New Sensation: Pete Olson, Yorktown (IN) Town Manager

Posted on May 31, 2014


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Background Check

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7330_185132770140_4406584_nPete Olson became Town Manager in 2008 after serving as Director of Field Operations since 2006. Prior to serving in Yorktown, Pete was the City Manger of Union City, IN and City Administrator of Sutton, NE.

Pete earned his Masters of Public Administration from the University of Nebraska at Omaha, and a Bachelors of Art in Political Science from Fort Hays State University.

downloadPete is an active member of the Indiana Municipal Mangers Association, where he has been elected President for the 2010 – 2011 year. Additionally he is a member of the International City Mangers Association, and has obtained the designation of Credentialed Manager from the ICMA.

Pete and his wife Amy, live in Yorktown with their St. Bernard, Pandora, and Beagle, Echo. In their down time Pete and Amy enjoy, sports, the arts, and traveling. Pete has completed four marathons.

Q & A with Pete

Pete has been the town manager in Yorktown, IN since 2008. Yorktown is in Delaware County and has a population of 9,405.

(Complete these phrases) Best thing about the….

tumblr_ms6pa4JtBw1r5dzczo1_40080’s was……. Poison, The A Team

90’s was…… College Life and finding my own way

00’s was….. Coming into my own with my family and finding friends

Last year was…..Challenging and Rewarding

Today is….what is happening even though I’ve probably made other plans!

Tell us about three accomplishments that you are most proud of.

I’m working on 15 years of marriage, 15 years of local government employment, and continue to experience life via happy experiences.

abc_simmons-bee_jees_nt_130711(Complete this sentence) I feel old when I……

..exercise or attend ICMA/IMMA Conferences (I remember when I was the young guy in the room and now I look around and think, how come these people are all my age or younger!)

Name two or three people that would you want in your dream selfie. 

I have my dream selfie, my wife and friends!

Tell us about two mistakes that you’ve made that we can learn from. 

a

  • I took things personally when a set of employees wanted to unionize.  Grow Thicker Skin
  • I took a position without doing the proper research, it led to a short stint as the manager. Do better research, but don’t be afraid of the change.

Give us three of your favorite YouTube videos.

Yorktown Indiana Four for the Fourth Course, I made it so it’s one of my favorites…

This is a two-fer!  Both are Penn and Teller Videos, one giving the 7 concepts of magic and the other doing Cups and Balls with clear plastic cups.

Evolution of Dance (because it was the most watched video on YouTube)

 

Our annual conference will be held in October 2014. Name three topics or speakers that should be included on the conference agenda.

  • Work Life Balance
  • How to be involved in your community more than professionally
  • Staff Development

Parent(s) can be influential in career choices of their kids. What was the career path of your parent(s)?images

My father was a secondary math teacher and has moved to the college math ranks, my mom has been a bank teller for most of my life and now is a volunteer EMT in addition to maintaining her teller position.

Name three of your mentors and describe them in five words.

  • Mike Sidel: Honest, Caring, Intelligent, Fun-loving, educator
  • Gary Huff: Honest, Caring, Ethical, educator, friend
  • Virgil Ulmer: Honest, Blunt, Vocal, Intelligent, Thoughtful

Your hometown…..what is it best known for?images (1)

Wheat

How can ELGL best contribute to the public sector?

Be a voice for passionate individuals who care about local government and providing a conduit for experienced and leaders to connect.

What’s broken in local government?

Public Apathy

Fast forward one year, what will factor into your decision on whether to renew your ELGL membership?

Am I obtaining a benefit via the stories, education or connections?

Give us two ideas for attracting and retaining talented individuals to the public sector.

  • Let the old dogs tell their stories about making a difference
  • Find ways to connect with people

What questions should we have asked?bwn3-gif7

Why did you choose local government?  My senior year of high school I was a volunteer firefighter and lifeguard at the municipal pool and didn’t like the decisions being made by the council.  I look back on it and probably think differently now!!!

Supplemental Reading

I’m the co-founder and executive director of ELGL. I love my job. Other things I love: local government, my family, my dog Michael Jordan, sandwiches, naps, books, and skee-ball.

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