A Message from Interim Executive Director, Peggy Smallwood

A symbolic passing of the torch–or trash grabber in this case–from former Executive Director, Michelle Wirzberger, Esq. to Interim Executive Director, Peggy Smallwood

I want to extend a warm greeting to the Midtown Board of Directors, staff, residents, city partners, and the many other constituents who support the mission, vision and goals of the Midtown Community Benefits District.

On Friday, December 8, 2017, we wished our Executive Director, Michelle Wirzberger, Esq., good luck as she left to embark on a new career path with the Baltimore City Police Department. Prior to her leaving, Michelle along with the Board of Directors conveyed their full confidence in my ability to lead the organization in the interim as the search begins for a permanent Executive Director. It was indeed an honor when Michelle passed the “torch” on Friday to lead such a highly energized organization. It is my goal to ensure the continuation of the work that has been accomplished in 2017 as well as covering new ground in 2018.

I believe in our mission and values wholeheartedly and am excited to have this opportunity. For the past 13 years, I have served the organization in roles from Office Manager to HR Director to Deputy Director. This knowledge and experience will be invaluable to me as we work to advance our mission in the short term that will undoubtedly have a long-term impact.

Midtown is fortunate to have an array of talented and resourceful staff ready to assist in moving the organization forward. We are thrilled to have:

Curtis Ritz, Field Operations Manager, who has a long history of hospitality management and has brought a renewed energy to the organization.
Angela Akes, the Administrative Assistant is ready to assist with service requests as well as general service questions.
Stacey Johnson, Community Relations Specialist, will continue to represent Midtown at community meetings and also work behind the scene as our social media “guru.”
Caleb DeMario, Community Greening Coordinator, will continue growing the greening component of Midtown. As a side note, Caleb and his team are diligently working on leaf collection throughout the district. If you have not seen the team on your block, please be patient.
Gerald FauntLeroy, Street Sweeping Team Lead, who has a wealth of knowledge about the district will continue to oversee the manual cleaning team.
Wayne Brooks, Fleet Manager, will continue to play a pivotal role with selecting and maintaining vehicles for optimum service.

Finally, I am looking forward to working with Lieutenant Rob Morris, Safety Deployment Coordinator, to develop proactive measures that will assist in supporting collaborative efforts for a safer district.

We have a great deal of work ahead of us, however, I have every confidence in this talented team! The staff of the Midtown Community Benefits District look forward to working with all of you as we continue the stewardship of transparency, good fiscal management and using your taxpayer dollars wisely.

Thank you for your support,

Peggy Smallwood

A Goodbye Letter from Executive Director, Michelle Wirzberger, Esq.

Dear Midtown property owners, residents, partners and friends:

I’m writing today to say goodbye…and thank you. So here goes:

Goodbye
As of Friday, December 8th, I will be leaving the Midtown Community Benefits District to start a new position with the Baltimore City Police Department. While I will miss Midtown, I am excited to continue my career of public service and to join a great team of folks who are committed to making Baltimore City a safe place to live, work and visit.

Peggy Smallwood will serve as the Interim Executive Director as the Board conducts a search for a replacement. She has worked with Midtown for the past 13 years and has served as the Deputy Director for the last 3 years. I am fully confident that you all will be in great hands with her. No one knows the inner workings of Midtown better than Peggy!

THANK YOU to the RESIDENTS AND PROPERTY OWNERS
Over the last 3+ years that I have led Midtown, I have had the distinct pleasure of meeting many of you. We have worked closely to solve problems and to determine the most efficient, cost effective and sustainable ways of keeping the District Clean, Green and Safe. I am incredibly proud of all that we have accomplished together.

THANK YOU to the MIDTOWN BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Thank you for believing in me and my leadership ability. With your support and encouragement, we have moved the organization forward and made it more efficient, more effective and more professional.

THANK YOU to the MIDTOWN STAFF
Last but certainly not least, I have to say thank you to the Midtown staff for their hard work, commitment to the organization and their willingness to try new and different ways of accomplishing our tasks.

A lot of residents rely very heavily upon Midtown. They expect us to keep their streets clear of debris and leaves. They expect us to help plant, maintain and water over 100 new trees a year. They expect us to service 160 corner trash cans 7 days a week. They expect us to provide 64 safety patrol hours a week. They expect us to remove bulk items as swiftly as possible.

NONE of that work would be accomplished without the hard working and the occasionally underappreciated staff of Midtown. From the folks who walk the streets cleaning the gutters, the littervac drivers, the trash truck drivers, the folks who maintain the parks, the administrative staff who make sure everything runs smoothly and our safety patrol officers who travel down every block of the District to keep us all safe-these individuals are the life blood of this organization and I am eternally grateful for their service and their assistance during my tenure.

I am sure this is not goodbye forever. I will not be far away from any of you as we all continue to work to make Baltimore the city we believe it can be.

Warmly,

Michelle Wirzberger, Esq.