Eric Pollitt, a second-year MPA student, shares his thoughts about his summer internship experience. Pictured (from left to right) are: Tim Williams, City Administrator; Eric Pollitt, City Intern; and the Mayor of Crestview Hills, Paul Meier.
I would like to thank my boss and Crestview Hills City Administrator, Tim Williams, for the opportunity to intern under him. Tim and I met at the KCCMA 2016 Winter Conference, and discussed local level government and the City Manager/Administrator career field. Later on in the semester, Tim reached out to me offering an opportunity to learn and gain experience in local level government.
There is never a dull day at Crestview Hills and something is always happening. My favorite parts of the internship, so far, have been the following: riding around the City with Tim, and sitting in on City Council, various Committee, and other joint meetings. When riding around the City with Tim, we get a chance to see real problems and observe Crestview Hills’ projects developed in real time. Also, it gives us a chance to talk about the City’s future projects and allows us to see potential problems the City can be proactive in preventing. The Committee meetings are always interesting with discussion on topics such as lane widening, creek erosion prevention, subdivision development, and road repairs.
The biggest thing I have taken away from this experience is a public project is not as simple as appropriating funds. You can have a group of ten participants who have been collaborating on a project for two years, and suddenly someone says, “Hey, wait a minute, we have cause for delay.” This alone can derail start dates, throw off cost estimates, and result in pushed back deadlines. The second biggest take away is coming to a consensus solution to a problem where multiple jurisdictions are affected is difficult and time consuming.
The internship at Crestview Hills has confirmed my interest in local government and career aspirations to become a City/County Manager/Administrator.