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Quick Take: Karen Pinkos, City of El Cerrito, CA

Posted on September 5, 2014


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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.

Karen Pinkos

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City of El Cerrito, CA – Assistant City Manager

Connect: LinkedIn and Twitter

1. Name your career mentors.

Dan Fitzpatrick, City Manager, City of Rochester, New Hampshire (my first local government boss).

Scott Hanin, City Manager, City of El Cerrito, California (my current boss).

My mom, Cathy Pinkos, retired Deputy City Clerk, City of Royal Oak, Michigan (shout out to the family business).

2. Describe the current state of local government.

Resilient!  As we recuperate from that long illness called The Great Recession, we have made many sacrifices and suffered many losses…but it has also forced us to be nimble, flexible, creative, and tough.  And guess what? We are still here: better, stronger, and ready for whatever is next.

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?

Pay it forward.  Nobody in this profession does anything on their own or gets to where they want to be without support.  Once upon a time even the most seasoned local government managers were brand new and depended upon others to learn and develop…someone took a chance on them, or showed them the ropes, or taught them valuable lessons.  In our business the success of others means success for us all.  So, be that person for someone.  It helps the profession, it helps local government in general…and it feels REALLY good.

4. In keeping with the beer tasting theme, tell us what we’d find in your ideal six pack.

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