Ellie Schmidt started a lifetime of community service in 1976 when she helped plan and organize the city's 4th of July celebration. She went from flipping pancakes with the Kiwanis to balancing budgets when she won her first term on council in 2010.
Now Schmidt wants voters to give her a second term.
"It's a continuation for me," she said. "I grew up here. Been involved in community since I was a kid."
Schmidt's served with Historic Fairfax, Inc., Fairfax County Crime Solvers, Festival of Lights and Carols Committee, Finance Committee Virginia Municipal League, City of Fairfax Retirement Committee and the list goes on. She works as executive vice president and chief compliance officer for Cardinal Bank.
Don't forget the five hour-long bimonthly council meetings, volumes of staff reports and plenty of council member duties on the side.
"It's a lesson in time management," she said. One could even see it as practice for the balancing act council members have to use when dealing with city services, revenue streams and an .
Schmidt's goals for the city haven't changed much in her first two years as councilwoman. She continues to emphasize economic development, a well-disciplined approach to spending, and preserving the character of Fairfax City neighborhoods in her campaign.
"As a banker I understand the importance of strong businesses in the city," she said. "Now that we're seeing an improvement in the economy, it's time to focus on that."
She wants to see the city become more of a business-friendly locality. Schmidt also believes the council needs to take the updated Comprehensive Plan and run with it.
But her three goals need to be worked on at the same time to have a good impact within the city limits. It's another balancing act.
Businesses in key development targets like Kamp Washington, Northfax and Fairfax Circle, are driven by property owners, just as residential neighborhoods are strengthened by the success of the businesses around them. Schmidt said the city needs residents and business owners alike to want to move into the city.
"We can have all the goals and dreams we want but all those things need to come together," she said.
She held her at in Old Town Fairfax in March. Her next campaign event will be held at Ratcliffe Park on April 21 at 10 a.m.