New Sensation: Molly Luettgerodt, City of Portland and San Diego County

Posted on October 9, 2013

What better way to learn about a new ELGL member than a series of extremely personal questions that may or may not be work related. That is our goal in the New Sensation feature. Whether it is learning about a person’s top accomplishments in the last 24 hours or learning about the inside of their car, you learn more here than any icebreaker that you’ve been a part of.

 Molly Luettgerodt


Management Audit Intern at City of Portland

PSU MPA Student

Education: University of San Diego, BA, Environmental Studies, Business Administration and Portland State University Graduate Certificate, Non-Profit and Public Management (graduation expected in 2016)

Connect: LinkedIn

Connect with Portland Auditor’s Office: Twitter and World Wide Web

Background Check

Molly came to the Portland Audit Services Division in September 2013 as an intern after 6 years working her way up to a Land Use & Environmental Planning Manager for the County of San Diego Department of Public Works, and prior to that as an Associate Planner with a private consulting firm.  She specializes in environmental compliance and policy for complex capital projects, transportation and other essential infrastructure funding programs, local government budget and fiscal planning, and contract procurement.

Molly earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Environmental Studies from the University of San Diego and is currently pursuing graduate studies in Public Administration from Portland State University.

She is a member of the Oregon City/County Management Association, Emerging Local Government Leaders, and Association of Environmental Professionals.

Q & A with Molly

Three projects that you are working on.City_Hall_-_Portland_Oregon

  • Before leaving San Diego County, my last completed project was creating guidance for the use of flow diversion engineering as a novel flood control design alternative in lieu of traditional costly and environmentally impactive flood control channels.
  • I recently completed the creation of a project management training program geared specifically towards local government environmental planning professionals.
  • I am currently working with the City of Portland Audit Services Division conducting independent performance audits to make recommendations to improve efficiency and effectiveness for various bureaus and programs.  Right now I am assisting in reviewing the City’s procurement practices and waste and recycling services.

Three accomplishments in the last 24 hours.

  • Finished reading the City of Portland’s Fiscal Year 2013-14 Budget in its entirety.
  • Started my first reading assignment for grad school.
  • Taught “high 5” to my golden retriever puppy.

Your longest public meeting.

Three hours or so for a 1-mile road widening that had 17 full residential property takes and significant noise impacts.  It wasn’t too bad actually.

Songs on your iPod’s Recently Played list.

  • Beyonce “We Run the World (Girls)”
  • Black Keys (every song)
  • Led Zeppelin (every song, always)

Best piece of advice from your parents. Work hard. Play hard.

Excluding family, give you three of your career mentors.

Turbyfill, Donna

  • Donna Turbyfill, my (now retired) deputy director at the County of San Diego.  She is who I want to be someday.
  • My program manager Nelson Olivas (now retired), the toughest boss I ever had.  But he taught me everything.
  • Esther Daigneault, former Environmental Planning Manager, my supervisor that inspired me and taught me to have tough skin but a good heart.

(Complete the sentence) Before I die I want to….. raft the Colorado River unguided..which I’m doing in June 2014.

Should government be run like a business?

Not exactly in at least this respect: in government we need to find ways to deliver the best, most valuable product we can to the public with the least resources possible and without asking anything in return. We have to think small for ourselves and big for others.

Worst movie you’ve ever seen. Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus

Worst CD you’ve ever bought.  Tiffany, but I still have it.

Three defining news events of your lifetime.

  • 9/11
  • The 1992 Trail Blazers, I still have a collection of the glasses from Dairy Queen
  • The Great Recession

(Complete the sentence) I know this makes me sound old but…… I don’t know how to Tweet or Instagram

Last time you checked your cell phone.  When I woke up this morning.

 Describe the inside of your car. Spotless.

 Song(s) that remind you of summer. “Night Moves” by Bob Seger


(Complete the sentence) In 2018, local government will be ………… Continuing to become more innovative, streamlined, and solutions-oriented.

Biggest misconception about government.

That its workers are lazy.  There are unfortunately some that may fit the stereotype but there are so many more that work their rear ends off and really care about the work they do and how to make it better. Related link: WATCH | Lazy postal worker video goes viral



What’s the meaning of life?

Just like the planet, it’s all a cycle of reconstruction.  Bad things and good things happen and it always works itself out so it’s the never the end of the world.  So chill out!

Finally, what question(s) should I have asked?

The thing you enjoy most about your work.  My answer: seeing my ideas being realized and put in the ground, sometimes literally!

Supplemental Reading

Previous ProfileNew Sensation: John Noblitt, Lindsay (OK) City Manager

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