Name: Aaron Jahncke
Employer: City of Portage, WI
How Long: 2.5 years
Title: Director of Public Works/City Engineer
Education: B.S. Civil and Environmental Engineering UW-Madison
Special Certifications, Awards, or Honors: 2018 New Member Impact Award
What about Public Works is exciting to you? What drives you to serve the public?
The ability to work with elected officials, community members, and staff to improve a process and seeing a project go from concept to finished product.
What is the best Public Works innovation you have seen in your career?
While I still consider myself young, when I started my career cell phones were relatively new and you still had to carry a notebook of phone numbers and a lot of batteries. The advancement of mobile communications in the last twenty years and the ability to access data remotely are probably the most significant innovation I have seen in my career. While convenient some days I feel like I can never escape the office. I guess if I go all the way back to analog cell phones that makes me old.
What has been the biggest challenge – or – what do you see as the biggest challenge going forward?
The municipal engineering motto today is doing more with less. Less staff, less money and as our infrastructure grows older we are going to need more money or find innovative ways to improve our infrastructure.
How do you spend your free time when you are not serving the public?
I coach my kid’s sports and like to golf. In the winter, I enjoy playing rec league basketball and watching Badger Basketball.