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  • Interns Group Shot

City of Tigard

Future Local Leaders

Tigard Interns, our Future Public Servants
The City of Tigard has 330 full-time, part-time and temporary staff, many who work on departmental projects and different teams. We also extend opportunities to future professionals seeking to make a difference in public service in cities like ours.

This summer, the city is providing professional opportunities to four interns, in partnership with the University of Oregon, Portland State University and its Civil Engineering program and a fellowship program run by the Emerging Local Government Leaders/International City/County Management Association. The city hopes to expand those opportunities to even more interns.

We invited our future local leaders to talk about their work, serving the city and people of Tigard. We asked them to tell us:

  1. What they did.
  2. The most interesting project they have worked on since they started.
  3. One thing about the city that residents may not know that you learned on the job.

Bob Burdalski: Intern for the Engineering Department

1. Most of my work so far deals with transportation issues or the city’s ADA transition plan.

2. The most interesting project I’ve worked on is the 2017 Pavement Management Program. It’s a project that involves massive coordination and can involve up to four or five different crews working at different corners of the city all at once. It includes pavement overlays, asphalt seals for maintenance, curb ramp construction and other miscellaneous projects.

3. Summerview Drive is the steepest street in Tigard at a grade of 20 percent.


Danni Farnsworth: Marketing Intern for Parks & Recreation

1. I help with community outreach for recreation events and looking for better ways to communicate about our parks and what they have to offer.

2. I’ve been working on making both Parks & Recreation website pages more user-friendly and making sure they contain information our community members need and want. You have to put yourself in the shoes of all different types of people and hope that you are providing useful information in a way that is comprehensible to everyone.

3. Each event takes immense planning and man-hours, even to put on a two-hour event, or put out a flyer, it goes through many channels and review sessions before it is put out to the public. The city does its best to get out good information that will help our residents enjoy Tigard.


Samuel Copelan: Intern with Community Development

1. Once I complete this for-credit internship, I will be finished with my undergraduate planning, public policy and management (PPPM) degree from the University of Oregon. My main objective is to observe the planning process, assist with City research and present my findings to city staff.

2. I have really enjoyed researching urban design concepts for the Southwest Corridor project. As a resident of Tigard for the past decade, I am excited for a light rail project that lets us escape from the traffic as we travel to Portland and beyond.

3. Every day, City staff are hard at work to ensure that Tigard continues to be “a place to call home.”


Nic Westendorf: Post-graduate fellowship with the City Manager’s office

1. I am working closely with the city manager’s office on various special projects.

2. One of my first assignments was to work as a staff liaison to the newly formed Task Force for the Homeless. The task force will meet through the end of the year and provide recommendations to council to assist members of our community experiencing homelessness. I look forward to seeing the positive impacts the project will have in the community. 

3. The majority of the city’s employees—aside from sworn police officers—are not members of the Public Employee Retirement System (PERS).

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