When I was 12 years old, my parents put me on a plane by myself to visit my aunt in the heart of Chicago. My uncle was born in Chicago and knew the owner of every shop we walked into. They lived in a townhouse just blocks off Michigan Avenue and we spent 7 days getting the full flavor. We ate in hidden restaurants, listened to my uncle’s version of history, got fresh bagels every morning, and even checked out a transvestite show (not that I knew what that meant). Thirty years later I can remember every detail of that week, from the chewy exterior of those bagels to the cab driver that let me literally interrogate him on his livelihood.
It took a while, but I finally moved to Chicago for graduate school. I think living in Chicago was pre-written, but every step since has been a journey of taking chances. I started my career in Peoria Illinois where I was schooled on the vibrancy that comes with culture and arts institutions. My time in Milwaukee showed me the power of bringing a community together through festivals, concerts, markets and lots of beer. Being in Fresno instilled the necessity for good infrastructure and leadership. But what makes a place stick with you is the depth of the experience. Chicago left its mark on the young me because every moment was distinctive and the people and places were all characters.
Our organization provides great services, from parking management, ground support and safety patrol to marketing, event production and business development, but that’s just the above ground work. What we are truly charged with is to make certain that no one leaves Downtown Tempe without a wow moment. Whether someone breezes through for a short visit, spends a career working here, or raises their family in our neighborhoods, it’s our job to make sure that Downtown Tempe leaves its mark on everyone.
Posted 04.13.15 by Kate
I am a regular ordinary citizen, just like most of you reading this. I had the opportunity to be that regular citizen on a panel for the oral boards for two Tempe Police Department testing processes. First, I sat in on Officers who were testing to become a Sergeant and then for Lieutenants testing to be a Commander. The procedure was similar for both boards, candidates were given questions a few minutes prior to the interview and then had a set amount of time to answer the questions. Some questions were logistical, “what do you do if all officers are out responding to calls when a traffic accident occurs” and some were theoretical, “how do we apply our strategic plan to daily training.” (These aren’t actual questions used by the way, just examples). We couldn’t interact with them; they just had to talk for 25-45 minutes. They had to make sure they tracked their time and answered each of the questions, and this proved to be the most difficult for some of them.