Monday, February 27, 2012

Parks and Recreation Elected Officials

Elected officials and city employees

Bill Dexhart

Bill Dexhart (Kevin Symons) is a Pawnee councilman who regularly participates in outrageous sex scandals with multiple partners. His character was inspired by South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford and his 2009 scandal, in which he admitted to a long-time extramarital affair with an Argentinian woman. Dexhart first appeared in "Practice Date", when he publicly admitted to having participated in a foursome in a Brazil cave under the guise of building houses for the underprivileged. Dexhart was featured prominently in "Christmas Scandal", which began with Leslie portraying him in a satirical holiday skit in which he discussed his an affair with multiple women that resulted in a love child. Unbeknownst to Leslie, Dexhart turned out to be involved in a sexual arrangement very similar to that one: four-way sex in a hospital room where he has just overseen the birth of his love child. When he confronted her about it, members of the media took pictures of Leslie and Dexhart together and speculated that the two of them were having an affair. Dexhart refused to deny the allegations, and even went so far as to confirm them, because the fictional affair was less scandalous than his actual sexual discretions. As proof of the affair, he claimed Leslie had a mole on her right buttock, but she publicly proved him wrong by dropping her pants on live television and revealing there is no mole.

Carl Lorthner

Carl Lorthner (guest star Andy Samberg, who starred on Saturday Night Live with Amy Poehler) is a park ranger and the head of outdoor security for Pawnee. He constantly talks extremely loudly, speaking at screaming levels even when asked to talk quietly, and works as a ranger because he cannot hold down a job that involves working indoors due to his inability to control the volume of his voice. Carl appeared in "Park Safety", in which Jerry claimed to be mugged while walking his dog in Ratsett Park, which fell under Carl's territory. Leslie launched efforts to make the parks safer and had Carl take them on a tour of the area; he showed Leslie, Tom and Jerry around on a mobile cart that had been attacked and urinated upon by raccoons. Carl eventually discovered that Jerry was not mugged at all, but accidentally fell into a creek by himself. Angry that Leslie blamed Carl's security measures for the mugging, he threatened to reveal the truth on Joan Callamezzo's morning news show, Pawnee Today. Leslie convinced him not to do so at the last minute, and they instead angered Callamezzo by discussing the 2009 film Avatar and whether it lived up to its hype.

Douglass Howser

Councilman Howser (Yvans Jourdain) is a Pawnee councilman who repeatedly encounters Leslie in embarrassing or awkward situations around city hall, during which time Leslie nevertheless tries to discuss politics with him. For example, in "94 Meetings", Leslie ran into Councilman Howser in the men's bathroom, which she entered while following Ron Swanson and trying to discuss something with him. Afterward, Leslie awkwardly blurted to Howser, "Councilman Howser. I saw your penis."

Hugh Trumple

Hugh Trumple (Eric Pierpoint) is chief of the Pawnee police department. He has a very serious and gruff personality, and speaks in a dry, monotonic manner. Trumple has great respect for Leslie Knope because of her passion for helping those around her. Chief Trumple first appeared in "Ron & Tammy: Part Two", when Ron Swanson gets arrested for a night of debauchery with his ex-wife Tammy. The chief agreed to Leslie's request that he release him to Leslie's custody. Ben feared Leslie cashing in this favor meant the chief would not agree to provide security for the upcoming harvest festival, but Chief Trumple agreed to do so anyway out of his respect for Leslie, telling Ben he will always do favors for Leslie because she is the kind of person who uses those favors to help people. The chief reappeared in the episode "Eagleton", where he arrested Leslie when she refused to apologize after getting in a fight with Lindsay Carlisle Shay, her rival from the neighboring city of Eagleton.

A man with brown hair and a brown mustache wearing a blue denim jacket looks directly ahead.
Stand-up comedian Kirk Fox portrays Joe, who works in the Pawnee sewage department.

Joe (Kirk Fox), also sometimes called "Sewage Joe", works for the Pawnee sewer department, which he calls the "Toilet Party". Despite the nature of his department, Joe regularly hires supermodel-like interns. The parks and sewer departments have an ongoing rivalry and Joe regularly mocks them, much to the confusion of Leslie, who does not understand why he considers the sewer department better than parks and recreation. Joe first appeared in "The Camel", when the various Pawnee departments competed to design a mural for city hall. Joe was arrogant and bragged to Leslie about his department's chances at success, and his department ultimately designed a good mural, but the contest ended without a winner. In "Telethon", Joe made a pass at April. When she rejected him, he insisted he did not care because the sewer department is "waist deep in hot snizz", a reference to the sewer department interns. Joe also appeared in "Soulmates", where he made a pass at Leslie, prompting her to wonder why only jerks have recently seemed to be attracted to her. When Leslie asked Joe his standards for women, he replied only that they cannot be elderly.

