City Manager's Blog

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Jan 02

Working Together and Involving Everyone

Posted on January 2, 2019 at 1:43 PM by Melinda Mayo

Last week I wrote about three of the values we promote in Roanoke: honesty, respect, and responsibility.  These three, along with the two that I am discussing with this post—teamwork, and diversity and inclusion—are I believe, what make Roanoke’s local government a great place to work and successful at what we do.  


Essentially all that we do, all the services we provide are the result of working together as a part of a team.  We pick up the trash, respond to fires, plan our neighborhoods, repair our streets, clean storm drains, and help our children play and learn by working together.  In many instances, more than I suspect most people realize, our employees rely upon one another to keep them and the general public safe.  Crews working on and around heavy equipment, working in moving traffic, cleaning up after a natural disaster, or responding to a crime all rely upon one another to keep them safe and the situation under control.

Teamwork is essential and it’s not always just about work.  There are equipment rodeos, holiday gatherings, department celebrations, and recognition events that bring our folks together to emphasize and commend the value of employees working closely with one another.

Embracing and Celebrating Our Differences

We do our best, not only when we work together but also when we share ideas, perspectives, and viewpoints.  This sharing is strongest when it represents the diversity of our community—its diversity in race, belief, ethnicity, sexual orientation, and socio-economic status.  As an organization, we try hard to ensure our workforce is representative of our community.  We are not perfect at this, but we continually strive to improve our recruiting and promotion efforts to gain greater diversity.  

Diversity is not the end of our efforts.  It is just as important that we be inclusive—that is, welcoming—of all those who call Roanoke home or who may be visiting, along with celebrating our differences.  We do this by ensuring our facilities and programs can accommodate interested parties regardless of physical ability.  We do this by providing information in languages other than English.  We do this by meeting people where and when they are able to fully join us.  We also do this by supporting such events as Local Colors, Welcoming Week, and a whole host of events that celebrate the food, culture, and traditions of the dozens of different ethnic groups that call Roanoke home.

Values – the Key to Our Success

If we apply our values—honesty, respect, responsibility, teamwork, and diversity and inclusion—every day, every time we deliver our services, and in every interaction with our community, then we will truly make a difference in people’s lives and Roanoke will be better for it!

--Bob Cowell


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