William Beith, a member of ICMA since 2010, currently serves as assistant to the administrator for the Village of Gilberts, Illinois. He has served on the ICMA Task Force on Internship Guidelines, participated in the Illinois City/County Management Association (ILCMA) summer 2012 Conference Committee, and is currently a member of the ILCMA Professional Development Committee.
Beith previously served the Illinois Department of Mental Health for 30 years in a variety of treatment, supervisory, and administrative roles. “Working in a large state organization delivering patient treatment in a multiple union and political environments taught me to successfully meet goals despite competition for a finite set of resources.”
After 30 years in the Department of Mental Health, Beith began a second career in public administration following his role in incorporating the Village of Campton Hills, Illinois. The village is the second largest municipal incorporation in the history of the state of Illinois. “The task of establishing governance from scratch was a challenging learning experience.” It was during his experience at the Village of Campton that a village trustee and professor at Northern Illinois University (NIU) urged Beith to enroll in the public administration program at NIU. Beith earned a master’s of public administration from Northern Illinois University and he also holds a bachelors’ degree in general studies from Roosevelt University.
Gilberts's village administrator Ray Keller, an ICMA Credentialed Manager, “has been an incredible mentor by providing multiple opportunities for growth and allowing me to develop and pursue projects,” according to Beith. One of the projects that Beith is involved with is FiberCity Gilberts, a public-private collaboration that brings a fiber optic network connection to each residential and business address in the village. This project was created after the local business community identified poor Internet service. Beith partnered with i3 America to develop the network at no cost to the village.
When it comes to problem solving, Beith prefers to “take a holistic approach to goal setting by establishing immediate and distant objectives, then seeking a solution set that meets the immediate objective and moves me closer to the distant goal.”
“I am always seeking integrative and innovative solutions to problems. But I have learned that educating the target audience to the innovation is an absolute necessity. An innovative idea is only as good as the understanding of those expected to implement and maintain the innovation,” according to Beith. He goes on to say, “ICMA is indispensable to anyone working in the field of public administration today. From the online document library to professional development support, ICMA has been there for me when I had a question or wanted guidance or advice. I am pleased I can give back to the public administration community through my activities in ICMA and ILCMA.”