City of Sierra Vista
Local governments are home to hard-working employees who care passionately about the field in which they work. They inspire individuals to continue on a path of public service.
Pam Weir is one of those individuals whose passion for service has been an inspiration from a young age and continues to propel her in a public management career.
Having grown up in Scottsdale, Pam developed a passion for public service while attending Chaparral High School. She dreamt of working in government as a way to use privilege to make communities more inclusive and supportive.
Recognizing her dream, she travelled east to Northampton, Massachusetts to earn a bachelor’s degree in government from Smith College. To continue her education in public management and escape the snow, Pam moved back to Arizona to attend Arizona State University for her Master in Public Administration, where she was one of a prestigious few to become a Marvin Andrews Fellow.
Pam once again traded in a life of sunshine for a life of snow when she took a one-year management internship position in Fort Collins, Colorado. The position was a perfect introduction to full-time local government management work and she loved working for such an innovative community.
But as home often does, Arizona called Pam back and she returned to the Grand Canyon State to work for the City of Sierra Vista. While in graduate school, Pam had learned about the city organization when she shadowed the assistant city manager for a day to learn about the city’s response to the 2011 Monument Fire. The management analyst position for the city was exactly what Pam was looking for: an opportunity to gain further experience in the city manager’s office, focusing on budgeting, strategic planning, working with city council and helping operational departments to deliver outstanding services. It was an added bonus that the community offered stunning mountain views, unique community partnerships and an excellent team of professional managers.
Pam’s main role at Sierra Vista is to serve as the city’s budget officer. She manages the process by which all the department directors and city leaders work together to create a balanced proposed budget. Throughout the year, she works with city departments to analyze revenue and spending projections, develop priorities for future budget years, present process updates to the city council, and create the budget book document that is shared with the community once it has been passed. Like many individuals in small-town professional management, Pam wears many hats, as she also works on special projects ranging from community engagement to performance measurement initiatives.
And like many small-town professional managers, Pam realizes the importance of local government. Having wanted to work in public service since high school, her original aspirations led her to the federal level of government. However, after working in Washington, D.C. during college as both a Congressional intern and a policy advocate for a nonprofit agency, she felt that progress was very slow and often frustrating.
“I wanted to have a more direct impact on quality of life and issues of community safety and equity,” said Pam. “Local government management is the perfect place for me to use my skills and bring about tangible change to improve lives.”
Pam also loves the variety of the position, as in just one day she might work with public works, the library and finance. City management requires constant learning and creating new ways of doing things. Cities and towns are also collaborating with one another to share best practices and tackle complex challenges with municipalities from across the country.
“I believe that as communities, we can accomplish more together than separately, and the role of the city manager is to lead many different people and interests together toward the common goal of prosperity,” said Weir
As she continues to live out her passion and make her mark in the field of local government management, Pam will strive to ensure she’s using her skills to make a difference every day.