The FCCMA PodcastJun 30, 2022
Episode #129: Kurt Bressner - Effective Leadership
City Manager veteran Kurt Bressner, with experience both in and out of Florida, joins Steve to discuss the timeless wisdom found in the 1960s ICMA article "Guideposts for City Managers." Serving as a Senior Advisor for ICMA/FCCMA, Kurt shares insights into his role and emphasizes the importance of active listening in effective city management.
Episode #128: Dr. John Daly - Evolving Landscapes of Local Government
John Daly, Ph.D., a veteran teacher at the USF School of Public Affairs, engages in a conversation with Steve about the transformations in city and county administration over his 38-year career. Exploring the challenges of modern local management, Daly addresses the declining trust in government and offers insights on recruiting young talent. The episode sheds light on the evolving dynamics of public service.
Episode #127: Annamarie Reno - Navigating Local Governance
Meet Annamarie Reno, the City Manager of Mascotte, as she shares her experiences moving from Michigan to Florida. With a population of around 8,400, Mascotte presents unique challenges. Annamarie discusses the contrasts in local government between the two states and reflects on the significant changes she has encountered since making the move.
Episode #126: Mike Abels - Strategic Planning Insights
Former City Manager of DeLand and Interim City Manager of Flagler Beach, Mike Abels, joins Steve for a historical journey. Drawing lessons from Thomas Jefferson and his time volunteering at Monticello, Mike emphasizes the need for citizen buy-in for effective strategic planning. He shares that strategic planning precedes goal setting, providing a roadmap for successful plan implementation.
Episode #125: Kevin Surace - FLC Keynote Speaker on Artificial Intelligence
Kevin Surace, a technologist, futurist, and AI expert, takes the spotlight as a keynote speaker on artificial intelligence. With a wealth of experience dating back to his time in Silicon Valley in 1985, Kevin emphasizes the role of AI in addressing pain points and enhancing results for constituents. He introduces "Codecomply.ai," an innovative service that will analyze city documents for code compliance. Kevin provides practical advice on incorporating AI immediately, illustrating how cities can harness the power of technology to streamline processes and better serve their communities. His insights shed light on the potential of AI to revolutionize local governance.
Episode #124: Lynne Ladner - What it Means to be a Jack of All Trades
Lynne Ladner, Town Manager and Finance Director of Ocean Ridge delves into her multifaceted role. Responsible for a population of over 1,800 in a fully residential community, Lynne discusses her journey from the private sector to public service. She emphasizes the value of meeting residents where they are and highlights the importance of patience and dedication in a town manager's role. Lynne shares her approach to navigating challenges, including resident consideration when making significant infrastructure changes, and her strategies for seeking funding from private foundations. Her experience sheds light on the diverse skills and mindset required in a town manager's position.
Episode #123: T. Michael Stavres - Seek First to Understand, then to be Understood
T. Michael Stavres, City Manager of Winter Haven, shares his perspective on effective leadership and community growth. With a team of certified subject-matter experts, Winter Haven's focus is on understanding constituents' emotions and perspectives. T. Michael emphasizes the impact of public investment on private growth, exemplified by Winter Haven's infrastructure improvements. He highlights the transformational power of leveraging public funds for infrastructure, which yielded remarkable private investment returns for Winter Haven. Through his insights, T. Michael illustrates how being receptive to change and investing in a community can lead to positive outcomes.
Episode #122: Marshall Labadie - Serving Residents in the Highlight of Their Twilight
In this episode, Marshall Labadie, the Town Manager of Highland Beach, provides insights into managing a unique community. Situated between Boca Raton and Delray Beach, Highland Beach boasts a population of 4,200 that doubles in the winter months. Marshall emphasizes the importance of collaboration, highlighting that success is achieved when everyone works together. He discusses the concept of regionalization and the benefits of service-sharing across boundaries, such as police and fire stations. Marshall's experience showcases how effective local governance involves recognizing who does things best, even if it's not always the local government.
