The Tablet recently had an opportunity to meet Mike Hein, the Interim City Manager of Groveland and discover a little about Groveland’s newest city official.
SOUTH LAKE TABLET: Mike, welcome to Groveland and congratulations on your new role as City Manager of Groveland. Is this an interim position or will you be calling Groveland your home?
Mike: I’m currently in the role of “Interim” and haven’t decided if I will be pursuing the permanent position. The City is in the process of conducting a national search and I expect a decision to be made by mid-March. It is a very important decision for the community and I encourage everyone to be involved.
SOUTH LAKE TABLET: Tell me a little about the responsibilities of a City Manager.
Mike: The City Manager is responsible for the day-to-day management of the municipal operations. She/he supervises the staff and reports to the Mayor and Council providing recommendations and expertise to support decision making and then implementing policies set by the governing body.
SOUTH LAKE TABLET: You hold the top appointed position in Groveland. Can you tell me a little about your typical day?
Mike: I am sorry, but I can’t tell you what a typical day is like because no two days are remotely close to being the same. A day may start with a staff meeting to go over a future agenda and then consist of a series of meetings with stakeholders in the community. Sprinkle in some discussions about personnel decisions, a tour with an engineer, a few phone calls with concerned citizens, a site review with an architect, correspondence with state and federal agencies and other jurisdictions, an emergency or two and then maybe you get to lunchtime.
SOUTH LAKE TABLET: What is your favorite job responsibility?
Mike: By far, my favorite job responsibility is coaching and developing the human capital within the organization. In Groveland, the community is blessed with an outstanding staff committed to providing quality customer service to the citizens and future investors of the City. Being around their enthusiasm is contagious.
SOUTH LAKE TABLET: Where were you born and raised?
Mike: I was born and raised in Wisconsin.
SOUTH LAKE TABLET: Wisconsin! That’s cold country. Where did you spend your college years?
Mike: I went to college at the University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point and graduate school at the University of Arizona in Tucson.
SOUTH LAKE TABLET: Have you managed other cities before Groveland?
Mike: I’ve had the honor of managing several cities prior to coming to Groveland. Most of my career was spent in Arizona where I managed the cities of Nogales, Marana, and Tucson.
SOUTH LAKE TABLET: Tell me about your family. Are you married? Do you have any children?
Mike: I am married to the most fantastic person in the world who continues to bless me with her spirit and presence, Anne-Marie Russell – Executive Director of the Sarasota Art Museum. I have three adult children who are contributing to the world with their talents, and I have a wonderful step-daughter who I swear is much smarter than I am. All of them teach me, and show me, how to be a better person.
SOUTH LAKE TABLET: Anything else you’d like to share with the readers?
Mike: Groveland is at an exciting time in its history. It is imperative that everyone has a voice in the conversation about how the future will play out. While other communities have committed to certain paths, Groveland’s is in some ways still uncharted. While it has a rich past, how it moves forward is critical. You’ll hear me talk about painting the cover of the puzzle box. We’ve been moving some pieces around, but now is the time when the community decides what the cover will look like. If everyone takes the time and participates in crafting that vision, it can maintain that warm small-town charm, while embracing inclusivity and developing as a place where families grow. The future is bright.
SOUTH LAKE TABLET: Mike, it was a pleasure getting to know you. Thank you for your openness.