Happy Father’s Day! Read how ELGL members have been influenced by their dad.
In this episode of GovLove we sat down with Assistant City Manager of Charlotte, NC and sock of the month club member, Hyong Yi. He shared his inspiring story of dealing with tragedy and finding the power of love and community. After the death of his wife, Hyong started a 100 Love Notes project to celebrate her life and spread love to other people. Now Hyong focuses on being a great parent and keeping love at the center of his local government work.
For me, no title is greater than the title of ‘dad’. My three little princesses are literal god-sends to me and my sweet wife. My whole life revolves around them. I don’t live to work — I work to live…And to bring stability and happiness to my home. There will always be larger paychecks out there if you want to chase them. There will always be a bigger city, or a “fancier” title, or a new opportunity. If you let a paycheck, a title, or the size of your city define you, you may come to find a time when your life lacks definition. By defining yourself by (in the grand scheme of things) temporary steps along the journey of life, you will lose focus of the whole reason for the journey!
Four dads discuss parental leave, dealing with sick kids & how work places can be family friendly.
For me it was great. Both my grandfather and father were city and county managers. We were able to go to events and meet people we otherwise would not have met.
When I visited with my grandfather he always showed me the projects that he helped build. I also remember going to my dad’s office and eating all the candy from the executive assistant’s candy bowls.
Growing up everyone knew who I was because of my dad which was both a positive and negative. For example, I played sports and when I made an all-star team there was always someone who would always say that I made the team because of my dad.
Linda Monahan (the wife of Bill Monahan, City of Milwaukie and the mom of Zoe Monahan, City of Tualatin) wrote this blog post about the impact of a local government career on partners and families.
When I was just a little guy I used to tell everyone that my dad was the boss of the town. I thought it was pretty cool that in some way my dad was in charge of the police and fire departments. Through the years I began to realize that this was only partially true and that it didn’t even begin to describe what he actually did.
I have to assume that when growing up you are somewhat oblivious to your parent’s jobs. That being said, I grew up with relatively quick access to my Dad at City Hall, grew up around fire trucks (City Hall and Fire Station were combined), and in between Monday Night Football I was able to see my Dad on TV! All in all, my childhood was pretty neat due in part to my Dads choice of profession.
We moved around a lot – particularly early in my dad’s career. Not only did we move for jobs, but my parents seemed to like to move within the town we were in. I lived in 9 homes between birth and college. We lived in three separate homes in Los Gatos, CA; three homes in Oak Park, MI; one home in Vallejo, CA; and two homes in Pasadena, CA. In fact, my sister, who is the oldest McIntyre child, attended 12 different schools between Kindergarten and her senior year. I only attended 5 in that same period.
Growing up as the daughter of a city manager was a very positive experience for me but I know that may not be the case for everyone. It was certainly different than the way most of friends grew up. As the city manager, my Dad was often in the daily newspaper, sometimes about controversial community issues. He was well known in the community and since our last name was unique, people automatically knew I was his daughter. For the most part, this did not bother me but it also meant I could not get caught speeding in town.
I don’t think I truly understood what my dad’s job encompassed until I started graduate school for public administration and began interning with various cities, although I had a (somewhat) decent understanding once I got to high school. I always enjoyed visiting my dad at his work, and going to take-your-daughter-to-work days was always fun. At one take-your-daughter-to-work day, I got a street sign made with my name on it! Also, his position requires a Rotary Membership, and the Arden Hills/Shoreview Rotary always runs the BINGO tent at Shoreview’s annual “Slice of Shoreview
One thing I could have done without was my father being so high profile and everyone knowing what my Dad did. I went to a pretty tough high school in Cincinnati and most of the kids came from pretty modest means and single parent households. I think some resented the status and position my father had and I can even remember when someone asked me if my Dad was the City Manager I said “No”.
My father was the City Manager in Round Rock growing up, so I would regularly join him at work on Friday mornings for the weekly department-head meeting. I always had a great time hanging out with my dad and learning what all was going on in the community. I have a drawing I did in crayon showing me going to work in our family Volkswagen bus with my dad, so working in local government has been engrained in me since an early age.
In all honesty, growing up with a parent who is city manager does not have any tangible advantages or disadvantages. Although, I do understand that I grew up in privilege being in a middle-class family, with a highly educated, compassionate and caring father (and mother) who took the time to read to us every night, except Mondays when he was on the most boring television show on TV. If I think really hard, maybe I got more candy at the city expo.
I have always been proud of my dad’s job. He has dyslexia which forced him to work harder than everyone else. That work ethic was obvious even when I was a lot younger. His other obstacle was being left handed which at the time was viewed a curse. Luckily the only long-term effect that he experienced was horrible handwriting. Plus the lefties have shown everyone that “left is right” with the last two Presidents being lefties.
Growing up, policy and public service and government were just a way of life for us, the same way I assume farming and ranching are for kids who grow up in agrarian families. Honestly, I loved growing up in that environment. It felt like our family had a purpose, and I liked that, which I imagine was the impetus for my own public service career.