Episode #121: Desiree Casanova - From Student to Civic Leader
Desiree Casanova, an alumna of the ICMA one-year fellowship program, was a guest on the FCCMA podcast for episode #36. We’re excited to welcome her back and hear how her journey has evolved! Join us to hear Desiree speak about mentorship from a unique perspective, her experience in the ICM fellowship program, and her position in Sarasota County.
Episode #120: Tobey Cyr - Teaching Principles in Local Government
Tobey Cyr, Director of Customer Service for The Villages, draws on her educational background in Early Childhood Education to discuss her approach to management. She outlines her five classroom-inspired rules and explores The Villages' expansion into new neighborhoods, catering to a diverse retiree demographic.
Episode #119: Dr. Brenda Fettrow- Navigating Leadership and Community Engagement
Dr. Brenda Fettrow, City Manager of Rockledge, shares her approach to leadership and community engagement. Her focus on being business-friendly, accessible, and informed allows for positive relationships with developers. Dr. Fettrow also discusses the impact of being located on the space coast and how Rockledge adapted to the end of the shuttle program.
Episode #118: Kim Glas-Castro - Balancing Roles as Village Manager and Elected
Kim Glas-Castro, Assistant Village Manager of the Village of Palm Springs and Commissioner/Vice Mayor in Lake Park, discusses her unique position and insights gained from simultaneously holding roles as a village manager and elected official. She explores challenges in engaging residents, participating in commission meetings and finding common ground as a certified mediator.
Episode #117: Ratna Okhai - Transparency in Crisis
Dr. Ratna Okhai, a recent Ph.D. graduate in Public Affairs from UCF and soon-to-be faculty member at the University of South Florida, joins us to discuss the critical role of transparency in crisis communication. Drawing from her research on social media and crisis communications, Ratna sheds light on the concept of a "cascading crisis." She highlights the balance between sharing pertinent information and overwhelming residents during emergencies. Ratna discusses municipal government priorities during crises and offers insights into fostering community security through transparent communication.
Episode #116: Sheryl Sculley – Building Credibility and Winning Teams
In this enlightening episode, Sheryl Sculley, the Amazon bestselling author and keynote speaker at the 2023 FCCMA Annual Conference, shares her wisdom on establishing credibility, confidence and trust in local government. Sheryl provides valuable advice on nurturing employee autonomy while offering guidance and coaching. She emphasizes the importance of political savvy for city government employees. Tune in to discover Sheryl's insights on talent spotting and team building, gleaned from her extensive experience in the field.
Episode #115: Steven Hunnicutt – Law Enforcement to Leadership
In this episode, we hear the inspiring story of Steven Hunnicutt, Lake Hamilton Town Administrator. Join us as we explore his transformation from a police officer to a Town Administrator and learn how his diverse experiences have shaped his approach to understanding community needs and navigating resistance to change.
Episode #114: Andrea McCue – Navigating Change
In this episode, Andrea McCue, the City Manager of Greenacres, shares her insights on leading through change. Starting with a clean slate, Andrea outlines her approach to understanding the city's dynamics before implementing impactful changes. She delves into her guideposts for problem-solving, which include leadership training and team building. Andrea emphasizes the importance of grasping the needs of elected officials, employees and neighbors to set the right course. Join us to learn how Andrea's strategic navigation brought transformation to Greenacres.
Episode #112: Michelle del Valle - Giving Your Team Wins
In this episode, Assistant City Manager Michelle del Valle from Winter Park explores the importance of giving people victories. She discusses various initiatives, including park and library creation, addressing resistance to change within communities and building consensus through feedback from dissenting residents. Michelle recommends starting discussions with concepts to ensure that everyone's voice is valued.
Episode #111: Travis Wade - Apalachicola's Evolution and Challenges
Travis Wade, City Manager of Apalachicola, reflects on the city's transformation from a seafood-driven economy to a tourist-driven one. The discussion with Steve covers topics such as height limits for new construction permits, challenges in ensuring high-quality drinking water, and the city's efforts to expand its riverfront community.
