Judy Ciccone just began her new position as administrative assistant and clerk for the village of Marble Cliff last month.
But in some ways, Ciccone said, she already feels like she's home.
Growing up in Upper Arlington, Ciccone attended church and school at Our Lady of Victory, and one of the first apartments she lived in was at 1600 Arlington Ave.
Her paternal grandfather was the original owner of the Knotty Pine, and he and his wife at one time owned all four corner lots at Westwood and Third avenues, she said.
Ciccone lives just a short distance from the village in San Margherita.
"I've walked and driven through this community so often," she said. "I feel lucky and fortunate that I'm going to be able to work in such a wonderful village. Everyone has already made me feel so welcome."
Ciccone fills the position that was held for nearly 17 years by the late Bill Johannes. Johannes retired at the end of last year and died Feb. 7 while traveling in Georgia.
"It feels strange to be sitting behind this desk," Ciccone said. "I know I have big shoes to fill following Bill."
Before coming to Marble Cliff, Ciccone worked as a part-time dispatcher for the city of Grandview Heights. Johannes regularly stopped by the Municipal Building as part of his duties as the village's clerk of courts.
"I'd see Bill now and again and we'd talk about our mutual interest in landscaping and our love of plants," Ciccone said. "We had some nice talks."
Ciccone went to work in the part-time position in Grandview "as a transition" after working full time for 32 years in public service, first as a 911 dispatcher for the city of Columbus and later in the communications center and as clerk of courts in Dublin.
"I needed a transition because I just couldn't see going from working full time to total retirement," she said.
That transition can continue, she added, because the office hours at Village Hall are limited to weekday mornings.
Johannes is one of the reasons she ended up in her current position, Ciccone said.
"I had read that he was going to retire and I called him to wish him well," she said. "He asked if I might be interested in applying for his position and encouraged me to think about it."
She started her new job April 16.
"I really enjoy working in public service," Ciccone said. "There's so much satisfaction when you can help resolve a problem or give some information to a resident."
Ciccone's varied background will be an asset for the village, Mayor Kent Studebaker said.
"We all have to wear a lot of hats in a small village like this," he said. "Her experience working for different municipalities will be beneficial for us."
As she settles into her new role, Studebaker said, Ciccone and other village staff will look at ways to make village operations more efficient and effective.
"It's nice to be able to bring someone on board who already has a connection to the community," he said.