From the 101st Airborne to the City Council Chambers
It’s been more than four decades since Bill Underwood began his career in public service as a member of the U.S. Army’s 101st Airborne Division in Vietnam. In various positions over the past 44 years, Underwood has remained a dedicated public servant, including in his current role as the City of Oakland Park’s financial services director.
“Local government has a greater impact on the lives of its citizens, and as such provides most of the services that the public receives,” said Underwood. “During my many years of service, I’ve had the pleasure to provide local government education and training to elected officials, city managers and finance officers, both domestic and international.”
Underwood recognizes that the upcoming Local Works Day – being celebrated by local government employees around the state on Oct. 3 – is a great opportunity to showcase how residents and visitors alike benefit from public servants.
Early in his career, Underwood learned that application of local laws and regulations can have both a positive and a negative impact on the daily lives of citizens, with each statute, ordinance or rule carrying consequences – sometimes, unintended consequences. With this in mind, Underwood has worked to apply policies in a manner that treats all citizens the same.
He takes particular pride in guiding legislative bodies about ways in which their efforts to provide fair treatment and needed improvements would be most effective for the people they serve.
“My greatest contribution as a whole is teaching, instructing and mentoring,” Underwood said. “Little did I know how engaging, enthralling and enlightening it would be to assist in governing those services that constituents need, want or desire.”