Episode #110: Ana Garcia - Building Great Teams and Aligning Words with Actions
In this episode, Dania Beach City Manager Ana Garcia shares essential action steps for building great teams in city management. She emphasizes the importance of having one mission and one direction while keeping politics out of city hall. Ana believes that everything starts with the foundation of the team and the shared set of values. While team members may have different mindsets, having a common foundation is crucial. As a public servant, she discusses the significance of aligning words with actions to ensure consistency and maintain credibility.
Episode #109: Kevin Guthrie – Recovering and Rebuilding: Insights on Preparing for Natural Disasters
Back in episode #19, Steve interviewed the then fairly new Florida Division of Emergency Management Director, Kevin Guthrie. Today we re-visit Director Guthrie who speaks directly to city and county management with the end goal of saving lives and recovering tens of millions of dollars through FDEM and FEMA.
Episode #108: George Landry - The Desire to Serve a Greater Good Than Yourself
In this episode, George Landry, County Administrator of St. Lucie County, reflects on his military background and transition to public service. With a 20-year military service and extensive overseas experience, Landry shares the alignment of skillsets required for critical decision-making. He expresses the satisfaction of impacting lives in the public sector and discusses the rapid growth of St. Lucie County, home to over 350,000 residents.
Episode #107: Donna Renberg – Nurturing Future Leaders, Toll Roads and Managing Tourism
In this episode, Deputy County Manager Donna Renberg of Osceola County explores the value of mentorship and preparing future leaders. Renberg emphasizes the significance of providing all the necessary information to those working under her and creating a safe space for open dialogue. She discusses the challenges of delegating tasks and dealing with the perceived loss of control. Additionally, the episode touches upon Osceola County's reliance on tourism and agriculture.
Episode #106: Carlos Baia - Setting Your Community Apart
Temple Terrace City Manager Carlos Baia shares his insights on how government processes can facilitate or hinder business. In this episode, Baia discusses the importance of differentiating your community from larger neighboring areas like, in his case, Tampa. He emphasizes the need for communities to be selective in accepting development projects, ensuring they are the best choices for specific areas within the community. Baia encourages communities to strive for uniqueness and avoid becoming just another neighborhood in a larger metropolitan region.
Episode #105: Sam Silverstein - The Power of Accountability
Explore the transformative power of accountability in leadership with Sam Silverstein, founder of the Accountability Institute and keynote speaker at the 2023 FCCMA Annual Conference. Discover a new perspective on accountability as a gift, not punishment. Learn about relational commitments and the role of leaders in modeling and teaching accountability.
Episode #104: Rick Johnson - Rebuilding Trust in Mulberry
Join Rick Johnson, City Manager of Mulberry, as he shares the inspiring story of the city's revival. Hear about the challenges faced, including corruption and high taxes. Learn about the ongoing projects, such as a new municipal complex and downtown restaurant complex, funded by the Community Redevelopment Agency.
Episode #103: Christophe St. Luce - Technology for Effective Governance
Discover how technology is transforming governance with Christophe St. Luce. Explore the city's progress, including the construction of a Riverwalk. Christophe discusses using leading-edge technology, reaching wider audiences and overcoming daily technological challenges.
Episode #102: Deborah Manzo - Contrasts, Risks and Mentorship
Join Deborah Manzo, County Administrator of Okeechobee County, as she navigates the differences between urban Palm Beach County and rural Okeechobee. Explore the challenges of rising homeowner insurance and the importance of stormwater mitigation. Deborah also offers valuable insights from her experience as a mentor.
Episode #101: Henry Schubert - The Value of Relationship Building in Local Government
City Manager of Largo, Henry Schubert, discusses the importance of building relationships with employees and communities. He talks about his monthly breakfast meetings with employees from different departments, where he gets to know them in a casual and conversational way. Henry also shares his experience dealing with diverse geography and communities and the need for honest communication and clearly communicating parameters.
