Deputy mayor Steve Schaefer is no stranger to the Tri-State. A Mater Dei High School alumnus who holds a master’s degree from the University of Southern Indiana (Schaefer earned his bachelor’s degree from Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana), he knows the area and its people well. After a stint on Capitol Hill working in the offices of congressmen John Hostettler and John Boehner, Schaefer returned to his hometown to continue his career in government. Previously Mayor Lloyd Winnecke’s chief of staff, Schaefer has embraced the title and workload as the city’s first deputy mayor with open arms.
EVANSVILLE BUSINESS: You have been working with Mayor Winnecke since 2011. How has it been?
STEVE SCHAEFER: Fantastic. I could not have a better person to work for. He’s somebody who not only is a good friend, but also someone I think is a genuine public servant.
EB: As deputy mayor, do you often have to take Mayor Winnecke’s place at events?
SS: Surprisingly no, because he goes everywhere. He has more energy than both of my kids combined.
EB: What does a typical workday look like for you?
SS: A typical day usually is catching up with the Mayor before our meetings. I usually have a couple meetings in the morning dealing with whatever crises happened overnight or over the weekend. No day is exactly alike, but we love it.
EB: What have you learned since becoming deputy mayor?
SS: City government is unlike any other layer of government I’ve worked in. You can actually make a decision and an hour later, you can see the work happening. That’s one of the best things about city government.
One of the bad parts is just that people think you can control everything. Sometimes there’s the lack of knowledge in terms of knowing what the city government can actually do.
EB: What has changed since you took this position?
SS: The city has been growing and the projects haven’t stopped. It seems like we have a new sense of adrenaline every couple of weeks because there’s something new happening.
I enjoy being involved in just about everything and knowing what’s going on in the region. It’s a blast being a part of the positive progress that’s going on.
For more information about the Mayor’s Office, call 812-436-4962 or visit evansville.org.