Public Service Recognition Week

Public Service Recognition Week (PSRW) is an annual event organized annually by the Public Employees Roundtable (PER). The 2021 event occurs on May 2-8. During the week, employees will be honored across the nation on the federal, state, county and local government level. Public servants do amazing things in the United States and around the world--as well as in the City of Falls Church.

The Falls Church City Council offered a proclamation for PSRW!

We're spotlighting a few City of Falls Church employees during Public Service Recognition week. Watch Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for the spotlights, too.

Caitlin

Q&A with Caitlin Sobsey
CIP Grants Manager (Department of Public Works)

Q: How long have you worked with the City?
A: Three and a half years: over two years with DPW and one year with the Treasurer's Office. 

Q: What kind of work do you do?
A: I am the Capital Improvements Grants Manager, so I do grant management-y things. 

Q: What do you like most about your position?
A: The people! My department rocks but my position is unique in that I really have to work with a lot of different people in different departments. 

Q: How has your work changed since the pandemic started?
A: I'm an extrovert so it was an adjustment seeing a lot fewer faces every day. Lots of Microsoft Teams hang-outs and phone calls have helped! 

Q: Are you on Team Pfizer, Moderna, or J&J?
A: Pfizer all day baby

 Q: What's your favorite Falls Church restaurant?
A: Clare & Don's. I'm trying to convince them to name a dish after me, but have been unsuccessful so far. 

 Q: Do you have a favorite building or landmark in Falls Church?
A: I grew up here so I have a lot of happy memories along the W&OD trail, at many of the parks along the southwestern side of the trail and around Tripps Run. My husband loves skateboarding and is starting to teach my 2.5 year old how to skate, so we spend the most time now at the skatepark at West End Park.

Q: Imagine that the pandemic evaporated today and your favorite band ever was going to play The State Theater tomorrow night. Who would it be and what song would be performed first? 
A: Gilbert O'Sullivan performing Clair, though he spells it wrong. 

Leslyn

Q&A with Leslyn Barrow
Human Services Specialist (Housing and Human Services)

Q: How long have you worked with the City?
A: I have worked for the City for 27 years. First as an Administrative Assistant.

Q: What kind of work do you do?
A: I work as a Human Services Specialist for Housing and Human Services (HHS) managing programs such as Emergency Financial and Non-Financial Assistance, Dental Clinic intake, Assisted Living Program, transportation program enrollment for seniors and persons with disability, basic immediate needs, advocacy, information, referral and more. 

Q: What do you like most about your position?
A: I grew up in a household that experienced some challenges similar to those we serve, so assisting those in need is one thing I like about my position. Also, we come across many who are resilient, gracious, and appreciative even in difficult times, so that is encouraging.  

Q: How has your work changed since the pandemic started?
A: Work changed significantly right at the start of the pandemic. The pandemic was unexpected and based on the services we provide in HHS, we sure got non-stop busier!

Q: Are you on Team Pfizer, Moderna, or J&J?
A: I am on the Get Vaccinated Team, and encourage all those able to do so that they get vaccinated as soon as possible.

Q: What's your favorite Falls Church restaurant?
A: My favorite Falls Church restaurant is Lucky Thai! I am still not tired of their red curry.

Q: Do you have a favorite building or landmark in Falls Church?
A: Cherry Hill Park

 Q: Imagine that the pandemic evaporated today and your favorite band ever was going to play The State Theater tomorrow night. Who would it be and what song would be performed first? 
A: There are many favorites, but right now it would be Black Pumas and they would perform “Colors”.

Mike

Q&A with Mihai-Cristian Statie (aka “Mike”)
Emergency Management Specialist
(Office of Emergency Management / Falls Church Police Department)

Q: How long have you worked with the City?
A: I have worked for the City since November 2019.

Q: What kind of work do you do?
A: My main job is to assist the Emergency Management Coordinator in managing all types of emergency incidents and events (all hazards) that occur within the City limits. Also, we coordinate and cooperate with neighbor jurisdictions, as well as with various agencies, for the unified response to major incidents or disasters, when they occur at the regional, state, or national level. However, our top priority is the preparedness of the City employees and City community for all types of hazards.

Q: What do you like most about your position?
A: Working with great people in "The Little City". Likewise, protecting, helping, and in some instances saving the lives of, the vulnerable part of our community.

Q: How has your work changed since the pandemic started?
A: Emergency Management has always been a critical function of every federal, state, tribal, and local government. Since the pandemic started, City employees and residents have looked to our local government, and implicitly to OEM, for leadership, guidance, help, and reassurance. We had to put a great deal of effort, and stretched our limits many times, to overcome the challenges posed by this pandemic while trying to meet everyone’s expectations.

Q: Are you on Team Pfizer, Moderna, or J&J?
A: Team Pfizer

Q: What's your favorite Falls Church restaurant?
A: My favorite Falls Church restaurant is Lazy Mike’s (no connection). I usually go with “The Mustang” (with some avocado) and a “Dr. Brown’s black cherry soda”.

Q: Do you have a favorite building or landmark in Falls Church?
A: Cherry Hill Farmhouse

 Q: Imagine that the pandemic evaporated today and your favorite band ever was going to play The State Theater tomorrow night. Who would it be and what song would be performed first? 
A: Metallica – “The Unforgiven”.

Pete

Q&A with Pete Sullivan
Adult Librarian (Mary Riley Styles Public Library)

Q: How long have you worked with the City?
A: I started working for the City in January of 2018, shortly after which I made the rare move across the river from Maryland.

Q: What kind of work do you do?
A: I’m an adult librarian at the Mary Riley Styles Public Library. In this role, I work with the public answering questions and helping find books and other information they are looking for. I also buy fiction for the library and plan programs. Lastly, I work with the local history collection and assist patrons with research there as well.

