Public Service Recognition Week

Public Service Recognition Week (PSRW) is an annual event organized annually by the Public Employees Roundtable (PER). The 2019 event occurs on May 5-11. 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.

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

CIP Project Manager (Dept. of Public Works)


Q: How long have you worked with the City?
A: Two years. I started with the Recreation and Parks Department as a maintenance worker, where I helped set up the Farmers Market on Saturdays and did custodial work on weekends. For the past year, I've worked for DPW as a Project Manager. 

Q: What's your favorite Falls Church restaurant?
A: This is a tough one because there are quite a few, but the Saltenas at Luz Mary's on S. Washington Street are great! 

Q: What's your favorite City-wide special event?
A: Watch Night on New Years!

Q: Do you have a favorite building or landmark in Falls Church?
A: Actually I have two: The Community Center, when I was a kid I spent a lot of rainy days playing basketball there, and the other has to be the Great America Bowling.

Q: What do you like most about your position?
A: First and foremost has to be the folks whom I’ve had the pleasure of working with, both at Parks and Rec and DPW. What a bunch of really nice people! Everyone has made me feel at home and as if I have been working with them forever, and yet they have done everything possible to help me get to know the workings of the City. I really appreciate that!

Q: What's a recent project or task that you've worked on that you're either particularly proud of or enjoyed contributing to?
A: Well, I really enjoyed helping Lionel Miller the wrapping up of the City Hall renovations. While Lionel did the hard work in dealing with the contractor, I helped moving the folks back in to City Hall. What made this task fun was getting to meet and know people I had not met before. It was (is) fun working with all the different departments.

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Q&A with Billette Ripy


Circulation Supervisor (Mary Riley Styles Public Library)


Q: How long have you worked with the City?
A: I started working at the circulation desk in 2015 and became supervisor of the Circulation department in 2017. 

Q: What's your favorite Falls Church restaurant?
A: I would be remiss if I said anything other than Cafe Kindred! The environment is fun, the people are awesome, and the food is great. What more can you ask for? 

Q: What's your favorite City-wide special event?
A: As a part of the library precision book drill team AKA ‘the Rolling Readers,’ I feel obligated to declare the Memorial Day Parade as my favorite city event. Putting on a show for the crowd with our book carts is a lot of fun- if not a bit hot and sweaty in the summery sun.

Q: Do you have a favorite building or landmark in Falls Church?
A: Who doesn’t love the library! Of course, we are getting ready for our renovation which will mean some change, but we are doing our best to preserve the feel of the structure we all know and love as we work toward better serving the needs of the community.

Q: What do you like most about your position?
A: One of my favorite things about my job is the opportunity I have to do different things. We are a small (but busy) library, so everyone gets to wear different hats. I manage the circulation department and work at the circulation desk, but I also get to purchase our adult ebooks/eaudio books in Overdrive and the 800s in the adult non-fiction section. I get to do some programing for the library too and work on fun projects like ‘March Literary Madness’-- all while surrounding by great books!

Q: What's a recent project or task that you've worked on that you're either particularly proud of or enjoyed contributing to?
A: I have been working on fun promotional videos to celebrate the library, our programs, and literary events recently. They are acted out by our staff who are fantastic sports and do a stellar job. Check out some of the videos on Facebook (I recommend you start with the Star Wars light saber battle and our Bad Library Poetry videos). We are going to keep putting out new and exciting content on our social media platforms so follow us on Twitter @mrsplfc, Instagram @littlecitylibrary, and Facebook!


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Q&A with Orlando Tapia

Maintenance Technician (Dept. of Public Works)


Q: How long have you worked with the City?
A: Seven Years and three months.

Q: What's your favorite Falls Church restaurant?
A: Luz Mary's on S. Washington Street! I love Bolivian food! 

Q: What's your favorite City-wide special event?
A: Memorial Day. 

Q: Do you have a favorite building or landmark in Falls Church?
A:  The Community Center. I like to spend my lunch break there, especially at the pool tables! 

Q: What do you like most about your position?
A: My job is to repair things for City government buildings: City Hall, the Community Center, the library, the Gage House, Aurora House, even Cherry Hill Farmhouse sometimes! I like the change of scenery - and getting to see new faces every day!




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Q&A with Kathy Allan

Assistant Superintendent of Operations (Department of Public Works)


Q: How long have you worked with the City?
A: Thirteen and a half years.

Q: What's your favorite Falls Church restaurant?
A: Takumi – it's the best sushi in the DMV!

Q: Do you have a favorite building or landmark in Falls Church?
A:  Cherry Hill Farmhouse and Barn. It is small but mighty and a great living history example in an area with a very interesting past.

Q: What do you like most about your position?
A: I like the fast pace and variety of jobs. I learn something new every day and enjoy working and learning with everyone at the Property Yard.

Q: What’s a recent project that you’ve worked on that you’re particularly proud of?
A: I am proud of everything we do! I especially like working on capital facilities projects like the Community Center roof and HVAC replacements and the replacement of the barn corner post.




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Q&A with Kerri Oddenino

Planner (Community Planning and Economic Development Services)


Q: How long have you worked with the City?
A: Started as an intern in October 2015, so I've been with the City for more than 3 years!

Q: What's your favorite Falls Church restaurant?
A: Favorites include Café Kindred, Northside Social, Lucky Thai.

Q: What do you like most about your position?
A: Opportunities to work on a range of projects and items.

Q: What’s a recent project that you’ve worked on that you’re particularly proud of?
A: ’m the City Project Manager for the Capital Bikeshare Expansion Project, which is going active next week!