Episode #100: Mike Sittig - Reflections on a Nearly 50-Year Career with the Florida League of Cities
In this special 100th episode, our featured guest is Mike Sittig, who worked for the Florida League of Cities for nearly 50 years and served as its Executive Director for 25. He talks about his retirement a little over two years ago and reflects on his long and successful career. The episode provides insights into the challenges and opportunities FLC faced during Mike's time there and how he helped steer the organization through them.
Episode #99: Roger Desjarlais - Challenges in Recruiting and Managing Employees
Lee County Manager Roger Desjarlais discusses the challenges of recruiting and maintaining the best employees in a changing environment where people get their information virtually. He also shares his experience helping newly elected officials navigate the process and have their voices heard. Roger discusses project management challenges and successes during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Episode #98: Kristina Ciuperger – Fitting a Square Peg Into a Round Hole
In this episode, Kristina Ciuperger, Deputy City Manager of Port St. Lucie, emphasizes that people are a product of their behavior and that allowing them to pursue their passions will keep them motivated and enable them to excel at their jobs. Kristina also talks about the need for departments to communicate effectively, utilizing social media and understanding the cultural use of each medium. As a leader, she highlights the importance of helping others see their potential and finding the right way to communicate with all departments.
Episode #97: Chris Holley - Disaster Response and Financial Planning in Local Government
Retired/Interim City Manager Chris Holley shares insights from his 50 years in local government, particularly on disaster response and financial planning. Known as the "Master of Disaster," Holley has served as an interim manager for cities in need, often those struck by natural disasters. Holley emphasizes the need for a response protocol that managers can use when dealing with storms and the importance of financial planning, especially in times of crisis when property values are devastated. He also discusses the challenges of disaster response and rule book interactions between state and federal governments, mainly in hurricane-prone Florida.
Episode #96: Carl Harness - Homelessness and the Human Services Sector
In this episode of the FCCMA podcast, Chief Human Services Administrator of Hillsborough County Carl Harness talks about the challenges of homelessness. Harness explains the six-legged stool model of human services, how the Tampa Hillsborough Homeless Initiative addresses homelessness, and how they are working with developers to provide housing for homeless vets and families. He also touches on the fastest-growing housing segment — long-term stay hotels and how rising rent and insurance costs affect middle-class families.
Episode #95: Dr. Tony Lopez - How the Public Sector can Benefit from Operating like a Business
Miami Lakes Deputy Town Manager Dr. Tony Lopez began his Doctor of Business Administration program with one goal: to determine the factors driving the success of local government services and infrastructure. In this episode, he explains the differences between privatization, outsourcing, and public/private partnership and how the public sector can solve problems using business principles.
Episode #94: Claire Jubb - A Self-Identified Floodplain Geek
Assistant County Administrator for Charlotte County Claire Jubb has had plenty of experience dealing with FEMA, disaster housing and flooding in her 19 years working there. She discusses how to put the right tools in place to minimize loss of life and loss of property, manage a flooding threat and make a recovery plan when it looks like a disaster is imminent.
Episode #93: Lori LaVerriere - Self-Evaluation and Dealing with Termination
Lori LaVerriere, Palm Beach Gardens Deputy City Manager and current FCCMA President, discusses the deeply personal journey of an unexpected career transition. “It’s a tough job,” said Lori. “You’ve got to love what you do!”
Episode #92: Jim Hanson - Preparing for Retirement, FCCMA Senior Advisors, and Advice for Managers in Transition
Former Atlantic Beach City Manager Jim Hanson understands better than most how much stress city and county managers experience. In this episode, he talks about preparing for retirement, being an FCCMA Senior Advisor, and what to do if you ever expect to be a manager in transition (according to Jim, you should expect to!)
Episode #91: Craig Radzak - Preventative Community Para-Medicine Programs
Assistant City Manager Craig Radzak has been with the City of Sanford for 31 years. He transitioned to city management from the fire department, and in this episode, he talks about an incredible program Sanford instituted that helps proactively care for the health and safety of residents.
Episode #90: Teresa Lamar-Sarno - CRAs, how to form them, how they function, and the challenges involved
Port St. Lucie Deputy City Manager Teresa Lamar-Sarno is an expert on CRAs. In this episode, she explains where to start if your city is interested in a CRA, what they benefit, how they impact neighborhoods and what some of your biggest challenges may be.
