Quick Take: Mitch Foster, Kingsley, MI, Village Manager

Posted on September 2, 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.

Mitch Foster


Village Manager

Kingsley, Michigan

Connect: LinkedIn and Twitter

Background Check

download (2)Mitchell Foster attended Northern Michigan University and graduated in 2011 with his Bachelor’s degree in Political Science with Minors in History and Economics and then earned his Master’s in Public Administration from the University of Nevada, Reno in May of 2013. During the summer of 2012 he interned with the City of Evart, MI working with the City Manager on a Capital Improvement Plan as well as Zoning Ordinance updates. He again interned with the County of Washoe, NV during the Winter-Spring of 2013 on the transformation of the organization and on numerous cross-functional team metrics. Mitch grew up and graduated from Big Rapids High School in Big Rapids, MI and was married in July of 2013 to his wife, Rebecca.

1. Name your career mentors.

For me, the people who have meant the most to my young career has been Katy Simon (frmr Washoe County, NV Manager) and Nate Geinzer (Assistant to the City Manager of Farmington Hills, MI). Neither has been a direct mentor but have both showed me what it is like to be an honest and hardworking administrator.

2. Describe the current state of local government.

Local government is going through a drastic change in demographics as well as how we structure our bureaucracy in order to move into the next generation of challenges and opportunities. Allowing every municipality the opportunity to craft their own future in whichever form they see fit.

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?

HIRE AN INTERN! We are losing out on hundreds, maybe even thousands, of great people to join our profession because they can’t get a foot in the door.

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

My ultimate six-pack would consist of 2 Leinenkugal Summer Shandy’s, 2 Bell’s Oberon’s, and 2 Strongbow’s.

Supplemental Reading

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