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ACMA Member Profile - Kevin Phelps, City Manager, City of Glendale
Where are you originally from?
Wichita, Kansas

Why did you decide to pursue a career in local government?
I spent my first 30+ years in the private sector owning a number of successful businesses. I first got involved in local government as a Tacoma, Washington City Councilman. After serving two terms I had an affection for the importance of local government. I sold my companies in 2007 and made the leap from private sector to state government, then regional government to now local government. I may be biased, but I believe that what we do at the local level impacts the quality of life of our citizens more so than that of the president, our congressional delegation or the state legislature.

What do you like most about your job?
I love the wide variety of issues and opportunities that I encounter daily. In a typical week I could be discussing streets and roads, zoning/planning, information technology, economic development, water utilities, airports, budget and finance - the list goes on. Never a dull moment.

What area of local government interests you the most?
I focus a lot of my time on strategic planning using the balanced scorecard framework. Being a data driven organization built around solid analytics that in turn drive policies and implementation is a high priority. Additionally, creating a culture of outrageous customer service led by servant leadership principals also drives my efforts.

As a local government professional what accomplishments are you most proud of?
Making a successful leap from private sector to the public sector has been very rewarding, especially since many long term "bureaucrats" tried to convince me it couldn't be done.

What is the best piece of advice you have been given?
Transparency may be the most powerful tool effective leaders have to affect change. When in doubt - always over communicate.
Arizona City/County Management Association
1820 W. Washington Street, Phoenix, AZ 85007   •   Phone: (602) 258-5786   •   Fax: (602) 253-3874   •