The Lightning Round with Heidi Starks, West Slope Water District

Posted on July 9, 2012

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Heidi Starks

Manager, Finance and Customer Service

West Slope Water District

What book(s) is on your nightstand?

Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child.  The methods have worked well for my son Max, and I am hopeful that will continue.  I also have several unread National Geographic and Real Simple magazines…. It is a teetering pile of reading material.

 If you were to run for elected office, which position would seek?

I can see myself as a board member of a water district or similar during retirement.

Your best piece of career advice.

From my dad, Larry Starks; a firm hand shake.  From my mom, Brooke Starks; “Fess up kid”, do not cover up mistakes come forward as quickly as possible.  From my current manager, Jerry Arnold; “come to me with solutions, not problems”.

Biggest issue facing local governments?

Lack of citizen engagement.  Government must find a more succinct way to engage “typical” citizens than the current standard of board/ council meetings.  Technology will be critical in attracting citizens to participate in local government.

If you were a baseball player, what would be your theme music while you were on-deck?

Welcome to the Jungle by Guns n Roses.  My high school bedroom was covered in posters of Slash, it was the early 90’s, and yes, I had big hair.


What are three things people will say about you at your retirement party?

My hope is people will say I helped them discover local government as a career or assisted in their career development.  She had the best candy dish; where am going to get my afternoon chocolate fix?  When do you leave for Italy?  (I LOVE to travel, especially to places with excellent food and drink.  My husband and I hope to travel extensively during retirement)

If I turned on your iPod right now, what would be playing?

On Pandora right now I am listening to Storm Comin’ by The Wailin’ Jennys.  I love the artists I learn of from listing to Pandora.

Name two of your mentors. 

Bernice Bagnall retired Tualatin Valley Water District CFO, and Jerry Arnold, West Slope Water District General Manager.  I cannot begin to explain how valuable their example and guidance have been in shaping my career.

(Fill in the blank) Government is ……..  

Where it’s at!   Ok..ok.. in all seriousness; struggling financially but we will come out of the Great Recession with better financial policies that will increase financial resiliency in the future.

(Fill in the blank) ELGL is ……..

An outstanding resource to meet other local government leaders across jurisdictions and disciplines.

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