Five questions: Michelle Kivela

Town administrator talks growth, PAR and her global perspective

Posted 10/4/17

On Sept. 18, Parker Town Council unanimously approved a contract for Town Administrator Michele Kivela. Formerly the deputy town administrator, Kivela took over the lead role in May, serving as interim town administrator after the sudden departure …

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Five questions: Michelle Kivela

Town administrator talks growth, PAR and her global perspective

Posted

On Sept. 18, Parker Town Council unanimously approved a contract for Town Administrator Michele Kivela. Formerly the deputy town administrator, Kivela took over the lead role in May, serving as interim town administrator after the sudden departure of her predecessor, Randy Young. The position includes a $192,000 annual salary.

Kivela has been married to her husband, engineer Scott Sickler, for 16 years and has two children, son Colin, 12, and daughter Sienna, 7. The family has lived in Parker since 2001 and resides in the Heirloom subdivision.

For those who don't know, explain what a town administrator does.

The town administrator really is responsible for all of the day-to-day operations. Council has to look at policy and determine the direction and how we're going to go on different things, and then leaves it to me to implement it.

In the charter, one of the main duties of the town administrator is preparation and implementation of the budget … The town administrator works with the department directors and staff to (learn) 'OK, what are we trying to achieve, what are those projects? How do we get it in the budget?' Then the finance director works on the revenues and that whole piece, and we present that to council through study sessions, and we have public hearings on the budget and then the council approves it.

What do you see as the biggest challenge facing Parker right now?

We can control our destiny in Parker and our jurisdictional areas, but butting right up to us now are the various other communities, or the county, so it's an interesting situation. You've got housing developments going right up to our boundaries and it becomes interchangeable. Those roadways are our infrastructure, yet we can't determine the impact on them because of the building that's happening outside of us, I'm saying Stonegate, Meridian, Stepping Stone, Sierra Ridge, all of those places.

What plans are in the works that you're excited about?

PAR (the Parker Authority for Reinvestment, Parker's urban renewal authority) has a strategic plan that they're developing that's going to council for approval in October. Part of it is this urban renewal and a strategic plan and a road map for them and at the same time educating everyone on 'this is what it can do and this is what it isn't.'

The second part of that is a whole marketing and branding for PAR. They used Slate Communications for that and that's going to the PAR board in October for approval as well. So that's a really exciting time for the urban renewal piece because we haven't done too much with it. We've got these districts created but what's happening with them?

What opportunities does Parker's growth bring with it?

We have just started our Parks and Recreation Master Plan. We've never had one before. This is a joint project the between the Parks and Recreation Department and Community Development and (will be) taking the strategic goals and vision of council and putting it into this master plan with a lot of conversations and engagement with the community.

You lived in Saudi Arabia from age 8 to 14. What did you learn from that experience?

You just have to be very accepting and understanding and not judgmental, so I feel like that's one thing I learned very early on, to appreciate other cultures.

I think it helps me to not be very judgmental and as a result, I still love traveling, we travel quite a bit and immerse ourselves in the places where we travel.

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