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March 04, 2012

Meet Your Government: Margaret Maliszewski

Maleszewski3
Margaret Maliszewski

Principal Planner, Albemarle County

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

I was born and raised in Wilmington, Delaware. You probably know it as that city you ride through as you take Amtrak from Washington to New York. (Actually, it has a very nice train station designed by Frank Furness in 1907.)

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

I moved back to Charlottesville in late 1997 to work for Albemarle County.

What neighborhood do you live in now?

Belmont. I love being able to have a yard big enough to have a garden (and bees) and still be able to walk from home, to downtown, to work.

Family (spouse, kids, etc)?

I’m married to a guy who loves to fish and hasn’t been on his boat all winter. A fisherman in winter can be a pretty pitiful sight. Thank God Spring is almost here.

What is your alma mater and when did you graduate?

I have a BS in Architecture from the Catholic University of America and a Masters in Architectural History from the University of Virginia.

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

When I graduated from UVA I moved to New York City and worked for the NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission for about 5 years writing reports that explained the architectural and historical significance of the city’s soon-to-be landmarks. I then moved to central Pennsylvania (culture shock) and did a variety of preservation planning work for two private firms for about 4 years.

Continue reading "Meet Your Government: Margaret Maliszewski" »

February 19, 2012

Meet Your Government: Charles Werner

CharlesWerner
Charles Werner

Fire Chief, City of Charlottesville

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

In the Valley: Harrisonburg, VA.

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

1978 with employment to the City as the youngest firefighter (18) hired at the Charlottesville Fire Department.  I am currently in my 34th year at CFD and presently the member with the most seniority.   

What neighborhood do you live in now?

I live in the Saddlewood subdivision area of Albemarle County.

Family (spouse, kids, etc)?

I have a fantastic and supportive family with my wife (Judy), daughter (Tyler) and son (Nicholas).  As for pets, I have two SPCA adopted mixed breed dogs.  Support the SPCA, it’s a great organization. 

What were you doing before coming to the fire department?

I was a volunteer firefighter (Harrisonburg Fire Company #1) and volunteer EMT (Harrisonburg Volunteer Rescue Squad) just out of Harrisonburg High School.  My first job just prior to coming to Charlottesville was working as an administrative assistance to the fire chief in Harrisonburg.

Your job title is the Charlottesville Fire Chief - what, in your own words, would you say you do?

My job is to identify opportunities and implement programs that will create a safer and better Charlottesville community through individual and organizational relationships/partnerships and in the most fiscally responsible way possible.

Continue reading "Meet Your Government: Charles Werner" »

February 12, 2012

Meet Your Government: Ella Jordan

Ella Jordan

Clerk to the Board of Supervisors, Albemarle County
EllaJordan

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

I was born in Charlottesville and grew up in Esmont, a small, tight-knit community in Southern Albemarle. 

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

I’ve always lived in this area.  One of the reasons I stayed in the area was because I knew that it was a good area to raise my children.  I also have a deep connection with my family, friends and church.  

What neighborhood do you live in now?

Fifeville (Orangedale).

Family (spouse, kids, etc)?

My husband, Jay, is an Autobody Technician at Cville Auto Body; we have five children – Ian (24) in the Air Force, stationed in Montana; Zanathan (24), student at Liberty University; Kirstin (22) lives in New York, preparing for grad school; and twins, Jessica (19), student at University of Mary Washington, and Amanda (19), student at PVCC; and two grandchildren, Brooklynn and Joscelyn.

Continue reading "Meet Your Government: Ella Jordan" »

February 05, 2012

Meet Your Government: Craig Fabio

Craig Fabio

Zoning Inspector, City of Charlottesville
CraigFabio

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

I was born and raised in a little cow town between Buffalo and Rochester, New York. 

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

While in Charlottesville for a weeklong vacation in summer of 2003 a buddy from college and his special lady friend spent the week selling me on the area. Three months later I packed up and moved here. 

What neighborhood do you live in now?

I’ve lived in Belmont for the last five years. 

Family (spouse, kids, etc)?

My amazing fiancé and her fat little pug live with me, my little brother lives across town and our mother will be moving here in the fall. 

What is your alma mater and when did you graduate?

