THINK OF YOUR JOB AS YOUR “CRAFT….and take pride in your job as a craftsman.
Engage in “the practice of” your craft as a professional who follows “best practices”.
My craft is public administration, with an emphasis on financial management and accounting.
What is your craft?
Whether you are a City Manager or a City Custodian, each of us can think of our job as our craft.
It is thrilling to see how my fingerprints are all over various municipal bond issues that I worked on over 30 years ago.
It is neat to look at the long-term financial projections that I made 30 years ago “still standing”, and exciting to see how they have come to fruition today.
It is no different from those who have erected buildings or other structures, including a new City Hall.
I believe we do a better job as public administrators when we think of our work and our jobs as our craft.
SENSITIVE ISSUES / CHALLENGES
There are very sensitive issues in public administration, delicate matters that require that we work our craft, as public administrators, with the greatest skill and application of experience and knowledge.
The craft of public administrator may at times be called unethical or illegal, but this is usually done in ignorance.
This is something that those who do not understand the craft of public administration will do. Yet if they ever want to become a Director or City Manager, they will have to understand this.
PICK YOUR BATTLES
Don’t be a stickler on all issues, large and small. That is not what I mean by work your job as your craft.
Whether you are cleaning toilets or you are cleaning up City Hall, all of us are involved in a craft, and we must be proud and perform the best craft that we can.
As I said earlier, their are very delicate issues that we must craft solutions for in City government.
Sausage making is what we call our craft as public administrators at City Hall.
Not everybody has a stomach for making sausage, and not everyone has a stomach for crafting solutions to highly sensitive or politically controversial municipal issues.
I would never choose any other career, even if I had the chance to time travel back to 1981 like Uncle Rico from Napoleon Dynamite!
When you work your job as your craft, you are making independent judgments, and making independent decisions.
The governing body or the City Council, as well as the City Manager (or the chief executive), expect you to make decisions, often without much direction.
That is why you get paid the big bucks, to work your craft independently, and as a public administrator.
Let us never take for granted all of the public officials, both elected and appointed, who came before us to establish the groundwork upon which we work our craft today in local government in the year 2023.
All for now,
John Herrera, CPA
MuniTemps – Municipal Staffing Solutions
City speak the podcast
Go to YouTube (CitySpeak the Podcast) to watch the 30-minute version of video.