The County Board recognized Darren Jablonsky, deputy director of the county's Planning and Community Development Department, for his outstanding service. Darren is shown at left with County Commissioner Frank Jewell.
Planning Director Barb Hayden shared the following comments with commissioners about Darren's good work.
Darren started working for St. Louis County in 2000. One of his first major projects was working on county reports, such as the State of the County. Right off the bat, Darren elevated the county standards for reports in particular visual presentations. To this day, County Commissioners and county staff can easily identify a Darren Jablonsky style graphic presentation and/or reports. Darren has pushed us to all do better work in providing quality information to the public.
When Darren was appointed as the manager of the new Planning Research and GIS division in Planning and Community Development, he led the way in St. Louis County having a world class enterprise GIS and integrated land records management system. He brought together the individual department GIS personal and led a major planning effort to create a parcel layer and integrated land records. After several years of planning and implementation, St. Louis County was deemed by ESRI as a state and national leader on GIS and Land Records integration. That designation continues today.
Darren is a champion of continuous improvement. He constantly challenges all aspects of planning and community development to improve process and implement technology that enhances customer service.
In 2016, Darren was promoted to Deputy Director and began managing a multi-department team to blend the management of tax forfeited land sales and community development. Darren is a true leader navigating two department cultures, making improvements and bringing out the best work in all staff. Darren is a change agent in coaching others to make improvements, which results in better returns for St. Louis County and improves customer service.
Darren is an extremely hard worker and challenges others to do their best work. He maintains a great sense of humor and treats others with kindness and respect. He is truly a star in customer service. Planning and Community Development and St. Louis County are fortunate to have Darren on our team.
Sometimes it seems like Darren cranks out work and ideas at the rate of two people. He does have an identical twin brother.
Darren lives with his wife Tabatha and family in Lakewood Township. He is unflappable and a results oriented problem solver. This may have more to due to the fact that he has seven daughters and one son. He just became a very proud grandfather. Darren and family have a large extended families and Darren is known to come to work to relax after the holidays.
Thank you Darren, I am so proud to have you part of our team and appreciate your contributions to our Dept and St. Louis County.
Meanwhile, Land & Minerals Director Mark Weber shared these points:
I look forward to working on the tough land issues with Darren, because he is a problem solver - he finds practical solutions to difficult issues and can be relied upon to do the right thing…and say the right thing. He is very responsible, very knowledgeable employee with a great attitude and positive presence when communicating with the public or with you (commissioners).
Here is as just one example of how great it is to work with Darren: When I mentioned to him that the County Board liked our idea of expediting the land sale program, but asked if we could add an additional 75 parcels from the Available List to our June auction; he thought about it for a moment, then got this big smile on his face and said "why couldn’t we – let’s go for it!!!"
Not only is Darren super responsible, he is a smart guy. When you walk into his office the first thing you will notice is that his wall is a white board, and it is covered with flow charts and formulas and lists and arrows pointing this way and that. I can’t figure out what he’s got going on in there. Darren knows a lot about everything; whether it be GIS or database design or property rental or corporate structure and …I keep finding new things that he is an expert at! I often wonder where he finds the time to do all these things; plus, he’s got eight kids!
Much of the success we are seeing in the land sales program is a result of Darren and his staff on the Development Team. Darren is always looking for ways to improve, always looking for efficiencies, always promoting good communication. The success of the Development Team is a big deal, not only for the improvements Darren has made, but because he and his staff have done so by removing the imaginary barrier that separates County Departments. It takes a higher level of thinking to work as a team with a common goal and look past that departmental differences. What he and his staff have accomplished serves as a model for the rest of the County!
So, working with good people like Darren makes my job (our jobs) a whole lot easier. You don’t have to worry, nor does the public, because the County is in good hands thanks to professionals like Darren.
On behalf of the Land and Minerals Department, I am proud to recognize Darren for the service he provides to our residents and taxpayers, for his professionalism, and for his dedication to St. Louis County.