Fairfax County Recognizes National Public Works Week

May 18, 2017
For Immediate Release

Fairfax County Recognizes National Public Works Week, May 21-27

At its May 16, 2017 meeting, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors designated May 21-27 as Public Works Week. This annual tradition aligns with National Public Works Week, an American Public Works Association event that been celebrated during the third full of week of May for the past 57 years. ( Video.)

In Fairfax County, the Department of Public Works and Environmental Services manages stormwater runoff, wastewater conveyance and treatment, the design and construction of public buildings, the county's streetlights contract, the county's urban forest, the trash and recycling program, and maintains many sidewalks and trails. DPWES staff also provides emergency response during floods and other inclement weather events.

A proclamation was read that recognized said the quality and effectiveness is dependent on the efforts and skills of DPWES employees and recognized the department's commitment to the community's health, safety, and welfare.

John Foust, Dranesville District Supervisor, said public works is integral and that all residents are impacted on a daily basis. He thanked director James Patteson and the department on behalf of all residents, saying, "Every single day you're there for them."

Chairman Sharon Bulova congratulated the department and said people take public works for granted until something breaks. She said DPWES does its job well and "brings excellence to the table," adding that the department's behind-the-scenes work requires skill, education, and public relations.

Patteson addressed the board and discussed the culture of accountability the department adheres to. He said the successes the department enjoy today are built on a long history of strong leadership from those who came before him. He shared a funny yet poignant anecdote about inheriting the keys to the department, when outgoing director Jimmie Jenkins told him, "Don't screw it up, Patteson." He and a few staff members accepted a plaque and posed for photo with the board. Download the Flickr photo.

DPWES information will be on display in the lobby of the Fairfax County Government Center from May 22 to May 26. This year's Public Works Week theme is "Public Works Connects Us."

According to APWA, "It [Public Works Week] is designed to educate communities and their leaders about the importance of our nation's public works professionals who provide infrastructure and public works services. National Public Works Week also serves as a time to recognize the contributions of public works staff who design, build, plan, operate, and maintain the transportation, water supply, water treatment and solid waste disposal systems, public buildings, and other structures and facilities essential to our nation's economy and quality of life. Their dedication and expertise at all levels of government and the private sector are a capital investment in the economic growth, development-and ultimate stability-of the nation. It is important for our cities, states and nation to honor those who devote their lives to its service."

APWA is a not-for-profit, international organization of more than 29,800 members involved in the field of public works.

Fairfax County Recognizes National Public Works Week

James Patteson, director of the Department of Public Works and Environmental Services (center), accepts a plaque from the Board of Supervisors proclaiming the week of May 21 as Public Works Week.


Contact: Matthew Kaiser, Public Information Officer 
Department of Public Works and Environmental Services 
703-324-8455, TTY 711


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