The accidental intern

Marana’s interns share their summer experiences.

Heath Vescori-ChiordiBeing an intern rocks. Being exposed to every single department gives hands-on experience and on-the-job training. The toughest thing is choosing which department you like the best. I spent last week with two departments: legal and development services.

In legal, I shadowed Associate Town Attorney Robert Bernheim and Town Attorney Frank Cassidy. Robert is the Town prosecutor and is in charge of litigation and plea-bargaining. Seeing him in action, suited up and ready to go, was a sight. Robert knew everything he needed off the top of his head. His legal expertise was impressive and his demeanor, both professional and personal, was amazing. He is truly an important asset to the Town.

Frank Cassidy is involved in planning and development; his specialty is land law and use. Every in and out or statue that needs to be followed, he knows. He exhibits a special ability to think on his feet, stay rational, present the best argument, all the while appreciating the value of a good sense of humor.

In Development Services, I followed Director of Building Safety Benny Sanchez, Director of Public Works Ryan Benavides and Town Engineer Keith Brann. They are a tight-knit group, as is apparent by their working style and camaraderie. I spoke with Benny about upcoming projects and he gave me a tour of Dove Mountain. While driving, we looked at developments coming in and discussed the impact they would have as well as lighter subjects and hypothetical situations dotted with what I’m sure was my annoying barrage of technical questions. I then had the pleasure of hanging out with Keith. His acute knowledge of engineering, coupled with an obvious ability to plan and serve the Town makes him ideal for his position. Marana will grow responsibly thanks to him.

Lastly, I shadowed Ryan Mahoney. Ryan is a new addition to the Town, only having been here a few months. We got to talk about a wide range of topics, such as upcoming developments, signage, the proposed police station and possible locations as well as where money and land are concentrated. As we were wrapping up our drive, we got slammed into by a van while stopped at an intersection. I believe the first words from Ryan’s mouth were: “Of course this would happen in front of an intern.” So, we spent the next hour dealing with Marana’s finest as we swapped insurance with the other driver and lamented what was happening. The best part though? I got a sweet peek at the Victory motorcycles the police drive. Talk about intimidating.

During the week I learned a lot, got to see people accept plea bargains, got in a car accident, and saw the new Batman-style motorcycle. Bring on next week.

Heath Vescori-Chiordi is a summer intern for the Town and a masters of public administration candidate at the University of Arizona.

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