Paige Barfield, City of Charlottesville
Paige Barfield, Clerk of Council
Where were you born (and raised, if different)?
I was born in Michigan. I was raised in eastern North Carolina, and then later in Spotsylvania, Virginia.
When and why did you move to the Charlottesville/Albemarle area?
After graduation I moved to California, but the pull of family and my love for this area brought me back in 2004, less than a year later.
What neighborhood do you live in now?
I live in the Berkley/Four Seasons neighborhood, just a few houses down from where my fiancé was born and raised.
Family (spouse, kids, etc.)?
We have a newly-mobile and extremely happy ten month old daughter and an enthusiastic and constantly inquiring six year old son. I also have a loyal Golden Retriever, who has been with me since my third year of college.
What is your alma mater and when did you graduate?
I graduated in 2003 with a BA in English and Government from dear old UVA – WA-HOO-WA!
What were you doing before you came to work for the City?
I worked for the UVA endowment and helped run a daycare in California for a year.
Your job title is Clerk of Council – what, in your own words, would you say you do?
I take care of all things “Council”! I work with the Mayor and the Councilors to help with correspondence, calendars, and travel and to connect them with citizens. The City Manager, the Mayor and I work with staff to put together agendas for our Council meetings. I help run and record minutes for the meetings and work with citizens who want to participate. Come to a meeting sometime – they are a great way to get a flavor of how the City works to make decisions. We meet at 7pm on the first and third Mondays in Council Chambers at City Hall.
What is the best part of your job? The most difficult part?
The best part of my job is getting the opportunity to connect directly with citizens and coming to know so many people in the community! I enjoy working with those who are truly passionate about making Charlottesville a great place to live, and that is something I get to do on a daily basis. Everyone has their own unique view of what makes the City special, and being a part of making people’s ideas a reality is exciting. Also, working with such a hardworking group of Councilors has been inspiring. I feel we are lucky to have a dedicated group of compassionate leaders working for our City.
The most difficult part? Having to say “no”. It doesn’t happen very often, but occasionally someone comes to me for assistance with something I cannot say “yes” to for whatever reason. It’s tough to send them away without the answer they were hoping for.
How does your job most directly impact the average person?
I make it easy for people to communicate with Council, and I help them understand how to navigate the process when they want to make something happen.
What is the most interesting project or work experience that you’ve had while with the City?
I have organized exchanges with our sister city in Winneba, Ghana, and I have learned so much and made some great friends through that experience. We had a small delegation visit Charlottesville in August, and my counterpart in Winneba made a dress for me and a shirt for my fiancé – pretty neat!! Discussing how our two cities are structured and exploring our cultural differences has been enlightening.
What is a little-known fact about you?
I am the pianist/organist at an area church. (It’s doubly fun because my mom is the choir director!)
What do you do outside of work hours – hobbies, etc.?
Outside of work hours, I love spending time with my family. I do first grade homework, play with Legos, engage in babytalk, and supervise sibling laugh contests! I also enjoy running, watching football, playing piano, and being a member of the Junior League of Charlottesville. I am especially excited to start work as a volunteer with the Mentoring Moms Project through Children, Youth & Family Services this fall.