New Evansville city administrator Patrick "Ian" Rigg settling into his new role
EVANSVILLE--When Patrick "Ian" Rigg was looking to advance his city management career, he saw new opportunities and challenges in Evansville.
He also saw a growing community that was well kept and clean.
“There seemed to be a lot of pride in people's properties,” he said. “I just felt like it was the right kind of community. There definitely seems to be some sort of level of progressive thinking and vision.”
He noticed the restoration of the old, development of new and community support to invest in its signature park.
The drive from his native Quad Cities area through southern “Wes-consin,” he says with a slight accent, is nice, too.
Rigg is nearly a month into his new position as city administrator and finance director for Evansville. Former administrator Dan Wietecha left in spring for a similar job in Michigan.
Rigg recently shared his thoughts on his role and the following topics:
Experience: As city administrator of Eldora, Iowa, he dealt with everything from human resources to economic development to finance. On his one-year anniversary, the town was pummeled by a devastating hail storm.
“That was a very stressful but educational time for me--going through that whole disaster response,” he said.
The experiences he brings from Iowa will give him a “unique perspective” on how to handle issues here, or provide ideas that may not have worked in Iowa because of different regulations, he said.
Vision: “My vision for the city is basically going to be a lot of what the council's vision is for the city. They're the elected officials … they come up with big picture. I make recommendations, but they're the ones that say the big picture is this.
“At least administratively, what I want to see is a positive environment with open communication. I think that's important and just (a) vision of making sure we retain and reward, as best we can, our staff.
“It seems like there's a very positive environment, here, and I just want to make sure that keeps going.”
Financial approach: “The numbers on the page aren't just numbers. They represent what you can do. They represent the people that you have and your ability to keep people,” he said.
Given the timing of his arrival, “the disadvantage I'm at with this budget is not fully knowing what all these numbers represent.”
For now, he's trusting “in what had been established before.”
“I think after that, as time goes on, the budget is a process that you should always continually work on, and then after that we'll start looking at what might be new ways of reducing costs, or what can we do differently, if we can do anything differently.”