Take a cue from Ken Hiatt

By From page A6 | April 17, 2013

I read of Ken Hiatt’s pending move to Woodland with mixed feelings. First a sadness for Davis because we are losing him, but certainly happiness for Ken and Woodland. Congratulations, Ken, and thanks for all you have done for Davis.

Back in the days when I was struggling to move the Hattie Weber Museum forward and have it part of the “Davis scene,” working with the city through Ken, as opposed to fighting with the city through the Planning Department, was a distinct pleasure. Since the city still lacks an interest in having its history on display, one can only hope that Mike Webb has learned enough to continue in the directions espoused by Ken instead of those in vogue in the Planning Department when he was there previously.

I believe there are a couple of indicators of the reasons for Ken’s success embedded in The Enterprise piece about his departure.

First, he is quoted as saying that he “always held that a position of this influence and importance in a city deserves to have someone that lives in the city and (someone who) is fully engaged with the community.” During the time that he was “transforming Davis’ downtown into the vibrant city center it has become,” his office was downtown in the Dresbach-Hunt-Boyer Mansion, rather than far away in City Hall, where he could easily lose touch with the reality of downtown.

Second, it is only after working in Woodland for half a year that he “found myself increasingly intrigued with ways I could have an impact in my new community.”

In other words, being engaged, being involved, and not sitting in a distant office looking on from on high, are essential for outstanding success. For Davis’ sake, I hope you have learned, Mike.

Jim Becket

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