Intern Retrospective: Cole Cooper “Experience and execution matter”

single-meta-cal August 21, 2018

Imagine a great steak for a second. It is sizzling hot, just off the grill. Now take a bite. Oddly enough, some of the same things that make that steak taste so good, make city government run effectively.

This may seem like a crazy proposition, but just bear with me. I’m going to prove it to you.

So, what makes a steak great?

First of all, you want to find a really quality cut. The best of the best, you could say.

Just think back to your ideal steak. My guess is that it wasn’t chuck or tri-tip. The source of the meat matters.

In the same way, the sources of information, proposals, and our rising talent matter in city government. And after viewing the early stages of the Sound Diplomacy music audit, Shawn Davis’ excellent engineering presentation about Cecil Ashburn, and the strong qualifications of my own boss (who has two graduate degrees), I’m convinced that Huntsville has some incredible sources for info and talent.

Now think back to that steak again. What else do you notice about it? My ideal steak would be a 45 -day dry aged Wagyu behemoth, cooked to a perfect shade of brown, with a delicate pink center the color of Himalayan salt. It isn’t just a great cut from a special breed of cow. It’s also old and expertly prepared. In other words, it’s experienced and well-executed.

During my nine weeks of interning with the City of Huntsville administration, I’ve seen how the experienced members of the mayor’s office execute solutions to problems ranging from road closures to ecological protections with admirable thought, effort, and cohesion. I’ve seen how my own boss’ years of experience with the chamber of commerce gave him an encyclopedic knowledge of the local economy and ability to perform his duties with precision. In short, I’ve seen that experience and execution matter.

Finally, a great steak isn’t possible without a great chef. For that matter, any sort of great food isn’t. That’s why Alice Waters, Gordon Ramsey, and Huntsville’s own James Boyce are so well-known. Thankfully, Huntsville has this covered too.

Our city’s chef d’État, Mayor Tommy Battle, provides the guidance, vision, and oversight necessary for Huntsville’s growth and development.

See, Huntsville’s government and a great steak aren’t so different after all.