Since ELGL is not a big fan of icebreakers and since we would rather not know what animal you want to be, this blog feature will serve as a means of introducing new members. While you won’t learn about their favorite animal, you will learn about their ideal Sunday morning, which dead people would they FaceTime with, and which song best describes their life.
Name: Brian Southey
Education: University of Illinois Springfield, Master of Public Administration (MPA), Public Administration and Illinois State University Bachelor of Arts (B.A.), Political Science and Government
Current Position: Management Intern at City of Bloomington, IL
Previous Employment: Technical Assistant, City of Bloomington, IL and Ground Water Section Intern, Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (Bureau of Water)
Tell us about three projects that you are working on.
Establishing a new emerald ash borer (insect which inhabits and kills ash trees) policy for the City of Bloomington. For the last 4 years the City operated under a policy which focused on removing ash trees in the City as they became infected and eventually removing all City owned ash trees. The new policy focuses on treating healthy ash trees remaining in the area. While the treatment is only temporary, it will help to preserve the urban canopy for some time.
I have just finished a project for the City Manager and Council to review, weighing the options for the restoration of the local Vietnam and Korean War Veteran’s Memorial. The monument had a bronze sculpture of an eternal flame when it was original installed, which had been removed in an act of vandalism. At the request of members of the council I researched the possibility of installing an actual eternal flame on the monument. I weighed the cost, maintenance, and liability and have just recently submitted my final thoughts.
I am currently working with the Division Superintendents in our Department to try and move records from filing cabinets to computers. This will allow the files to be accessed by everyone in the Department that may need them. As a Parks, Recreation, and Cultural Arts Department we have a number of facilities in our Department that are scattered across the City. Each facility has its own filing system, the number of facilities include; golf courses, zoo, performing arts center, park maintenance facilities, and more. On too many occasions multiple people need access to a file but there is only one copy stuck on a random shelf in someone’s office. I am working with the Superintendents to collect years of documents such as project manuals, blueprints, operation & maintenance manuals, and more. As the files are collected they are being filed in central location on the City server, where they may be easily accessed by all who need them.
My parents, who have been together for over thirty years and instilled in me a love for family & friends, good music, great food, passion for the outdoors, and a hard work ethic.
Describe the inside of your car.
I usually attempt to keep it clean. However there are a few constants: a lot of CD’s stuck in every conceivable crevice, coffee cups, and the back always possesses some camping gear from my last trip to Shawnee National Forest.
Most recent concert you attended:
Last Saturday I attended a free outdoor concert on our downtown square put on by the local radio station WGLT featuring Pokey LaFarge, Peter Karp & Sue Foley, and Guy Forsythe.
If you could only visit five websites for the next year, which ones would you choose?
(Complete the sentence) Before I die I want to…
Hike the Appalachian Trail
Best career accomplishment.
I am extremely proud that I was able to help the City to change its policy on the emerald ash borer and as a result save numerous trees in area.
Nothing compares however to the joy I received when I proposed to my fiancé this past winter on a local TV spot and she said yes! In the career that is my life she is the best part of me.
Favorite TV show: Parks and Recreation, House of Cards, or other
Don’t know if I could pick between Parks and Recreation, Mad Men, or Breaking Bad
What song best describes your life?
Life is Beautiful – Ryan Adams
Suggest two or three topics for the ELGL annual conference.
Where do small town governments start a public-private partnership?
How to build community awareness on the topic of sustainable communities?
If you could FaceTime or Skype with three people either dead or alive, who would they be?
Favorite thing to do on a Sunday morning:
Sleeping in with my fiancé and then cooking biscuits and gravy.
(Complete the sentence) Government is…..
at the beginning of large changes and will continue in this rapid evolution for the foreseeable future.
(Complete the sentence) ELGL is …..
an opportunity for enthusiastic local leaders to meet, share stories & ideas, grow their network, and become stronger members of their respected communities.
What’s the meaning of life?
To establish a group of friends & family with whom you create love, give love, and can be loved.
What question(s) should I have asked you?
Why did you choose government work?
I believe it is a career path where someone can make a difference for the better.
- Jessica LaVigne, OPB Member Center Representative
- Jessica Cahill, PacificSource Health Plans, Communications Specialist
- Tom Hogue, Economic Development Specialist, Dept. of Land Conservation and Development
- Caleb Howe, City of Independence
- Geoff Wullschlager, PSU Center for Public Service, Budget Analyst
- Dylan Digby, City of West Linn Public Improvement Specialist
- Joshua Allen, Program Manager at Umatilla Basin Watershed Council
- Jeremy James, Cosgrave Vergeer Kester, Attorney
- Michael Rizzitiello, Beaverton Economic Development Coordinator
- Pavel Gubanikhin, Eugene Senior Budget Analyst
- Aaron Bogle, City of Beaverton, Neighborhood Program Project Specialist
- Scott Pingel, Dayton City Manager
- Rob Caballero, Willamette University MBA
- Melanie Cutler, Oregon Department of Revenue
- Stephanie Tripp, Oregon Health Authority, Public Affairs
- Andrew Spaeth, Oregon State Master of Public Policy
- Carlos Soriano, Business & Employment Specialist at State of Oregon
- Ellen Currier, Lane Council of Governments
- Eric Battles, University of Southern California
- Michelle Tagmyer, City of Beaverton Public Information
- Evan Fransted, University of Colorado-Denver School of Public Affairs
- Ben Patinkin, Patinkin Research Strategies
- Emma Williams, Oregon Metro
- Nick Herrera, State of Oregon
- Lauren Stott, Village of Montgomery, IL
- Beth Otto, City of Lake Oswego and PSU MURP Student
- Bradley Olin, California State University, Office of the Chancellor
- Adam Hackman, Drake University MPA Student
- Tamara Richards, City of Eugene
- Scott Aycock, Central Oregon Intergovernmental Council
- Dan Blue, City of Gresham
- Michael Parkhurst, City of Gresham
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.