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Up close and personal: Michael Stallings, Windsor town manager

Published 12:07pm Saturday, March 23, 2013

By Merle MonahanContributing Writer
merlemonah@aol.com

Michael R. Stallings, Windsor town manager, says he loves the small-town atmosphere, as well as the outdoors and camping with his family is his favorite hobby. -- Melre Monahan | Tidewater News
Michael R. Stallings, Windsor town manager, says he loves the small-town atmosphere, as well as the outdoors and camping with his family is his favorite hobby. — Melre Monahan | Tidewater News

WINDSOR—Michael Stallings didn’t realize when he applied for a job with then Town of Windsor that he’d end up with one of its highest positions.

Fresh out of college and planning to get married, he just wanted a job that would take care of his family, he said.

Fortunately for him, the Town of Windsor was looking for a planning officer at the time and Stallings was qualified. He applied, was quickly hired and although he didn’t know it, he had taken the first step towards becoming the town manager of the town.

The 30-year-old Radford University graduate, who holds a degree in geography with a concentration in planning, grew up just outside of Windsor. He graduated from Isle of Wight Academy

He says he loves the small-town atmosphere, as well as the outdoors and camping with his family is his favorite hobby.

“I’ve never forgotten the time I spent helping out on the farm when I was a teenager. Clean, fresh air—it’s wonderful.

Stallings says that’s one reason he and his wife, a registered nurse who works at Sentara Obici Hospital, are today building their home in the country.

“Dana likes the outdoors and is as much a fan of camping as I am.”

Stallings started work for the town in mid-2006, first as a planning official, with promotions to assistant zoning administrator and then as an assistant to the town manager.

He said he received on-the-job training, first from the town manager at the time and then from the interim town manager hired after the resignation of the first.

“When our town manager retired, the town went through a selection process, but could not find a suitable candidate.

Since I was working with the interim manager, they asked me if I would be interested. I was, of course.

“I was given the opportunity to train for the position while the interim was here,” he said. “It was a good day for me when the town council selected me for the job.

Stallings said he enjoys the work. “It’s challenging, but that’s what makes it interesting.

“Aside from the day to day operations of the town, one of the biggest tasks I have is developing and implementing the town budget,” he added. “Also, as the chief administrative officer of the town, I am responsible for helping with the development of town policies and procedures, putting them in place, things like that.

“I have a great staff, though, and I can’t tell you how much help they are to me.”

The Town of Windsor, with just over 2,600 residents according to the last census, is a great little town, Stallings went on.

He said he wishes more people, especially the young ones, would take an interest in town government, or at least attend the council meetings.

“When there is an issue the people are interested in, they do show up at the meetings, but we’d like them to attend just to keep abreast of what’s going on in town.

“We’re always ready and willing to discuss any issues or problems our residents may have,” Stallings continued. “That goes for our mayor and council as well as for me.”

Although his office hours are 8:30 a.m. til 5 p.m., he rarely is able to keep those hours, he said. “There are meetings and more meetings, often as far away as Richmond or Norfolk.

“But that’s one of the ways I keep up with what’s going on,” he said.

Another way Stallings keeps up with his work is through education. He is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in public administration at Old Dominion University.

NAME: Michael R. Stallings

WHAT BROUGHT YOU TO THIS AREA? I was born here

HOMETOWN: Smithfield/Windsor.

OCCUPATION: Windsor Town Manager.

MARITAL STATUS: Married to Dana Stallings.

CHILDREN, SCHOOLS AND AGES: We have two girls, Brooklyn, 4, and Bristol, 2 ½. They attend pre-school at Smithfield Baptist Church.

FAVORITE NIGHT OUT ON THE TOWN: Visiting “A Chef’s Kitchen” in Williamsburg.

FAVORITE RESTAURANT: Vintage Tavern.

FAVORITE MEAL AND BEVERAGE: My wife’s shrimp and grits, and Cheerwine.

WHAT DO MOST PEOPLE NOT KNOW ABOUT YOU? I am a closet wine lover.

WHAT IS THE BEST THING ABOUT YOU? My kids.

WHAT IS YOUR WORST HABIT? Procrastination.

PETS: Two Jack Russell dogs.

FAVORITE HOBBIES: Camping, racing remote-controlled cars and spending time with my family. Stallings started building and racing remote-controlled cars when he was about 14 and has entered tournaments in locations like Chesaspeake, etc.

PET PEEVE: Dishonesty.

FIRST JOB: Farmhand.

IF YOU HAD 10 MINUTES ON TELEVISION, WHAT WOULD YOUR TOPIC BE AND WHAT WOULD YOU SAY? I would have to discuss the direction of the country. We have some very tough decisions ahead of us as a country and I hope we look to our founding principles and make some decisions that will move our country in the right direction.

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