Linda W. Cropp at the request of the Mayor
A PROPOSED RESOLUTION IN THE COUNCIL OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
Chairman Linda W. Cropp at the.request of the
Mayor, introduced the following resolution, which was referred to the Committee on Public
Works and the Environment.
To confirm the Mayoral appointment of Ms.
Vanessa Dale Burns as the Director of the Department of Public Works.
RESOLVED, BY THE COUNCIL OF THE DISTRICT OF
COLUMBIA, That this resolution may be cited as the "Director of the Department of
Public Works Vanessa Dale Burns Confirmation Resolution of 1999".
Sec. 2. The Council of the District of
Columbia confirms the appointment of:
Ms. Vanessa Dale Burns
905 Sherman Avenue
Evanston, Illinois 60202
as Director of the Department of Public Works,
in accordance with section 2 of the Confirmation Act of 1978, effective March 3, 1979
(D.C. Law 2-142; D.C. Code, sec. 1-633.7), to serve from the date of confirmation by the
Council of the District of Columbia at the pleasure of the Mayor of the District of
Sec. 3. The Council of the District of
Columbia shall transmit a copy of this resolution, upon its adoption, each to the nominee
and to the Office of the Mayor.
Sec. 4. This resolution shall take effect
Vanessa Dale Burns
905 Sherman Avenue
Evanston. IL 60202
(H) (847) 570-4861
(W) (847) 866-2958
Versatile manages with over 20 years
professional experience in public service management... this diverse background includes
creative problem solving, project management, team building, staff development, policy
analysis, program development, fiscal management, contract negotiation and administration,
void extensive research skills.
Accomplished in many facets of management.
Proven ability to increase productivity and efficiency to enhance service delivery by
employees, through utilization of equipment and personnel in order to create new sad
improved service programming. Possess extensive people skills which helps to create a team
atmosphere and improve productivity.
Key Responsibilities and Accomplishments
Executive Management: As New Haven
Director of Public works, demonstrated effective oral and planning skills to implement
more efficient and streamlined operations by increasing the departmental productivity
while reducing budget by over one million dollars and cutting the workforce by thirty
percent; in Cleveland, had direct responsibility for staffs numbing 500 employees with
annual budgets exceeding $46 million. In executive and manager roles, have successfully
managed such diverse operations as Engineering Services, Street Maintenance, Facility
Management, Bridge Operations, Solid Waste Management, Public Space Permits and
Inspection, Fleet Services, Traffic and Parking, and Water and Sewer.
Developed, introduced and implemented work and
service standards ...designed and implemented safety measures to increase worker
visibility and reduce injuries, especially lower back injuries. Evaluated long term solid
waste options for the City of New Haven whose negotiations led to one of the most
favorable long term solid waste contracts in the State at the time. Fostered and
reinforced a supportive organizational culture and team oriented environment... Promoted
professionalism among supervisors and line workers, resulting in improved morale sad
increased sense of pride is the organization. . . Decreased overtime costs substantially
in all municipalities due to operational changes.
Service Delivery: Refined and
enhanced compliant tracking system to effectively monitor problems areas or enraging
issues to maximize accountability to city residents... Enhanced core neighborhoods by
increasing-general-cleanliness of these often congested areas and tripling the number of
sweet sweepings in those areas which lack sufficient off street parking... Developed Paper
Bag Leaf Collection program in early 1990s which quadrupled the number of fall leaf
pickups provided to residents while reducing labor by more than qty percent of previous
program ... Retrofitted packer trucks to improve leaf collection pickup in Cleveland...
Introduced and facilitated extensive use of telecommunication technology and
computerization to increase supervisory productivity... Participated in negotiation of
municipal privatization competition for street resurfacing and waste receptacle collection
in Cleveland... Developed new Snow and Ice Operational Plan and utilized state-of-the-art
equipment for snow removal.
Research and Fiscal Skills: Served
for almost ten years as a Fiscal and Legislative Analyst, senior staff member of
legislative body professional research staff Was responsible for policy, program and
fiscal analysis to increase Board of Alderman effectiveness in malting decisions
concerning municipal matters that came under then purview... Served as staffer to the
Public Health Committee, Connecticut General Assembly, which evaluates such important
issues as Managed Care, Licensure, Disease Management, and other pertinent Health policy
Marketing: Created marketing
strategies for all municipal programming utilizing pest, cable television, billboards,
mass mailings to inform consumers regarding program parameters.
1998 - present Director of Public Works, City
of Evanston, Illinois
1997 -1998 Staff, Public Health Committee, Connecticut General Assembly
1995 -1996 Assistant Public Service Director, City of Cleveland, Ohio
1990 -1994 Director of Public Works, City of New Haven, Connecticut
1980 -1989 Fiscal and Legislative Analyst, New Haven Board of Alderman
Other professional experience includes Loan
Officer; Cost Accountant; Youth Manpower Plainer
1981 MPA, University of New Haven, West Haven,
1973 BA, American University, Washington, District of Columbia
Major: Government, with honors
Received undergraduate degree in two-years
Also attended Yale School of Organization and Management and University of Wisconsin -
1994 Finalist, Top Tan Public Works Leaders,
American Public Works Association
1993 YWCA Woman in Leadership Award
1993 Bethel AME Zion Public Services Award
1978, 1994 NAACP Pubic Service Award & Recognition
American Public Works Association, Member
Dutch Block Association, President (Former)
9th & 25th Ward Committee, Member (Former)
REFERENCES Furnished Upon Request
- Belief that the best managers should manage by
making their employees understand that they are just as important as the "big
bosses" and that they are as willing to work just as many hours to make the
department or organization work efficiently.
- I believe that senior managers should know how
all jobs are supposed to be performed and not just by what some other supervisor tells
them but by personal observation. Employees should never be sure when you will or will not
show up to watch them performing their job responsibilities. This increases job
accountability and sets the tone.
- I believe that you need to develop in your
employees a sense of ownership in how the department is perceived by your customers and
that a positive reaction from your customers (residents) is the desired outcome.
- I believe that administrative, operational and
supervisory personnel should all be treated equally regarding the manner in which it is
expected they will perform their job obligations. For example time and attendance
requirements pursuant to specific union contractual language should be adhered to equally.
No special consideration unless there are some serious extenuating circumstances. Once the
expectation bar is raised, it should never be lowered regardless of job classification,
political affiliation or family connection.
Holistic Approach to Employee Relations:
- I believe that employees are people and they
should not only be numbers in someone's sterile book, but as people at all times. Any
personal problems must be dealt with in a straightforward manner and not avoided to
enhance the ability of the employees to be as productive as possible and allow the
employee to deliver to our customer base the service they expect and deserve for their tax
- I. believe that all employees should be given
every opportunity to learn as many skills as possible and at minimal in their job
classification management should make sure they are fully trained and that lack of proper
training should never be an excuse for the job not being done appropriately.
- I think that new and creative avenues should be
investigated on an ongoing process to review functional areas to constantly enhance the
delivery of critical municipal services.