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Department of Metropolitan Development (DMD) Director Maury Plambeck recently recognized  ten employees in six categories at the annual DMD recognition luncheon.


Bob Glenn received an Honorable Merit for Customer Service to Internal Staff:

The Litigation section of the Office of Corporation Counsel was encouraged by the City Prosecutor’s Office and City Legal staff to contact the Division of Planning for help on a recent case regarding adult uses. The challenge from Corporation Counsel was to establish the relationship between crime and the hours of operation of adult uses. The information was needed in less than one week. Answering this challenge, Bob tracked down and successfully organized data from the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department with some data dating back to 2000.  Bob broke the data up by time and geo-coded it, enabling the specific locations of the adult uses to be examined. Bob successfully delivered the results for the court appearance by the deadline.


Dustin Jones also received an Honorable Merit for Customer Service to Internal Staff:
This past year, the City was faced with the unfortunate situation of having to discuss the terms of compliance for a facility that would be ceasing operations and had received numerous tax abatements over the years.  The challenges included deciphering information between an aged property system and fairly new system, then noting the errors that were realized in the information found and assisting county personnel in correcting those errors. Dustin was then faced with the challenge of calculating nearly ten years worth of savings for three different projects related to this company. Dustin had to manually search for historical data and recalculate the information. Dustin provided top-notch customer service to the Office of Corporation Counsel, the Auditor’s Office and the outside counsel.


Cindy Snyder was recognized for Customer Service to Internal Staff:
Cindy provides help to all divisions of DMD on a regular basis. This nomination was made for work she completed the week before Thanksgiving. Community Economic Development (CED) was processing five requisitions, totaling $23 million. They hit a snag with the final two, and could not get the requisitions to post. Cindy stopped what she was doing to help. She reviewed the budget, the contract amounts and the requisitions previously posted. Cindy stayed with the CED staff until 6 p.m. on the Friday before Thanksgiving. Cindy was determined to figure out the issues, but the problem couldn’t be resolved that night. Cindy, thinking of her customer, remained focused on reconciling the issue. When staff came in on Monday, they were able to complete the task, with no complications, because of Cindy’s work and dedication.



Andrew Houge was recognized for Customer Service to a citizen:
This nomination discusses some aspects of Andrew and his regular duties, but is particularly focused on Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) environmental review. Andrew took multiple extra steps to solicit input from HUD leadership, and to provide guidance and support in the most cost effective ways for development of HOME-funded projects located in areas with brownfield challenges. HOME provides formula grants to states and localities that communities use-often in partnership with local nonprofit groups-to fund a wide range of activities that build, buy, and/or rehabilitate affordable housing for rent or homeownership or provide direct rental assistance to low-income people. Andrew’s work has helped save time for Community Development Corporations and has demonstrated a willingness to request and encourage flexibility from HUD, in relation to environmental review. Many not-for-profit HOME grant sub-recipients need that flexibility.



Bob Wilch received recognition for a Creative Idea from a supervisor:

The Broad Ripple and Maple Road neighborhoods wanted to develop urban design guidelines for their areas and asked for assistance from the Division of Planning. Bob saw the need to quickly inform and educate the residents about complex urban design issues and considerations. To help with this effort, he built a scale model of each area and used it to illustrate urban design concepts with citizens at multiple neighborhood meetings. The meetings, including a photo of residents using the model, were featured in the Broad Ripple Gazette. Bob had assistance from other staff, but the initiative, most of the labor, and all of the financial expense was borne by Bob.



Chris Harrell received recognition for a Creative Idea from a non-supervisor:

Chris has been able to secure grant funds to create an Indianapolis Brownfield inventory that documents all Brownfield sites, current conditions, ArcMaps, a Web-enabling filing system, Vacancy database, GIS database and coding, Assessor’s information, and much more. This is a huge step for the Brownfield program and will help with the future success of Brownfield redevelopment. Chris has worked with other City Departments and external organizations to make sure this database is successful.


There were four winners for Creative Ideas that identify measurable cost savings or improved efficiencies:


Linda Ahlbrand – Using sharp negotiating skills, combined with coordinating intra- and inter-departmental assistance, Linda was able to prevent the City from expending hundreds of thousands of dollars to finish significant subdivision improvements (street base repair and final pavement topcoat, etc.) left abandoned by several bankrupt private entities while creating additional procedures to ensure that less significant subdivision improvements (sidewalk sections, which are typically constructed on individual lots as homes are built) would be completed when development begins anew. Linda was able to help protect the homeowner’s investments in new subdivisions and help stabilize entire neighborhoods, without the infusion of local, state or federal tax dollars. 


Dave DiMarzio – Dave was nominated for exemplary work as the Minority Owned Business Enterprise/Women Owned Business Enterprise (MBE/WBE) report coordinator.  Dave jumped right into this project and met with all of the DMD Administrators and various employees to see what kind of contracts we utilize. After many meetings with staff, he then started meeting with the Office of Minority and Women Business Development.  He has worked very hard to make sure all of our contracts are included in the reporting of MBE/WBE participation. Dave created a monthly report that captures all of the required data for DMD.   The staff of the Office of Minority and Women Business Development was very pleased with Dave’s report.  With Dave’s help, they have expanded the DMD report and now use it as a model for overall city reporting.


Heather Stephan and Paul Lambie – Heather and Paul worked together on a recommendation to modify the manner in which Planning prepares legal ads for publication. State law requires that the department publish information regarding petitions for public hearing in two newspapers. The department has the potential for 160 hearings per year. Each hearing has an average docket size of 11 petitions, a third of which are typically continued petitions that have been previously published. Some petitions are continued multiple times, with no change to the request. Heather and Paul recommended that the department only publish petitions that are scheduled for initial hearing or that have been amended in a manner increasing the scope of the request.    After review by the Office of Corporation Counsel, the recommendation was implemented in February 2009, saving the City approximately $15,000 in annual publishing costs.


The Director’s Choice Award went to Michelle Inabnit:

As part of the land development process, petitioners are required to obtain the names and addresses of the surrounding property owners of the subject site. The process has been cumbersome for customers, because they needed to get the information from the Assessor’s office. For many years, customers needed to go to other buildings to get to their Assessor’s office. Recognizing the problem and feeling the frustration of her customers, Michelle took it upon herself to come up with a solution. She first requested that she be trained to understand how to determine which surrounding property owners had to be notified and how to generate a parcel buffer in the mapping system. The mapping system displays the parcel numbers in the buffer.  She then individually enters the parcel numbers into the property system to obtain each surrounding property owner’s information. She compiles all of the information to give to the customer so that they do not have to do any additional work outside of Planning. Michelle has taken all of this on, in addition to her own duties.  The system is now more reliable and the process simpler for the customers.