Dad. Assistant City Manager. Surviving.

Category: About

My Local Government Motivation


If you work in local government management and ever need a motivational boost, these are the sources I look back to:

L.P. Cookingham on his management philosophy, originally published in ICMA’s Public Management magazine in 1956. Also see the ELGL’s post on the topic.

The Effective Local Government Manager from ICMA.

This City, This Man: The Cookingham Era in Kansas City by Bill Gilbert.

A New Lindsey!


We’re adding to our family! Sometime around November there will be a new Lindsey family member, and Cocoa will have to share attention with someone else.

Joining JeffCo

I hinted at it in my last post, but I’m excited to start a new job today.  I’ve been asked to start as a Budget Analyst for Jefferson County, Colorado.

I’m working in the Budget &  Management Analysis Division of the Administrative Services Department.  And I have a new office and everything.

I’m very happy to continue on at Jefferson County, and Emily and I are rooting quite a bit deeper in the JeffCo community.

Aspects of the Manager’s Job

From John Nalbandian, 1999 Public Administration Review, “Facilitating Community, Enabling Democracy: New Roles for Local Government Managers”:

Many aspects of the [city or county] manager’s job remain the same: keeping the council informed, providing continuity and stability, telling the council what it does not necessarily want to hear, and balancing short-run interests against a long-run, “greater good” perspective. The difference between now and ten years ago is in the emphasis on the facilitative role of the manager.

This is my chosen and learned profession, and I’m excited.

Moving Goverments Using Open Source CMS

I have decided to move Governments Using Open Source CMSs over to a new website, FollowYourGov.

I started FollowYourGov to chronicle the use of social media and social networking in governments.  I hope to show governments taking advantage of social networks to connect with their citizens.

You can find Governments Using Open Source CMSs over at FollowYourGov.

Last Day as Intern with Unified Government

City Hall of Unified GovernmentToday I completed an internship with the Budget Office of the Unified Government of Wyandotte County/Kansas City, Kansas.

It was a little sad to leave this afternoon.  I’ve worked with my boss and coworkers for nearly a year, and made a certain bond with them.  You know people are dedicated when they are sitting at a budget work session after midnight (here’s the tweet to prove it), after arriving at work at 8am that morning.  A close bond forms at times like those.

I’ve also learned the Unified Government (and it’s funds and departments) inside and out.  And I’ve met so many people that serve the citizens of Wyandotte County and Kansas City every day.

And I’ve bugged all of these wonderful public servants.  From learning to do accounts payable and trying to understand the fund structure, to surveying busy people for school projects, I know a lot of people have helped me without complaint.  Thank you all.

Unified Government LogoI have learned so much from my boss, my coworkers, and everyone else.  It is my hope that I contributed just as much in my time with the Budget Office.  I’m going to keep this post short, but I have many more thoughts about learning at the Unified Government and my experiences, most of which made it into a Moleskine or two.

As a side note, there were lots of events that took place at work.  Of note are seeing the Thunderbirds practice over Kansas City and witnessing a massive wreck on the way to work (and how social media got pictures of the wreck on the evening news).

Thank you, Unified Government.

Heading to Colorado in May

jeffco_logoI have some exciting news, which I first noted on my Facebook wall a while ago: “Chris Lindsey will be heading to Colorado in June for a great work opportunity!”

I will be going to Denver in May for a new job.  Well, not just me – Emily will be joining me!  Emily and I will be moving out to somewhere in west Denver shortly after she graduates from UGA in May.

I’ve accepted a position with the government of Jefferson County, Colorado.  I will be working a full-time internship to complete my the requirements for my degree from the University of Kansas.

Jefferson County is immediately west of Denver.  The county seat is the City of Golden, the home of the Coors Brewing Company (and the mountain stream from the commercials).  JeffCo is known as the Gateway to the Rocky Mountains, and the beauty shows it.  When I was interviewing for the job, I could look out the office windows and see the Rockies.

I’m really excited about working for Jefferson County.  They are very innovative and were featured last July in ICMA’s Public Management magazine for their method of prioritizing county services.

And they have a county blog (here) that’s advertised prominently on their homepage.  How unique is that?!  The very first post on Conversations with JeffCo was from the County Administrator.  He even responded to concerned citizens in the comments.

So the next few months will be hectic.  But I will update everyone after Emily and I get settled in.

PS – I cross-posted this to Facebook.

First Day of Master’s Classes

I finally made it out to Kansas and got moved into my new place.  I drove out last week with my parents and we moved in over the weekend.  Here’s a couple of photos, including one of my new Nissan Versa (hatchback):

My new Nissan Versa

I love this picture that my mom was able to snap while I was driving, Budweiser and the Gateway Arch:

Budweiser and St. Louis

And my official welcome to Kansas:

My real welcome to Kansas

My first class is this evening.  This class is on public budgeting.  I had orientation Monday and Tuesday, and I’ll be visiting the health center tomorrow morning for a cough I managed to get sometime during my hectic last three weeks.

This summer should be fun, and jam-packed.  Everything is a little unnerving, because I’m living alone for my first time ever (granted, I’m in an apartment building).  There have already been several severe Kansas storms, but every building out here has signs for where to go in case of a tornado, so I’m trying not to worry too much.

Becoming a Jayhawk

Finally I know where I will be after graduating in May from the University of Georgia.

I am going to be a University of Kansas Jayhawk!

Friday afternoon I was informed that I had been admitted to the Master’s of Public Administration program at the University of Kansas.

And I couldn’t have been more excited.

Four years ago, I wanted to go to law school. I made the decision to attend the University of Georgia for undergrad, knowing that I could have gone to “big name” schools. I decided to save money and attend an in-state school where I would receive free tuition (HOPE Scholarship). I would save money to go to the best graduate school (law, at the time) I could get into.

KU is known for its city management program, the field I wish to enter after graduate school.

So when I got into KU, the best school (by far) for city management, the decision was a no-brainer.

I’m proud to say I will be attending the University of Kansas, where I will start in June (the MPA program starts at the beginning of the summer). I am a nervous (and a little scared) about moving so far away from home (and so soon, the beginning of June), but I know I can survive.

Posting might be a little light around here for the next month or so (or maybe I will do the usual and post on here to procrastinate). I’ve got to finish classes at Georgia, take finals, graduate, get packed up, move to Lawrence, get settled in, and become a Jayhawk.

Rock Chalk, Jayhawk!

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