Maya Kumazawa, Public Works Coordinator, City of Charlottesville
Your job title is Public Works Coordinator. What, in your own words, would you say you do?
Public Works has more than 300 employees working in 7 divisions. I help manage our programs and operations across the divisions in order to provide the most effective services for our residents. I also work closely with other City Departments to coordinate departmental and citywide initiatives that relate to public engagement, technology, budgeting, and strategic planning.
What is the best part of your job? The most difficult part?
I enjoy working with a diverse range of co-workers. Our field crews ensure that we address citizen concerns as best as possible. They keep the City running day-to-day by maintaining streets, buildings, utilities, and transportation systems. At the same time, I enjoy working with managers to develop long-term plans for the organization.
Since there is so much to juggle every day, the most challenging part of my job is to prioritize and determine what activities will create the most positive impact for residents and for the organization.
How does your job most directly impact the average person? What is the most interesting project or work experience that you’ve had while with the City?
I recently helped manage the City’s transition to the new and expanded recycling program. I worked with our solid waste staff and with our recycling contractor to develop and implement a plan to distribute new recycling carts, create bi-weekly pickup zones, and continue recycling collections without a break in service. I also engaged directly with many City residents to promote the program, answer questions, and track the data for cart size adjustments. I have been working here for only about five months, and for about half of that time, I dedicated my time to this project. My goal is to integrate environmental stewardship opportunities as much as possible into our operations. I think that’s where we’ll be able to add the most value as a department.
What is a little-known fact about you?
I was born in Japan, but spent much of my childhood in Germany. I love learning about different cultures and languages, eating all kinds of food, and traveling!