Whitehall's newest community-affairs coordinator has spent the past two weeks introducing herself, meeting the community and laying the groundwork to meet future goals.
Gail Martineau, 27, began her new job Oct. 23.
"I'm excited to be a part of this community," said Martineau, whose most recent job was as digital-media news editor for WBNS-10TV. She also worked for ThisWeek Community News.
As a reporter, Martineau said, she learned about the significance of local governments.
"I was looking to get to the other side and wanted to work in local government," she said. "While working (as a reporter), I learned that I loved local government.
"I think it all starts at the local level," she said. "It's where people can make the biggest difference."
Martineau graduated from Bexley High School and then from Denison University, with a bachelor's degree in English literature.
As a Bexley graduate and having grown up on the east side of central Ohio, Martineau said, she already was familiar with Whitehall.
"I'm still in the learning process and meeting a lot of great people," she said.
Martineau said she is inspired by the strides the community is making to improve itself, such as the approval of a bond issue to help build the district's five new schools, and she wants to be a part of the continuing effort.
"A lot of people are invested in making Whitehall a better place and a better community," said Martineau, who has spent the past two weeks meeting leaders of civic organizations, support groups and other city employees.
Among her immediate goals beside getting acclimated to her new job and meeting people is to help make the city's website more user-friendly, Martineau said.
She said she also would coordinate Whitehall's Community Kids Christmas, a program that involves the collection and distribution of toys to Whitehall-area families in need.
Whitehall Mayor Kim Maggard chose Martineau for the post, though the position is under the purview of the city's development director.
Maggard said Martineau's media experience should be a "good transition" to serving as community-affairs coordinator.
"There are really passionate people here, and I look forward to working with them and those in our community," Martineau said.
Her salary will be $52,670 plus a comprehensive benefits package.