Saturday, December 31, 2011

Olathe, Kansas Management Internship

About the

Management Internship

The Internship The City of Olathe has a great opportunity for a committed, team oriented, and highly motivated MPA graduate (or student who has completed all MPA coursework) to join the City Manager’s Office as a Management Intern. The duties and responsibilities of the Management Intern are designed to further prepare the incumbent for a successful career in local government. This is a full-time paid position.

Position Summary. The selected candidate will perform a variety of entry level professional administrative work, research, and analysis in support of the City Manager’s Office. The work performed by the Management Intern will be highly visible and have a direct impact on the organization. Typical assignments/projects will involve public relations, civic education programs, internal/external committees, the operating and capital budget, legislative activities, and a good balance of administrative and operational responsibilities. The intern will gain exposure to innovative best practices in our award-winning organization, through your rotations in the City Manager’s Office and a department that provides a very well rounded experience.

Requirements Requires a Master of Public Administration (or student who has completed all MPA coursework) or equivalent degree by July 1 and at least 6 months of related work experience. Applicable Internships (paid or non-paid) will satisfy the experience requirement. The ideal candidate will have a general knowledge of municipal government operations and be proficient with Microsoft Word, Excel, Power Point and related applications.

PREAMBLE: By embracing these core values, employees of the City of Olathe are committed to serving the community with respect, accountability, initiative and integrity.

Customer Service: We value a friendly attitude that delivers timely, competent, and responsible service to all of our customers.

Teamwork: We value cooperation with others to achieve the best for our organization and community.

Learning: We value an innovative environment that challenges us to continuously seek ways to improve our organization and our community.

Communication: We value open discussion with others as the basis for decision-making and action.

Leadership through Service: We value an organization in which each of us is a leader focused on serving people through listening to, caring for, supporting, and developing others.

About the position of

Management Intern

Job Description Under the direction of the Assistant City Manager, performs entry level professional work for the City Manager’s Office. Participates in and/or leads a variety of projects contributing to the continued success of various organization-wide initiatives. Duties and responsibilities are designed to further prepare the incumbent for a successful career in local government.

Routine Job Duties/Responsibilities

· Perform entry level professional administrative work, research, and analysis in support of the City Manager’s office and the Mayor and Council as directed.

· Interact regularly with personnel from each department to ensure effective interdepartmental communication and maximize operational effectiveness.

· Responds to citizen inquiries/requests and resolves all issues within assigned scope of responsibility in a timely manner. Refers more complex issues to the Assistant City Manager for resolution.

· Assist with developing and implementing projects and/or programs impacting one or more City departments.

· Collect and organize data for the City-wide Balanced Scorecard.

· Facilitates program for Olathe District Schools third graders to learn about local government.

· Act as Staff Advisor to the Olathe Teen Council.

· Assist with Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) budgetary process by inputting data, performing appropriate analysis, and preparing necessary reports.

· Attend and participate in various organizational meetings and meetings of the City Council and Council sub-committees as directed.

· Perform other duties and responsibilities as assigned.

Periodic Job Duties/Responsibilities

· May facilitate employee committee or ad hoc groups.


· Masters in Public Administration or equivalent

· At least six months of related work experience, applicable internships (paid or non-paid) are acceptable for experience requirement.

About the position of

Management Intern


· Ability to organize, direct and coordinate projects and meetings

· Ability to handle confidential information in a sensitive manner

· Excellent oral and written communication skills

· Ability to handle multiple demands and competing priorities

· Ability to work independently after receiving initial guidance

· Basic mathematical skills

· Ability to meet and deal tactfully with the general public, elected officials, vendors, employees and citizens


· General knowledge of municipal governments, city regulations/codes and ordinances

· Proficiency with PCs and computer software and applications

· General knowledge of office equipment, including photo copier, telephone, facsimile, calculator, shredder, etc.


· Valid Kansas Driver’s License (within 30 days of


Working Conditions

· Long periods of computer and office work

· Intermittent periods of standing and walking

· Ability to lift, carry, push and pull up to 20 pounds

· Constant talking, hearing, concentration, judgment and writing ability

Note This job description should not be construed to imply that these requirements are the exclusive standards of the position. Interns will follow any other instructions, and perform any other related duties, as may be required. The employer has the right to revise this job description at any time. The job description is not to be construed as a contract for employment.

About the

Salary & Benefits

Salary: $34,500

Benefits: · Health, Dental, and Vision Insurance

· Life Insurance ($10,000 life/$10,000 accidental death and dismemberment policy)

· Deferred Compensation, with City match up to $30 per pay period

· KPERS (Kansas Public Employees’ Retirement System)

· 10.5 Paid Holidays per Year

· One Personal Day per Year

· Vacation: 2 weeks per Year

· A detailed description of benefits may be found on the City’s website

Thursday, December 8, 2011

City of Phoenix Management Internship

Phoenix has posted information regarding their Management Internship for 2012. Find more information on the employment page.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

City of Richmond Fellowship

The City of Richmond, VA, just opened a position of Management Fellow. The program rotates the fellow through 4-5 city departments during an 11 month fellowship. More info on the employment page.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Interview with Darin Atteberry and Josh Jones, City Manager and Management Assistant, Fort Collins, CO

by Andrew Nelson

Editor's note:

This interview is the second in a series of conversations I had with city managers at the annual ICMA conference in Milwaukee. I had the opportunity to meet with Darin Atteberry and Josh Jones from the city of Fort Collins. It was a great opportunity to meet both the manager and his management assistant.

