Podcast: Local Government - It's a Rewarding Profession

We sit down with Carl Valente and discuss the current state of the local government management profession and why it feels great to make a difference in people’s lives.

For four decades, Carl Valente has served local and state governments throughout the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, while also serving five years as financial management director of ICMA. For the past 13 years, Valente has served as the town manager of Lexington, Massachusetts, a town that is celebrated as the site of the first shots of the American Revolutionary War in the Battle of Lexington in 1775. Valente notes in the podcast that this moment in history has an impact on the community to this very day.

In this episode of Making A Difference, Valente briefly touches on why he chose the local government management profession - and it came down to three things: 1) a call to public service made by President John F. Kennedy; 2) local government management principles and how important they were to running a local organization; and 3) exposure to policy aspects of government. And after a long career, Valente, who is set to retire in August 2018, credits his longevity to proficiency, keeping up with the changes, creating a professional development plan for himself, working hard to connect with residents, and focusing on what's important to the residents - not what's important to you.

Also inside:

  • Challenges of working in a wealthy community.
  • The importance of professional management in a community.
  • Challenges facing local government.
  • Recruitment tips for local government leaders. 

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Carl Valente, town manager, Lexington, Massachusetts



After you hear each of the stories in Making a Difference this season, join the conversation on social media. Look for the hashtag #MakingaDifference and use it to share stories about the city, town, and county managers and administrators who make a difference in the quality of life in your community.

Join ICMA's Michele Frisby on the Making a Difference podcast, season 3 of Local Gov Life, as she talks with three professional local government managers and administrators, an elected official, and a community stakeholder about how professional management has made a difference in the quality of life in their communities. Subscribe to Local Gov Life on iTunes or Google Play Music.

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