I graduated from the University of Connecticut in lovely Storrs, Connecticut in the late nineties. 

What were you doing before coming to the county government?

Prior to working for the City I managed the Starr Hill Music Hall on West Main Street. Through the years I’ve worked at a big box store, managed a beer, wine and liquor store outside of Boston, spent a summer doing construction, waited tables and tended bar. 

Your job title is Zoning Inspector – what, in your own words, would you say you do?

As Zoning Inspector for the City I have many varied responsibilities. Zoning deals with land use. In Charlottesville the Zoning Administrator, Read Brodhead, and I are tasked with interpreting and enforcing the Zoning Ordinance. We deal with where and what you can build, sign allowances, occupancy and even the vendor and the outdoor café spaces on the Downtown Mall. 

What is the best part of your job?

The best part of the job is absolutely the people I work with. The fact that every day we get to deal with something different certainly helps. There is no such thing as a routine day. 

The most difficult part?

Sometimes the difficult part is trying to explain why something is prohibited. Not everyone will like what we have to say, but they understand why the rules are in place. 

How does your job most directly impact the average person?

The great thing about zoning is the fact that it impacts everyone every day, but if we are doing good work no one notices. If we can make sure that there isn’t a negative impact we’re doing something right. 

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

The Downtown Mall re-bricking was a huge project. Trying to figure out how to lay out all of the vendor and outdoor café spaces was a really interesting experience. There are quite a few citizens who have expressed sincere thanks for helping in a situation when they didn’t know where to turn. It’s nice to be able to help out and not always have to deal with enforcement. 

What is a little known fact about you?

If I were to divulge a little known fact it would no longer be little known. You have to keep some things under wraps, though in the interwebs era who really has secrets? 

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

When I’m not at work I play softball, watch college basketball (2011, certainly not 2012, National Champion UConn Huskies mostly), work on the ever growing list of projects around the house, make dinner for my fiancé, work on teaching stupid tricks to the above mentioned pug and I will soon be venturing into the world of road biking. 

January 29, 2012

Meet Your Government: Dan Mahon


Dan Ashby Mahon
Dan Mahon
Dan Mahon

Outdoor Recreation Supervisor, Albemarle County

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

Born in the former backwoods of Fauquier County Virginia but soon after my family and I floated downstream to the Bay and we washed ashore on sandy strip of salt marsh at a place called Grandview Island, Hampton, Virginia. I have relations that go back to dust in Virginia and I am never surprised when I run into a distant cousin.

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

After graduate school I tried to leave Virginia but at the border I was repeatedly turned back by the ghosts of those ancestors mentioned above and ….so in 1993 I finally gave up all notions of moving to Tibet, Tahiti or Tallahassee and decided not to carry my heart out of old Virginny. And further reinforcing my decision to stay was a recollection of something I learned from my 4th grade Virginia History book. There I was taught that it was in Virginia that the Cradle of Western Civilization rocked and here somewhere between the James and Rivanna Rivers and below the Blue Ridge Mountains was the spiritual center of all that…..so it seemed to me that the right place was not far from where I was. 

What neighborhood do you live in now?

I currently live in one of the 1950’s era neighborhoods in Crozet.

Family (spouse, kids, etc)?

My wife Jan is currently the Director of the Arboretum at JMU. Our daughter Alanna is dancing and artfully working her way through her senior year at Western. And our son Marsh is an EMT proudly serving on the Western Albemarle Rescue Squad, and contributes the local music scene.  

Continue reading "Meet Your Government: Dan Mahon" »

January 22, 2012

Meet Your Government: Ebony Walden


PhotoEbony Walden
Photo by Sarah Cramer of Cramer Photo

 

Ebony Walden

Neighborhood Planner, City of Charlottesville

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

I was born in Queens, New York and lived there until I was 8. The rest of my youth I spent in Long Island, NY (Hempstead)

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

I moved to the Charlottesville area in the fall of 2003. I came here from Washington, DC to participate in the Trinity Fellows Program, a leadership development program that prepares young adults for entering their future vocations and approaching their lives from a Christian worldview.

What neighborhood do you live in now?

I have spent most of my time in Charlottesville living in Fifeville (Prospect), but most recently I live in North Downtown.

Family (spouse, kids, etc)?