City profile:

145,000 residents

26,000 CSU students

$103 million general fund budget

Total budget is $454 million

Full service city with an electric utility

Transit system as its own department

2,000 employees in spring and summer; 1,400-1,500 in winter

Describe your career path.


In 1989, I graduated from Cal-Poly San Luis Obispo in city and regional planning and then moved to Atlanta to go to Georgia Tech. I finished Georgia Tech in 1991 with a Master’s in City Planning and a Master’s in Civil Engineering. That’s my educational background. In terms of work experience, I did my first internship in Pismo Beach, California, and then Santa Rosa, California in the city planning department. While I was in Atlanta I was a graduate research assistant and then I also worked for MARTA (Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority), the transit agency, and I also did my thesis for MARTA. From there I moved to Vancouver, Washington where I was a senior city planner for about five years and then I came to Fort Collins to be the assistant city manager. I’ve been in Fort Collins now for about fifteen years. I was the assistant city manager for the first eight years and then the city manager for the last seven and a half years.

Darin Atteberry, City Manager, Fort Collins, CO


I went to Weber State University and interned in South Ogden City with Scott Darrington. Then I went to KU and I interned with the League of Kansas Municipalities and then Douglas County, Kansas. And now, I’m here in Fort Collins.

How many times have you offered the management program in the past?


Probably two or three times. I think this year – the program that Josh is in – is much more deliberate. It was a line-item in our budget and in prior years we had an intern from Associated Students at Colorado State University. Really though, in the last decade it hasn’t been a formal management internship where we did a national search and said “Hey, students who are interested come apply…”

It’s a full-time, benefited, salaried position. Fort Collins has had a history of strong professional interns dating back to John Arnold’s day. John was a KU grad and we had a very structured program at that time. During Steve Burkett’s day it was kind of hit-or-miss. And then John Fishbach, who is also a KU grad, had a kind of a hit-or-miss program. Again, I think this is the first year where it’s been a specific budget request. It’s a very deliberate attempt on my part to invest in the future of people like Josh who are coming out of school, and public administration programs and also bring fresh, new thinking into our organization. As I like to say, we may be growing the next potential city manager in Fort Collins. It’s an investment in the profession, it’s an investment in younger professionals, and it’s potentially building a future relationship in Fort Collins.


I would comment, too, about the duration of the program. It’s interesting that one of the very first management assistants - assistant city manager Wendy Williams – started about 25 years ago. So from her to me, and everyone else in between, there’s a really nice legacy here in Fort Collins.

So you have a high rate of retention?


In fact, it’s interesting at these conferences, I was just at the center for performance measurement yesterday, and a gentleman came up to me and said, “Please say hi to Rita Harris (a current Fort Collins employee).” This fellow is the city manager of Oshkosh, Wisconsin, but before that he was an intern back under John Arnold. As another example, Julia Novak, who I saw last night, is a former intern in Fort Collins. She became a city manager and is now doing consulting work. It’s really exciting to see some of the history.

Given the tough budget situation many cities are in, was it a difficult sell to your council to create a new position?


Context is important. Since I became the city manager about seven years ago, we’ve been cutting, laying off, and tightening efficiencies, but we’ve done that in a very surgical way rather than using a hatchet. The good news is that last November the voters said yes to a ballot measure, “Keep Fort Collins Great,” that raised our sales tax by 0.85. This generates nearly $20 million new dollars per year. I originally had a proposed budget that assumed no increase, but then once the voters approved that increase, one of the strategies that I had recommended to the council was this internship program. If it weren’t for this increase – I would have still advocated for the program – but it had a much better chance of passing with the increase in the sales tax. Again, for me, I look at it as a long term investment.

One proposal on the ICMA task force for internship guidelines is using interns within a revenue-generating department. For example, one day a week the fellow would write parking tickets that would pay for their work. Do you have any feelings on that?

Josh: (laughs)


I would not do that. It’s innovative and it’s interesting, but for me, to use that specific example, parking fines are not used to generate revenue but to enforce adequate turnover in parking so that retailers have good street access. I don’t mean to sound elitist, but we just don’t look at it that way. I think there is value – I mean, wow, to go as an intern and write tickets for a day or a week would be an incredible experience, but as a revenue generation source that wouldn’t be a good fit for the city of Fort Collins. But it would be a good experience for the intern to go out and experience that. One of the things I try to do myself is organize ride-alongs for police, fire, or code enforcement. I’ve not done a walk-along with parking. People can be brutal to those guys, and I think that it would give me or an intern a great appreciation for what our coworkers do.


