Member Profile: David Garcia
County Administrator
Yuma County

Where are you originally from?
I was born in Heidelberg, Germany. My father was an Army officer at the time and stationed there for one of his first assignments. I grew up on military bases across the United States and Europe. My family is from San Antonio, Texas that is where I generally call home.

Why did you decide to pursue a career in local government?
While I was in graduate school at the University of Texas in Austin (2006 National Champions!) I worked for the City of San Antonio for my internship. I met Henry Cisneros there who was a City Councilman at the time. Shortly before I graduated he was elected to his first term as Mayor of the City and formed the Office of Special Projects. I was hired as one of the first employees right out of college. It was a great opportunity and experience.
 
What do you like most about your job?
I like the variety of challenges that your face every day and the quality of the people that I get to work with. When you show up for work you are never quite sure what issues you will be presented with, but you do know that you will have a lot of dedicated people, both professional and elected, to help you work through them. I like the feeling at the end of the day, that the community is a better place because of the work we did and the things we accomplished.
 
What areas of local government interest you the most?
I enjoy the finance and budgeting part of my job. It is the place where you allocate the resources to make things happen. I also like working with people. I have always had an open door policy and have a regular stream of people who use that to full advantage. It is a good way for me to learn about what is going on in the organization and the community in an unfiltered way.
 
As a local government professional, what accomplishment are you most proud of?
In 1999 I was the City Manager of Corpus Christi, Texas. We took a direct hit from Hurricane Bret. In the days before the storm arrived we were able to evacuate about 200,000 of the 300,000 residents of the City and set up a network of shelters for those who could not evacuate. We mobilized the entire work force of the city to assist in the evacuation and staff the shelters. After the storm passed we set to work clearing the streets, reestablishing utility service and getting things back to normal. It was a huge challenge but the employees were great, they worked 12 hour shifts and got the City back on its feet in about a week. I was very proud of our entire organization.
 
What was the last book you read?
The last non-fiction book I read was "A Short History of Nearly Everything" by Bill Bryson. It made me realize how little I really know about the world around me. I enjoy fishing and playing golf. I believe I have killed more fish golfing than fishing. That may give you an idea of how good I am at both.
Arizona City/County Management Association
1820 W. Washington Street
Phoenix, AZ 85007
Phone: (602) 258-5786
Fax: (602) 253-3874
http://www.azmanagement.org
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Contact Amy Price at
(602) 258-5786 or
aprice@azleague.org.