I am single with no children

What is your alma mater and when did you graduate?

I graduated from Georgetown University in 2002 and the University of Virginia in 2006.

What were you doing before coming to the city government?

Continue reading "Meet Your Government: Ebony Walden" »

January 09, 2012

Meet Your Government: Tom Foley

Tom Foley
County Executive, Albemarle County

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

I was born in Boston, Mass, but grew up primarily in Northern Virginia in Dale City. (Maurice Jones and I actually grew up in the same place and went to the same High School)

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

I moved to the area in 1999 to become the Assistant County Executive for Albemarle.

What neighborhood do you live in now?

I live in Crozet.

Family (spouse, kids, etc)?

My wife Lori and I have been married almost 25 years and have three kids, Laura (23), Matt (21), and Bryan (19).

What is your alma mater and when did you graduate?

Continue reading "Meet Your Government: Tom Foley" »

December 21, 2011

Meet Your Government: Maurice Jones

Maurice_JonesMaurice Jones
Charlottesville City Manager

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

I was born at Dewitt Army Hospital on the base of Fort Belvoir in Fairfax County but raised in Dale City, Virginia in Prince William County.

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

I moved to Charlottesville in March of 1993 after accepting a job at NBC 29.

What neighborhood do you live in now?

I currently live in Earlysville but will be moving into the City at some point in 2012.

Family (spouse, kids, etc)?

My wife, Michele, and I have four young children, all boys ranging in age from five months to 5 years.

What is your alma mater and when did you graduate?

I graduated from James Madison University in 1992.

What were you doing before coming to the city government?

I worked in the field of broadcast journalism before becoming Director of Communications for the City of Charlottesville in 1999.

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

I serve as the Chief Administrator for the City government so my primary job is to work closely with our City Council and staff to provide high quality services to our residents, businesses and visitors. This originates with our City Council Vision and involves a tremendous amount of interaction and engagement with our constituents.

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

I enjoy being able to make a difference in our community. I’m blessed to be able to lead an organization that is committed to helping folks solve problems. Whether it’s a deteriorating sidewalk in one of our neighborhoods or addressing the issues related poverty, we are willing to look for different ways to tackle problems. We realize we cannot always solve issues through governmental action but many times we can serve as a catalyst and invite people to the table in an effort to bring about positive change.

I love my job but if I had to pick the most difficult part of it I’d have to say balancing my workload and professional commitments with my personal life.

How does your job most directly impact the average person?

Of course there is a lot of focus on major controversial issues like the water supply plan and the Meadow Creek Parkway. Both are important and have taken up significant portions of my time but in the end the most essential part of my job is developing our budget. It is the foundation by which we as a City government can help build a strong community. Our city’s character is ingrained in our budget. Our generous support of our schools, the commitment we’ve made to our public infrastructure like roads and recreation facilities and the level of protective service we provide through our public safety departments all contribute to the quality of life here for folks in the Charlottesville area, and it all begins with the reasoned and appropriate disbursement of the revenues we receive from our taxpayers. In the end our budget is a reflection of our community’s expectations and vision.

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

I think the work we’ve done on the Dialogue on Race over the course of the last two years has been vitally important. I was initially the primary staff member on the project and have enjoyed seeing its growth from dialogue to action. The City Council realized that Charlottesville’s long and complicated history of race relations needed to be addressed in a comprehensive manner and the community has embraced the project. There may be disagreement from time to time on what action is needed to move us forward but in the end we know we’re a stronger community because of our willingness to take on this issue.

What is a little known fact about you?

Although I certainly do not consider myself an expert in music, I do have an eclectic taste in it. You’ll find an assortment of music in my CD shelves and on my iPod. From Beethoven to Kirk Franklin to Beyonce, I enjoy a variety of artists from different backgrounds.

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

I used to spend my free time reading, playing sports or going to movies but now most of my time spent outside of work is with my family. Spending quality time with my wife and children has become my hobby. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Maurice Jones in the news

December 11, 2011 - Meadows residents seek protection from Stonefield traffic

October 26, 2011 - RWSA to advertise bids for new Ragged Mountain dam

September 28, 2011 - City will pay to initiate work on dredging proposal

March 5, 2011 - City Manager Jones to present ‘cautiously optimistic’ budget for FY2012