet without realizing that it was a service of my local government.

Since 2008, I have completed my MPA at Appalachian State University, completed an ICMA Local Government Management Fellowship, and completed the Rural Economic Development Institute (REDI).

Where I’ll Be in 2024

I hope to have two more children by then. I hope to be debating with Wesley about college vs. the military. In between those debates, I’ll be teaching him how to drive, and just to be an all-around rad dude.

Professionally, I will be somewhere between my third and fifth year of managing a local government with a greater than 10,000 population, innovating service delivery and citizen engagement, and ensuring sustainable, equitable and just governance in my small part of the world.

Nationally, in 2024, the country will be recovering from the economic depression that resulted from extreme social unrest, rioting, revolution and political instability due to the resignation of President Trump in the face of serious charges of fill-in-the-blank in 2017. Former Vice President Pence will have lost his bid for re-election in 2020. President Paul Ryan will have done his best to heal the country following the riots, but there will be great hope placed in the Independent candidate, Ms. Party-Nominee in 2024. Faith in the political system will be restored after several sweeping reforms were passed in both the House and Senate under the leadership of a majority of Millennial elected representatives for the first time in history.  

Supplemental Reading