Who Are You? with Travis Newberry, City of Wildwood, MO

Posted on January 10, 2016

New! New! New! Here’s a chance for you to learn about the newest ELGL members. If you are not a member, shame on you. Join here.

Travis Newberry (LinkedIn and Twitter) is a planner for the City of Wildwood, MO. He was an intern at a regional parks and trail district in the St. Louis region called Great Rivers Greenway where he helped the communication and operation team. Travis was also a temporary Planning Assistant for Madison County, IL

He graduated with an MPA from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville.


I feel….

Thrilled that the flood waters are receding quickly on the Meremac River in Missouri…So. Much. Water.

I joined ELGL because…..

I was a huge fan of ELGL while I was in graduate school. ELGL is like the popular kids table in the lunchroom of local government and I want a seat!

The last book that I read was…

To be technical, “Odd Duck” by Cecil Castellucci with my niece Makayla…but really it was “Switch” by the Heath Brothers.

If I had to buy a Fathead, I would buy…


Vice President Joe Biden dressed as Evil Knievel. Hands down. If that’s not an option, I will work tirelessly until it becomes an option.

You should probably know that I…. 

had an Avengers coloring book long before adult coloring books were a thing. You should also know that I don’t typically say hipster things like that.

Do you agree/disagree with the following statement(s)……Explain….

Local government is innovative.

It is when it’s leaders allow it to be. I’ve worked for a local government that eagerly embraced and sought out innovation. I’ve also worked for a local government that often treated innovation as a dirty word. In both of those situations it was all about leadership. BUT, leadership happens at all levels of an organization, so get out there and lead the folks in charge toward innovation!

You should stay at least two years in a job.

Yes-ish. It takes at least 2 years to get an idea of all of the issues at hand. Also, it’s the right thing to do for the organization that hired you. They probably hired you expecting that you’d be there at least 2 years (and probably longer).  If it’s a bad job or a bad organization, work to make it better. If it’s boring, make it interesting. Of course there are exceptions. If it’s affecting your health, or it’s bad for your family, or there are ethical issues, or The President calls…get out. No need for an arbitrary time limit in those circumstances

Parks and Rec is the best TV show ever.


Well…no. The West Wing is the best show ever. HUGE fan of Leslie and crew, though. I quote both shows on a regular basis.

The best employees, not just the longest tenured, are rewarded in local government.

Agreed. The reward doesn’t always look like a higher salary, but the best employees are the most rewarded at the end of the day.

Publicly funded stadiums and arenas are a good idea.

Meh. Not sure. Every situation is different (cliché alert!). Public money has a place in supporting stadiums and arenas, but it should be very carefully considered and the benefit to the public should be very clear. Also, the public’s opinion should be vigorously pursued and seriously considered (*cough* *cough* St. Louis).

Cities need more bike lanes.

Always. But I would expand that to say that cities need more bike/ped facilities in general, not just bike lanes. Cars are awesome, but they cause a ton of problems. Bikes are awesome, and yes, they cause some problems too (mainly annoying people in cars). But, when we give people more options for transportation, they make better decisions about transportation.

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