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March 10, 2012

Meet Your Government: Ryan Davidson

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Ryan Davidson
Ryan2

Budget and Management Analyst
City of Charlottesville

Where were you born (and raised, if different?)

I was born in Lynchburg, VA and grew up right outside of Lynchburg in a place called Goode, VA.

When and why did you move to the Charlottesville/Albemarle area?

I moved to Charlottesville in the Spring of 2004. I was finishing up grad school, looking for an internship or job and was offered an internship with the City so I moved here from Richmond.

What neighborhood do you live in now?

I live in the County a couple of miles outside of town, not really in a neighborhood though.

Family (spouse, kids, etc)?

I have been married for almost 6 years now to my wife Robye. We have a son named Eli and a dog named Betty.

What is your alma mater and when did you graduate?

I got my Bachelors from JMU in 2000 and my Masters in Public Administration from VCU in 2004.

What were you doing before coming to the work for the county?

This is actually my first career-oriented job out of college. Prior to this job I was living in Richmond and working my way through grad school at the Home Depot. And while I was in college and even high school I worked at a country club in Lynchburg doing the grounds maintenance for the golf course.

Your job title is the Budget and Management Analyst - what, in your own words, would you say you do?

Since I work in a two-person department I deal with every aspect of the City budget from creation to implementation. I work closely with Leslie Beauregard, who is the Director of Budget and Performance Management, with the City Manager, and with staff from the City departments to put together the City’s annual budget.

The biggest parts of my job are:  1) I am tasked with running the City’s Capital Improvement Program (CIP) process from start to finish.  I do everything from helping the departments create their project requests and helping the City Manager come up with the Proposed CIP, to presenting the Proposed CIP to the Planning Commission and Council; 2) Producing the City’s Budget Document in a way that provides all of the information that a citizen or City Council may need, so that the information is easily understandable and will help Council to make informed decisions; and 3) Serving as a representative for the City on the Agency Budget Review Team, which is responsible for reviewing all the funding requests to the City and County from the area nonprofit organizations.

What is the best part of your job?

I love the people that I work with. I also really enjoy the problem-solving aspect of my job.  When you get the opportunity to find the resolution to a difficult issue or come up with a way of doing something that will help the City run more efficiently and effectively, that is very satisfying. 

The most difficult part?

It would definitely be having to tell people that they are not going to get funding for a capital project or budget request that they may need. I don’t like disappointing people, but when you are dealing with limited resources, especially in today’s economic climate, you can’t do it all. And recently the uncertainty surrounding the economy and the State and Federal budgets has made our job increasingly difficult.

How does your job most directly impact the average person?

The budget touches every aspect of the City government and the services provided to our citizens. A big part of my job is providing recommendations to the Budget Director, City Manager, and City Council to determine how we use the taxpayer money.  Plus, I am the person responsible for putting all of the City’s budget information on our website to help keep citizens informed about what is going on with the City’s budget.

What is the most interesting project or work experience that you’ve had while with the county?

One interesting experience I have had the opportunity to do, which can be directly attributed to my work experiences with the City of Charlottesville, is that every semester I do a guest lecture on Capital Improvement Budgeting and Capital Budget Planning at the University of Virginia. It is a really fun, interesting, and unique experience. I feel lucky to have the chance to do something that not a lot of people can say they have had the opportunity to do. Who knows, maybe someday down the road it might be nice to look into becoming a professor and sharing my work experiences with others.

What is a little known fact about you?

I guess it depends on how you define “little known,” but I am a high school basketball official for all of the area public and private schools. So obviously anyone at those games knows that, but many of the people I work with and even some of the people I know around town may be surprised by this.

What do you do outside of work hours – hobbies, etc?

I love spending time with my wife, son and dog.  I also really like playing golf and working outside around my house. I have recently gotten back into working out and am planning to start training for a mini-triathlon soon.

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