Q: What do you like most about your position?
A: I like the variety of work associated with librarianship. In addition to the stuff I listed above, I get to promote materials on social media and learn about advances in the field that MRSPL is proactive in adopting. Librarianship is also great because you get to work with fun and intelligent people.

Q: How has your work changed since the pandemic started?
A: Just about everything has gone virtual. I work one day a week in the trailer doing curbside pickup for library patrons. But all of my programs are over Zoom and my meetings with staff are on Teams. It’s convenient, but I miss doing things face-to-face.

Q: Are you on Team Pfizer, Moderna, or J&J?
A: Pfizer. I’m happy to be vaccinated and hope that the U.S. can make up the lag created by the J&J pause soon.

Q: What's your favorite Falls Church restaurant?
A: While it’s not in Falls Church, proper, I love Taco Bamba and go there all the time. I may be in the minority in this opinion, but I love organ meats such as tripe and these are on the menu at Taco Bamba.

Q: Do you have a favorite building or landmark in Falls Church?
A: Besides the library, I enjoy walking through the forested area on the Great Falls side of Cherry Hill Park. The State Theatre is really cool too. I got to see Gene Ween play there several years ago and it was great.

 Q: Imagine that the pandemic evaporated today and your favorite band ever was going to play The State Theater tomorrow night. Who would it be and what song would be performed first? 
A: The MC5 is not my favorite band, but their iconic song, ‘Kick Out the Jams’ is appropriate for this moment, as we are coming out of this pandemic and the refurbished library is opening.

Starling

Q&A with Starling Ridgeway
Paralegal (City Attorney's Office)

Q: How long have you worked with the City?
A: Four years, my fifth year will start in January 2022. 

Q: What kind of work do you do?
A: I am the City Paralegal. I support the City Attorney in her role as legal counsel to the City Council and the City by drafting and reviewing documents, maintaining and organizing files from all departments in the city, maintaining a legal library, and working with the City Clerks and Court Clerks to ensure all documents to be signed by the City Manager or filed with Circuit Court comply with all local, state, and federal laws and ordinances.

Q: What do you like most about your position?
A: I really enjoy working with the other city employees and since we assist every department in the City, there is a little variety in my everyday work schedule.

Q: How has your work changed since the pandemic started?
A: The work has not changed; it has just become more difficult. With most other employees telecommuting it takes longer to get transfers hard copies of documents that need signatures or trying to explain changes that are needed when you cannot sit down with the person. As much as I love my cat, she is an awful co-worker.

Q: Are you on Team Pfizer, Moderna, or J&J?
A: Team Pfizer

Q: What's your favorite Falls Church restaurant?
A: I really like the new restaurant in the City, Preservation Biscuits. I love their biscuits with sausage gravy.

Q: Do you have a favorite building or landmark in Falls Church?
A: This is a really difficult question. My favorite building is Victory Comics I am in there at least once a week to feed my D&D miniature habit and I have had many a “date night” with my wife at the State Theater. I also love the Cherry Hill Farmhouse, my wife and I had our engagement announcement photographs taken there.

 Q: Imagine that the pandemic evaporated today and your favorite band ever was going to play The State Theater tomorrow night. Who would it be and what song would be performed first? 
A: That would have to be Weird Al Yankovic and I would love to hear him play “The Hamilton Polka” live.

Taylor

Q&A with Taylor Ford
Recreation Specialist (Recreation and Parks)

Q: How long have you worked with the City?
A:I started working for the City in June 2013 as a Playground Counselor and worked my way up the ladder into my current position as a Recreation Specialist.

Q: What kind of work do you do?
A: I am in charge of all Recreation and Parks Teen Programming, our Excursion Camps, and our Youth Soccer Clinics. I plan, organize and execute all Teen Programming including Midnight Madness, all Excursion Camps including Teen Excursion, Camp Olympia, Junior Golf, and Inner Quest as well as all Love the Ball Soccer Clinics with the help of amazing contractors and part-time staff.

Q: What do you like most about your position?
A: I love giving back to the community I grew up in! I participated in many of the programs that I now work with in my current position. It has been cool to see how things have changed over the years.

Q: How has your work changed since the pandemic started?
A: I now help with our facility rentals, Farmers Market social media, and our Early Release program. I also worked our eLearning program before kids went back to school. The pandemic impacted the number of programs we offer. All Teen Programs have been on hiatus as the Community Center is only open for a few in-person classes and quick drop-in administrative assistance in booking facilities or signing up for our in-person/virtual classes and camp offerings. Our Youth Soccer Clinics in spring 2020 were cancelled, the fall 2020 and current spring season offerings were reformatted to provide smaller clinics with players in their own soccer bubbles. We hope to get back to regular soccer programming this coming fall, but are awaiting further guidance from the CDC, the Commonwealth, and the Fairfax County Health Department. Most of my Excursion Camps were cancelled in summer 2020. This coming summer we are bringing back most offerings but decided to reformat some to accommodate current safety guidelines and procedures.

Q: Are you on Team Pfizer, Moderna, or J&J?
A: Team Moderna for me! Of course I was lucky enough to get flu-like symptoms with both shots… but that also means I know it is doing its job!

Q: What's your favorite Falls Church restaurant?
A: Dominion Wine and Beer

Q: Do you have a favorite building or landmark in Falls Church?
A: Mary Riley Styles Public Library.

 Q: Imagine that the pandemic evaporated today and your favorite band ever was going to play The State Theater tomorrow night. Who would it be and what song would be performed first? 
A: The Fray performing How to Save a Life.