What does it take to manage a town? This town government position is essential, and it’s not your typical 9 to 5 gig. From overseeing the day-to-day operations to handling the town budget to policy development, there isn’t much that happens in a town that the Town Manager isn’t aware of. There is no “typical” day for a town manager, especially for a town the size of Yountville.
Yountville Town Manager, Steve Rogers, gives some insight into what a day in the life of a town manager can look like. He states, “The job description doesn’t necessarily address the 24/7 nature of the job and challenges associated with a position that reports to 5 elected officials, answers to the community, and also needs to direct and run a multipurpose $20 million organization.”
Let’s take a look at some of the responsibilities this role handles.
Managing Town Positions
Clearly stated in its title, the Town Manager is responsible for the town’s daily operations, and daily operations include quite a bit. Not only does a Town Manager check-in and support other town government positions, but they also oversee recruiting. The Town Manager is the main position that other town positions report to and seek guidance from. This covers a broad scope of projects—everything from public works development to clerical tasks and budgeting.
On top of managing people, a Town Manager is also directly responsible for preparing the budget for the Town Council’s approval. They also ensure that every dollar of public money is utilized wisely and every government program complies with its budget.
Although they are not part of the policymaking body, Town Managers’ input is a significant component in the actual implementation of the rule. They can help with governing the town by providing recommendations to the mayor and council.
It’s also one of the top tasks in a Town Manager’s daily to-do list is engaging the people of the community. It would sometimes require traveling to several towns, from interacting with the public to town officials and the private sector. The bottom line is that the Town Manager acts as a liaison between the town’s government and its citizens.
Given the diversity within the different departments within town government and the broad scope of responsibilities of Town Managers, every day looks different.
“To be honest, there is not a typical day. My day includes meeting with elected officials, our management team, employees, residents, vendors, those who might want to do business or develop in the community, addressing and attempting to resolve current issues of the day, thinking long term about organizational needs (long-range planning) and how to position the organization to be successful several years out, managing the budgets, and dealing with whatever might come up that was not expected,” states Rogers.
He’s been Yountville’s Town Manager since October 2007. Rogers came close to going to law school before he found town management. He said that town management “was a great way to incorporate aspects of the law, business administration in that you are running an organization, and working in a place where what you do every day directly impacts the lives of the residents in the community in which you serve.”
Steve Rogers previously served as General Manager/CEO of the North Tahoe Public Utility District, a sewer, water, parks, and special recreation district located on Lake Tahoe’s north shore. In addition, Steve is an International City/County Management Association Credentialed Manager (ICMA_CM) and has worked in local government management for 30 years. He was named Yountville Chamber of Commerce’s “Citizen of the Year”, in the past.
Steve is active professionally representing the Town on several boards including the Public Agency Risk Management authority (PARSAC) where he serves as the Treasurer, The Regional Government Services (RGD) Joint Powers Authority, and the League of California Cities Policy Committees. In addition, Steve is very active in the local Yountville and Napa Valley area volunteering on the boards of directors and working with the Yountville Chamber of Commerce, Yountville School Foundations, Yountville Kiwanis Club and Leadership Napa Valley program.