The Virginia Chapter of the American Planning Association (APA Virginia) announced that City of Williamsburg Planning Director Carolyn Murphy received the 2021 Outstanding Service Award.
Murphy, a certified planner with the American Institute of Certified Planners, joined the City’s Planning Department in 1991. In 2016, she assumed her current role as planning director.
“Her real strength is the ability to work with citizens, applicants, and staff to resolve problems,” said Reed Nester, former Williamsburg Planning Director. “She is very skilled in the ability to give people a straight and understandable answer.”
Murphy’s past public service experience includes the position of codes compliance officer, during which she became one of the founding members of the Virginia Association of Zoning Officials. After her time as codes compliance officer, Murphy went on to become the City’s zoning administrator, deputy planning director, and, ultimately, planning director.
“Carolyn is a model for all planners,” Assistant City Manager Michele Mixner DeWitt wrote in the nomination. “Her work illustrates how public service can positively impact a community physically and emotionally. She is eager to discover real-world answers to issues.”
The award was presented at APA Virginia’s Annual Conference in October. Also during this conference, the Historic Triangle’s Edge District won the Holzeheimer Economic Development Award. The Edge District is a shared initiative between York County, James City County, and the City of Williamsburg, their respective economic development authorities, and local businesses in all three jurisdictions with the aim of revitalizing and developing the area along Second Street and Merrimac Trail – the proverbial “edge” where the three jurisdictions meet.