As we prepare for the ELGL & ICMA joint event at the ICMA Conference, attendees describe the current state of local government, their mentors, ways to strengthen local government, and of course, their dream six-pack. Link: Raise Your Hand If You’re Going “Back to the Future” with ELGL and ICMA.
Jeff Towery (LinkedIn and Twitter) began his career in Coos Bay, OR by serving as Assistant to the City Manager, City Manager Pro Tem and Assistant City Manager from February 1986 to May 1990. From there he went on to Cottage Grove, OR as the City Manager from June 1990 to March 1997 and held the same position in Auburn, NY from April 1997 to November 1998. In December 1998 he established Towery Consulting where he provided consulting services to local governments and other agencies until December 2005 on a part time basis. In August 2001 Towery joined Lane County, OR as aManagement Analyst II for one year and then served as the Land Management Manager until April 2007. He was hired as Assistant City Manager for the City of Springfield, OR in April 2007.
Towery holds a Master of Public Administration degree from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Montana State University.
Q & A with Jeff
1. Name your career mentors.
Jim Watson (deceased), Roger Jordan (retired), Dennis Taylor (retired).
2. Describe the current state of local government.
Particularly in Oregon, I think there is a disconnect between the type and amount of services that people want, are willing to pay for and the best way to fund those services. In addition, I see increasing innovation, better citizen engagement and a cadre of talented people in the profession.
3. During her presidency, Bonnie Svrcek encouraged ICMA members to do “Just One Thing” for the organization. What’s one thing we can do to strengthen local government?
Stay focused on our responsibility to make positive impacts on people’s lives.
4. In keeping with the beer tasting theme, tell us what we’d find in your ideal six pack.
Bart’s Best Bitter (Plank Town Brewing), Double D Blonde (Hop Valley), Eruption Imperial Red Ale (Worthy Brewing), Nebraska Bitter (McMenamins), Maiden the Shade (Ninkasi), Chainbreaker White IPA (Deschutes Brewery).
- Elisabeth Wright, Village of Gilberts, IL
- Mitch Foster, Kingsley, MI, Village Manager
- C. James Ervin, Town of Rocky Mount, VA
- Tamara Lynn Schaps, Evans School of Public Affairs
- Eric Norenberg, Oberlin (OH) City Manager
- Joe Casey, Henrico County, VA, Deputy County Manager
- Jason Escareno, San Mateo County, CA
- Ann Janda, Milton, VT
- Lee Worsley, Durham County
- Dan Weinheimer, Fort Collins, CO