Ken Hotate

Ken Hotate (Jonathan Joss) is the leader of Pawnee's local Wamapoke Native American tribe. He also runs a casino in the city. He appeared in "Harvest Festival", where he asked Leslie to relocate her festival because it was taking place on the sacred burial grounds of the Battle of Indian Hill, where his ancestors were killed in a seven-day battle. When Leslie insisted there was nowhere she could move the festival without being offensive due to Pawnee's extremely bloody history, Ken threatened to place a curse on the festival. He knew the curse to be fake, but believed it would frighten people enough to ruin the festival, insisting, "There are two things I know about white people: they love Matchbox 20, and they are terrified of curses." Ken's efforts proved successful, as the local media learned about the curse and reported on it so extensively that the festival was nearly ruined. Leslie and Ken came to a compromise after Leslie agreed to place a Wamapoke history exhibit by the entrance of the festival, and Ken lifted the fake curse during a phony ceremony, where he said nonsense chants including "Doobee doobee do". Jonathan Joss previously voiced John Redcorn in the animated television series King of the Hill, which was co-created by Parks and Recreation co-creator Greg Daniels.


Kyle (Andy Forrest) is a government employee and regular customer at Andy's shoeshine stand. He is routinely mocked and laughed at, not only by Andy but others at city hall as well, even Jerry Gergich, who himself is usually scorned by his co-workers. For example, in the episode "Camping", Kyle told Andy that his identity had been stolen, and Andy reacted by laughing hysterically. Kyle also appeared in "Soulmates", where he was one of the judges in a contest between Chris and Ron to determine whether red or lean meat is better. Kyle complimented the umami taste in one of the burgers, prompting fellow judge Jerry to condemn him for acting pretentious.

Mayor Gunderson

Mayor Gunderson is the mayor of Pawnee and, although he has been mentioned in multiple episodes of Parks and Recreation, he has yet to make an actual appearance on the show. He was first mentioned in "Christmas Scandal", when the parks and recreation department held a satirical holiday skit full of inside jokes about Pawnee, and April declared, "That's crazier than Mayor Gunderson's dog, Rufus." The mayor and his dog played a major part in the episode "The Possum", when Mayor Gunderson's assistant ordered the parks department to capture an opossum that bit Rufus on a Pawnee golf course. Andy, who helps Leslie capture the opossum, said at one point, "We're acting under direct orders from Mayor Gunderson's dog." For the funeral scene in the third season finale "Li'l Sebastian", Michael Schur said the writing staff considered killing off Mayor Gunderson, but they instead went with miniature horse Li'l Sebastian because it was decided having an animal die would be more appropriate and less morbid. Amy Poehler has stated she would love Bill Murray to play Mayor Gunderson and, during an appearance on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, jokingly announced she would pay him $250 if he played the role.

Paul Iaresco

Paul Iaresco (Phil Reeves) is the Pawnee city manager, which makes him supervisor of all the departments and staff in city hall. He was first introduced in "Canvassing", when he asked Ron to fast-track Leslie's plans to convert a construction pit into a park. This inadvertently led to a disastrous public forum, where most attendees forcefully opposed the project. Paul appeared in several other Parks and Recreation episodes, including "The Master Plan", where he announced the pending arrival of state auditors Ben Wyatt and Chris Traeger due to Pawnee's crippling budget problems. In "Camping", Paul held a press conference to commend Leslie for her successful relaunch of the city's harvest festival. During the conference, he suffered a massive heart attack and accidentally clutched Leslie's breast as he fell to the ground; one newspaper's story about the incident read, "Knope Grope is Last Hope!" Paul took a leave of absence after an octuple bypass, and Chris Traeger took over as interim city manager.

Scott Braddock

Scott Braddock (guest star H. Jon Benjamin) is a high-strung Pawnee city attorney who becomes extremely nervous about anything that could lead to a lawsuit. He appeared in "Kaboom", where Leslie accidentally injured Andy by arranging for a bulldozer to fill in a giant pit, unaware that Andy was inside it. He became hospitalized, and Scott encouraged Leslie not to apologize or admit fault in the incident because it would risk Pawnee getting sued. Scott constantly admonished Leslie when she tries to apologize, at one point shouting, "No miming!" when she made a motion indicating how badly she feels. Andy did file a lawsuit with the hopes of winning enough money to impress his ex-girlfriend Ann, but it ended with a settlement that resulted in the pit getting filled in

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