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April 28, 2012

Meet Your Government: Wayne Cilimberg

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CilimbergMeet Your Government:
Wayne Cilimberg
Director of Planning, Albemarle County

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

Born and raised in Richmond.  I’ve lived in Virginia all my life.

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

Moved from Culpeper in 1989, but I had actually been commuting from there since I started with the County Department of Planning and Community Development in 1986.  Previously worked for the Rappahannock-Rapidan Planning District Commission in Culpeper.

What neighborhood do you live in now?

Locust Grove in the city.

Family?

Wife Lee, step daughter Jessie, step son Devin, sons Justin and Jared.  We’re empty nesters now except for Tilly our 17 year old dog!

What is your alma mater and when did you graduate?

Graduated twice from “that other school”, Virginia Tech; BA Urban Affairs in 1976 and Masters in Urban and Regional Planning in 1981.

What were you doing before coming to the County?

Before government (and grad school) I worked for a Savings and Loan in Richmond for 3 years during the 70’s.  I ended up managing a branch of Virginia First S&L with the bulk of my work being in mortgage lending.  In the very conservative lending environment of those times, someone in the modern day mortgage lending business would probably consider what we did back then to be prehistoric!

Your job title is Director Planning - what, in your own words, would you say you do?

Much of my work is managing projects and processes (I am also the Secretary to the Planning Commission).  I rely tremendously on a really talented staff who do so much of the hard work that goes into the products that the Commission, Board of Supervisors and general public ultimately see.  While I hope I am providing them helpful guidance, I think one of my most important jobs is to try to provide them the tools and support to be successful in what they do.

What is the best part of your job? The most difficult part?

Having been in the profession for over 30 years, 26 years with the County, and also active with professional planning organizations, I really enjoy mentoring based on both that experience and current trends influencing planning.  My challenge is patience.  There are some really important planning goals and initiatives the County has identified for itself that don’t just happen quickly.  Ultimately I try to focus on providing the best professional planning guidance with the realization that it may take time to see it carried through.

How does your job most directly impact the average person?

Plans and policies ultimately translate into the physical and social  environment and sense of place that county residents and visitors experience – I have the opportunity to influence the quality and nature of both the County’s urban places and rural areas that are so important to our community’s heritage and sense of identity.

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

The Neighborhood Model, which involved the work of a number of people, for the first time set an expectation for how the County’s urban places should develop.  Being a “place” person, I valued tremendously what the results of that initiative can mean for the quality of the urban living experience in the County.  It’s also a very good example of a work in progress that takes time and patience.

What is a little-known fact about you?

I’m a weather nerd!  My other career would have been meteorology, which might have been the direction I would have gone if it had been offered as a major when I was in college.

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

Reading, mostly about current events rather than novels.  (My wife kids me that most of my attempts at extended reading become extended sleeping!)  Also try to stay physically active with outdoor activities and cycling classes.

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