#89: Dan Kleman - Mostly Retired
Dan Kleman (Tallahasseeians will recognize that name from Kleman Plaza in downtown Tallahassee) has had a long and storied career in city management. He covers the dynamics of local politics and how it has changed the role of city managers. Dan currently lives and works part-time for Port St. Lucie, where he plays a part in union negotiations.
#88: Josh Stefancic - A Fire Chief on Employee Recruitment, Workplace Quality and Establishing Trust
Safety Harbor Fire Chief Josh Stefancic covers how employee recruitment has changed over the last 30 years, especially in the emergency medical services space. He discusses establishing clear expectations for employees, intentionally and purposefully meeting with their crew to get feedback and the rapidly changing landscape of the EMS profession.
#87: Marc Ott and AC Gonzalez - Mental Health in the City and County Management Profession
Join us for a special episode – our first ever with two guests! ICMA Executive Director Mark Ott and private sector consultant and ICMA volunteer AC Gonzalez discuss the critically important topic of mental health in the city and county management profession, its unique challenges and the future of workplace mental healthcare.
#86: Mike McNees – Think. Improve. Good Habits.
Marco Island City Manger Mike McNees believes the one thing that defines him as a leader is total transparency. The central theme that guides everything he does is continuous improvement. Mike is always asking, how can we do better tomorrow than we’re doing today? It’s not the goals that matter – it’s the habits that count.
Episode #85: Tim Hemstreet – Intentionally Working Together Toward a Common Goal
Our FCCMA Podcast guest for this episode is Tim Hemstreet, County Administrator of Loudoun County, Virginia. Tim is the immediate past president of the National Association of County Administrators and worked in South Florida for part of his career. He discusses building and developing teams, breaking down silos, and the differences between working in Virginia vs. Florida.
Episode #84: Daniel Rosemond – The Death of The Public Servant
2022 Fall Symposium Keynote Daniel Rosemond joins the FCCMA Podcast to talk about his recently released book, The Death of the Public Servant. He and Steve discuss pay equity in public government vs. the private sector and affordable housing.
Episode #83: Meridy Semones – It Starts with Your Organization Strategy
Meridy Semones has an unusual but important role as Largo's performance and budget director. While Largo has historically been known as a pass-through community, Meridy and her team have a strategic goal for Largo to be known as a community in which people want to live, raise their families and run their businesses. She discusses ensuring every investment you make hits multiple strategic priorities and re-designing how to measure success.
Re-Release Episode #58: Terry Stewart - City Management as the Original Multi-Tasking Profession
City of Arcadia City Administrator Terry Stewart knows you don’t get things done without competent people to do them. The better the people you have working for you, the more effective and efficient your city will be. Join us as we talk about home rule, rodeos and the importance of tacos.
Episode #82: Troy Brown – A Budget is a Manifestation of Your Priorities
On this episode of the FCCMA podcast, we went all the way across the country to Moorpark, California! City Manager and past ICMA President Troy Brown believes there is no better way to understand and implement good policies than community engagement. He recommends sitting down and listening to people, understanding what’s important to them and what they value, and creating policies that directly address those things.
Episode #81: Robert Lee – If You’re Not Quite Sure Where You’re Going, You Might Not Get There
Dr. Robert Lee is a senior fellow at ICMA with extensive experience in local government and is currently a professor in the Political Science Department at Florida Gulf Coast University. He and Steve discuss the importance of building culture and credibility when starting a new position, formulating a strategic plan, and the power of transformational leadership and setting expectations.
Episode #80: Lynn Tipton – An Encyclopedia of Local Florida Government History
If you could take all the knowledge from all the City Managers and County Administrators and squeeze it into one brain, that’s who our guest is! Lynn Tipton, Director of the Florida League of Cities University, joins Steve in this special episode of the FCCMA podcast. She shares her insights and understanding of city government and what it means today in Florida.