To that I would add that I think Darin did a good job before I even arrived of preparing the city for the internship program. He talked it up, and he talked me up, frankly, and I appreciate that. Since I arrived, everyone has been very respectful of me and my time. Darin and others have involved me in very high-level projects and I’ve never felt like I’m just getting coffee or doing grunt work. Every project I’ve ever done so far has been, in my opinion, a great use of my time. I think that’s a good thing for an internship program. Unfortunately, other internship programs can be more about getting the coffee. Parking enforcement for a day would be great though!


Yes, you’re done with your degree work, and now it is a professional experience. I really like what Josh said. Back to the question about parking revenue, I think it’s really good to experience that hands-on work. I try to do that now still, even after twenty years, but I don’t think it would be the highest or best use of Josh’s time to have him out doing parking enforcement on a regular basis.

Let’s speak more specifically about Fort Collins. What’s the biggest problem you are facing right now?


I really can’t limit it to just one. We do have some really big ones. We’ve got major capital projects, a new interstate highway interchange, a new museum, an expanded performing arts center, an $86 million bus rapid transit system, etc. It’s all really, really, exciting, but any one of those projects gone wrong could be a real bad thing. So, we have a very intense capital improvement time going on. Any city in America would like to have any one of these projects, let alone the five that we have. The intensity of capital projects is a wonderful opportunity and we’ve got to make sure we’re dotting our i’s and crossing our t’s.

Another thing is this continued improvement of the relationship between the council and the staff, making sure that it is rock solid, and that it’s progressive. We’re growing together, and we’re consistent with the board of directors’ level vision of being world-class. Obviously the movement of boomers leaving our work force makes succession planning a very big deal. And then, like I said, since we’ve been in a cut mode for the last seven years and really tightening, this “Keep Fort Collins Great” tax measure gives us $20 million new dollars per year. When you’ve been cutting for the last seven years, you’re not used to spending! I had our mayor pro-tem tell me the other day, “Darin, you need to loosen up a little bit here because they didn’t give us the money to hoard it and to save it. They gave us the money to spend it. We’re aware though of spending it very, very wisely, reporting it, making sure it’s just not a feeding frenzy and being very deliberate, very strategic, under the context of the Malcolm-Baldridge stuff [National Quality Award from the National Institute of Standards and Technology] … Most of that sounds like great problems to have (and they are), and so I kind of keep my head down at this conference because everyone else is laying people off or doing furloughs.

I’ll pull back the curtain a little bit too. As a longer-term manager – I’ve been in the city for fifteen years and the manager for seven and a half years – how you stay passionate and get goose bumps for the work you’re doing is very important. And I do have that, but I also recognize that for me, if I’m not innovating and I’m not helping facilitate transformational change, that’s a warning sign. I want to make sure we have that. The organization has really counted on me driving change, which is good and comes with responsibilities.

Largest employer is Colorado State University, and then the school district. Companies include Intel, Hewlett Packard, AMD, Avago, and other very well-known hi-tech firms.

Josh, how did you find this internship and why did you choose it?

A few months ago, I was committed to getting a management internship wherever it may be. I applied to places as far away as Lexington, Massachusetts to Eureka, California and everywhere in between. I ended up getting a few offers and to me, Fort Collins was the right fit. It’s like hiring the city manager or any other employee for that matter – it has to be the right fit. One of the other internships I looked at was the “coffee and grunt work” kind of deal and the other one was a very, very large organization – one of the top ten cities population-wise in the U.S. – and I felt like I might get lost in that organization and I didn’t know how that organization would truly utilize a $30,000 per year intern, whereas in Fort Collins I feel like I’m really being utilized every day. They value my presence and I’m getting a lot of work, being able to produce, make a difference for them, and contribute in a meaningful way. Last week we were in the office after council meeting at 2 A.M., and if I didn’t want to be here, and if I didn’t value the work and respect the work that I’m doing, then I certainly would not be there at 2 A.M. It’s a good fit, I’m having a great time, and it’s a dream job for me, so I’ll stay ‘til 2 A.M. because I feel that it’s worth my time.

Josh Jones, Management Assistant, City of Fort Collins


I think about Josh’s story and I think about what we’re doing at ICMA [best practices presentations], whether it’s budgeting or performance measurement, the way we do pay and benefits with performance-based pay, our economic development work with clusters and incubators, etc. My job is a real privilege. Admittedly, I think Fort Collins has been a place that’s known as an innovator, though not necessarily out in the extreme edge. I have a group of colleagues that met about five years ago who said that they were watching what some cities were doing regarding budgeting for outcomes. Fort Collins had adopted it and they said, “Oh, we had better pay attention to it.” What’s really interesting about Fort Collins is when I did my mid-year evaluation (twice a year I go in with the council during an executive session and do an evaluation) and in that evaluation I’ll get feedback about what I’m doing and what the city is doing. But they are also driving me to more and more innovation. “Why aren’t we innovating more, why aren’t we driving transformational change?” I leave my evaluation a little defensive. Are you kidding me? We’re driving change! But then, I go home and wake up the next day and think how great it is to be part of an organization, to be in a position where my board of directors is saying “We want innovation.” Because most of these managers probably don’t have a board saying that kind of stuff. [They say] “Keep the course, don’t change.” That’s not Fort Collins.