By Kristin Zagurski
I dread getting asked what I do. Not because I’m not proud of my work, but because it can be fairly hard to explain – particularly to those who work outside of local government.
When joining ELGL recently, I was pleased to learn that one of the group’s co-founders, Kent Wyatt, shares my title of senior management analyst.
It turns out that he also shares my plight of nobody knowing what his position does.
In attempt to combat this confusion, Kent asked me to write an article titled “What is a senior management analyst?” He connected me with two other senior management analysts so I could get a rundown of their duties, and provided me one regarding his own.
It turns out the four of us senior management analysts don’t have a whole lot of commonalities among our positions, which complicates my explanatory effort.
So, I simply offer these snapshots of our work as my description of our often-misunderstood positions:
Kent Wyatt, City of Tigard, Oregon
Path to position: Management Analyst → Senior Management Analyst, both with the City of Tigard
Reports to: City Management
Supervises employees? No
Short summary of role: A mix of social media, safety and special projects
- Manage the city’s social media accounts: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram
- Staff the Safety Committee
- Coordinate federal and state legislative agendas
- Assist with franchise management for telecommunications
- Serve on the city’s communications team
- Assist with risk management, handling property claims and workers compensation
What he wants you to know about senior management analysts: Although it’s a “senior” title, I am only 37 years old.
Lynn Lehner, City of Temecula, California
Path to position: Management Analyst, City of Dana Point → Senior Management Analyst, City of Temecula
Reports to: Director of Community Development
Supervises employees? Yes, three administrative staff, plus an occasional intern
Short summary of role: Manages (and loves) the projects that everyone else tends to run away from like budget, personnel, operations and special projects
- Oversee the development of the department budget
- Manage the administrative and operational functions of the department, including administrative staff, purchasing, contracts, recruitments, personnel, training and resource management
- Oversee consultants on several projects that relate to the fiscalization of land use and the fiscal impact of proposed developments on the city’s general fund
- Coordinate the city’s wellness program
What she wants you to know about senior management analysts: It is a versatile role that varies from department to department, city to city. Senior management analysts have an opportunity to play on their own strengths and make their position their own.
Jen McFarland, City of Portland, Oregon
Path to position: Performance Management Fellow → Regulatory Specialist → Business Systems Analyst → Senior Management Analyst, all with the City of Portland
Reports to: Revenue Division Manager
Supervises employees? No, but leads a cross-functional team
Short summary of role: Special projects guru that is big-picture and detail oriented, providing recommendations to decision-makers using business cases and data-driven forecasts
- Create administrative, financial, policy and other management analyses in support of Revenue Division activities, functions and programs
- Create, develop, implement, evaluate and operate the Revenue Division IRS Data Exchange Program
What she wants people to know about senior management analysts: What Lynn said.
Kristin Zagurski, Town of Castle Rock, Colorado
Path to position: Community Relations Specialist → Senior Community Relations Specialist → Management Analyst → Senior Management Analyst, all with the Town of Castle Rock
Reports to: Town Manager
Supervises employees: Yes, the Facilities Administrator
Short summary of role: Some HR, some PR and special projects
- Complete research and projects involving Town administrative, fiscal and operational issues and make policy recommendations, including regarding proposed legislation and organizational performance measurement
- Manage the Facilities Division: oversee personnel matters, prepare the budget and conduct long-range planning
- Prepare and administer contracts and agreements, including service contracts with community organizations and utility franchise agreements
- Manage the Town’s wellness program and recruit for executive-level vacancies within the organization
- Act as a staff liaison to the Public Art Commission
What I want people to know about senior management analysts: Although it can be a hard position to define, we contribute a lot to our organizations.