Chip Boyles, Executive Director, Thomas Jefferson Planning District Commission
Your job title is Executive Director. What, in your own words, would you say you do?
I lead a group of dynamic people serving the regional area of City of Charlottesville and Counties of Nelson, Louisa, Greene, Fluvanna and Albemarle with providing regional cooperation and policy development. I provide direction to this staff in their efforts to provide services to our member local governments in the areas of transportation, land use and environmental planning, grant management, and housing and meeting the needs as identified by each local government. I make sure that we stay on task, stay within available budgets and maintain a current strategic plan for us as an agency to remain relevant and accountable to our communities. Currently, the best way I am helping the governing board and the staff is through building and rebuilding relationships with community partners and some who do not know that they are soon to become partners.
What is the best part of your job? The most difficult part?
The best part of my job is the ability to come in daily to an office full of creative and energetic people striving to make a difference in their community. They in turn energize me with their enthusiasm and ideas that makes it so easy for me to go out to talk with others about how these ideas may help lead to better communities in the future as well as some with immediate impact.
The most difficult part of my job is devising strategies to implement regional ideas to meet local needs. Our regional partners are very diverse in their individual needs with each’s needs as important as all others. With limited resources, identifying and acting on individual needs while also working collectively has proven quite difficult. But, we will get there!
How does your job most directly impact the average person?
Being a predominately planning agency, most of our work is seen in years to come. What we do best for the average person of which I am not exactly sure how to define an “average person,” is to hear, consider and incorporate, where appropriate, citizens’ input on community benefit projects within our work areas. The PDC and I strive to make sure the public understands the process and knows their ideas are as important as the implementation to come.
What is the most interesting project or work experience that you’ve had while with the Thomas Jefferson Planning District Commission?
Having only been on the job for seven weeks, clearly the Route 29 Solutions Highway Project has been the most interesting. The PDC also operates the Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) for Charlottesville and Albemarle County ensuring expenditures of federal funds for transportation projects and programs are based on a continuing, cooperative, and comprehensive (“3 C”) planning process. Walking into such a controversial project decades in the making, but now with a State directive to devise a workable and affordable plan within several weeks has been quite daunting. But I believe it shows how even massive undertakings like this can be completed well when a community pulls together to make it happen.
What is a little-known fact about you?
Living in the area for only two months, almost everything is little known! I would offer that I am a long standing Parrot Head. I first saw Jimmy Buffett in concert 35 years ago in Charlotte and have attended well over 20 concerts from Florida to Maryland to Jazz Fest in New Orleans and plan to have my fins up in West Virginia at Greenbrier on July 5th.