Johnson City Press: 5 Questions with Johnson City Assistant City Manager Charlie Stahl
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5 Questions with Johnson City Assistant City Manager Charlie Stahl

Zach Vance • Nov 2, 2018 at 11:40 PM

Charlie Stahl has worked for the City of Johnson City a total of 17 years on two separate occasions, the first time as an intern, and now as an assistant city manager.

A graduate of East Tennessee State University, Stahl’s family first moved to Johnson City nearly 40 years ago after his father’s retirement from the U.S. Navy. Stahl’s father, Charles J. Stahl III, served as the chief of laboratory service at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center and worked as a professor of pathology at ETSU’s Quillen College of Medicine.

•  How would you describe the role of an assistant city manager?

“As the title implies, the assistant city manager is assigned by the city manager to assist in the day-to-day administration of the city, which often involves specific meetings and projects with oversight of specific departments and operations of city government. In my case, I have oversight of the following departments: Parks & Recreation, Transit, Fleet Management and the Freedom Hall Civic Center. I also serve as a member of both the parks & recreation and senior advisory boards.”

•  How did you end up working in municipal government?

“I always had an interest in government service. I graduated with a master of city management degree from ETSU. During this time I worked as a city management intern in the Johnson City city manager’s office under City Manager Charles Tyson and Assistant City Manager (and future city manager) John Campbell. Both men were great mentors. Needless to say, I learned a lot.”

•  What's your favorite part about working for the City of Johnson City and its taxpayers?

“Working in city government, every day is a new project, issue or challenge. There is never a dull moment. As a resident and taxpayer of Johnson City I can see firsthand how improvements in City services and facilities benefit all of us.”

•  What accomplishment do you cherish the most?

“During my career, I have been fortunate to have been involved in a variety of projects. Perhaps the most significant was my involvement in the acquisition and development of what is now the Tweetsie Trail. This was a five-year process just to purchase the line, collectively involving both city management, city department personnel, the Johnson City Commission, legal counsel and the Tweetsie Task Force (comprised of civic leaders, community members, past and present commissioners and staff). Everyone worked together to make the purchase and development of the 10-mile section of the East Tennessee Rail line into a recreational trail, and the positive public response to these efforts has been very much appreciated.”

•  What is the best piece of advice you've ever been given?

“From the Boy Scouts: Leave a campsite in better condition than you found it. The meaning behind this simple statement can be applied to working in business, education, military, government or life in general. Whatever you do, do the best job you can and leave in good standing.”

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