About Me–A Scholarly Participant


Instructor-Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, University of California, Riverside

I’m in it, What Gail Sheehy called the “Age of Integrity.” She characterized it as the sage seventies where one still grows the brain, takes risks, and gives back. As a friend, colleague, and former Dean said to me: You’re fortunate. You’re doing what you do best. You’re a teacher, researcher, and writer. It’s my scholarly side that was rekindled back in 2004. In application, I’m an instructor and a continuing student of political history, political socialization, comparative government, and public policy. On my pragmatic side, I serve on the board of directors of two non-profit corporations, a foundation, and a university citizens advisory committee. The skill-sets retained from a 38-year career serving local government still come in handy.

Vocationally, I was a public servant, assisting some 60 client agencies. Working in both the public and private sectors, I had accumulated the full array of titles and responsibilities appurtenant to my then career ladder of choice: city manager, director (executive and otherwise), senior consultant, vice president, managing principal; I had even held the position of president of a public, non-profit development corporation. The populations of my governmental clients ranged in size from a few thousand to a few million. Whether in inner-city, suburban, or agriculturally based rural environments, I didn’t miss much of California’s political, socio-economic, and ethnic topography.

The greatest opportunity came when I served as an executive team member in the establishment of two newly incorporated California cities: As the first community development director and second city manager in one, and the founding city manager in the other. Very few local government professionals have ever experienced setting up a municipality. Those knowledge areas would later assist me in providing interim city management and departmental director staffing services to eight municipal agencies.

I negotiated, developed public financing structures, prepared real estate development feasibility studies, and provided project management services to more than $4 billion in industrial, commercial, and residential development projects. Other assignments included organizational assessments, executive recruitment, municipal financial workouts, site-specific fiscal/economic impact reports, and market-based strategic economic development plans for multiple municipal clients. It was a successful career, and by intent, without fanfare.

Between 2005 and 2018, my avocation revolved around the education of more than 1,000 students in 50+ graduate sections in the theory and practice of public administration, public policy and economic development. For nearly eight years, I served as an Instructor in the Master of Public Policy and Administration (MPPA) Program at Northwestern University. For nearly 14 years, I served the University of La Verne as a member of the Adjunct Faculty and as a member of the Master of Public Administration Advisory Board. I designed both the curriculum and courses for the University’s Certificate in Sustainable Economic Development. Previously, I served Chapman University as Chairman of the Advisory Board for the School of Extended Education, and as a Member of the Advisory Board of the Roger C. Hobbs Institute of Real Estate, Law and Environmental Studies. As a course and curriculum developer, I designed the Institute’s Certificate in Real Estate Development for the 21st Century and served as a Research Associate and Instructor.

Now, it’s all about being appreciative, staying engaged, and paying it forward. I neither seek the affirmation nor accolades, of others. I’m here to contribute in my own way, trying to make things just a little bit better.

7 thoughts on “About Me–A Scholarly Participant

Add yours

  1. Steve,

    Best wishes to you on this new phase in your lifelong endeavor to help others better understand and to improve public administration! Keep the blog posts coming! They’re much appreciated!


    Paul Hubler

  2. Steve

    Truly enjoy reading your thought on leadership and public service. Please keep them coming.

    Ben Wong
    Past Councilmember & Mayor
    City of West Covina

  3. Steve,
    It has been said that business of government is an infectious disease. So glad you are still infected and of service to others.
    Hoping our paths may cross at UCR.
    Darcy Kuenzi, Former Menifee City Councilmember

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