The Fairfax City Council stands to honor former Treasurer Steve Moloney. Front row, from left: are Rob Lederer, Scott Silverthorne, Moloney, Page Johnson and new Treasurer Tom Scibilia.
Photo by Bonnie Hobbs.
It’s always tough starting a new job. But when Steve Moloney became the City of Fairfax Treasurer, 31 years ago, things were far from ideal.
“The community had gone through a dark period,” said Mayor Scott Silverthorne. “His longtime predecessor had embezzled money and was convicted. The next person held the job two weeks and quit because the office was in such a mess.”
But Moloney tackled it with gusto, put things right and never looked back. And on Jan. 14, as he retired from three decades of public service, friends and colleagues honored him with a retirement reception at City Hall.
“Steve’s been the consummate professional,” said Silverthorne. “Not only did he run for this office like a politician, but he had deep experience in the finance-and-accounting profession. And this experience served both him and the city well.”
Besides that, said Silverthorne, “Steve’s one of the easiest-going, kindest individuals you’d ever want to know. He’s extremely loyal to the city, his friends and family. It’s no wonder he only had one opponent for the job in the whole 31 years — he was always re-elected by popular demand.”
Councilman Michael DeMarco called Moloney “a great asset for the city and a great steward for our finances. He’s a regular guy, approachable and smart, with a good sense of humor. He’s a great guy to be around. We’ll lose a lot of experience, but new Treasurer Tom Scibilia has been a CPA, a number of years, so he, too, will [do a good job].”
City of Fairfax Police Lt. Craig Buckley, who’s known Moloney 18 years, said how personable he is. “He always took the time to talk to the residents,” said Buckley. “And when he looked at a sheet saying how much taxes someone owed, he knew that person. He made a point to get to know everyone in town and was available to everyone. He made it his mission to serve the public.”
In the early 1980s, Moloney and former Fairfax Mayor Rob Lederer started a Neighborhood Watch together in their Fairchester Woods community. Later, said Lederer, “I recruited him to run for treasurer because he was a CPA and would take a professional approach. And he’s been the one constant, stabilizing thing in City Hall for many decades.”
“He’s the best,” continued Lederer. “He’s ethical and friendly, and everybody in City Hall loves him.” And Lederer thinks so highly of him that he recently made Moloney CFO and accountant of his trade association, EICC, dealing with the electronics industry.
Following the reception, Moloney was also feted at that evening’s City Council meeting. Said Silverthorne: “It’s a great honor and a privilege to recognize the outstanding work Steve Moloney’s done as treasurer.”
When Moloney was sworn in as treasurer, added Lederer, “He became the conscience of City Hall and the go-to guy. Steve’s a dear friend and, for everything he’s done, he’ll certainly be missed; but the friendship will continue forever.”
Working with Moloney the past six months, Scibilia noted his “calm demeanor” and acknowledged the big shoes he has to fill. “When I was campaigning and said I was running for city treasurer, people said they liked the guy they had now — so I had to add that he was retiring.”
Revenue Commissioner Page Johnson worked with Moloney 16 years. Calling him a “great mentor and role model,” Johnson said he’ll miss their relationship.
Silverthorne told the audience that Del. David Bulova (D-37) sent Moloney his thanks and best wishes. The mayor then read a note from Sen. Chap Petersen (D-34), saying Moloney has been “the gold standard by which public service is measured in the City of Fairfax.” Next, Silverthorne presented Moloney with a plaque containing a photo of City Hall, as the audience stood and applauded.
Thanking his staff and recalling all the people he met at the bill-payment counter over the years, Moloney said Fairfax has been “a wonderful place to work. It’s like one, big family and I thank everybody in the City of Fairfax for giving me this opportunity to serve them for so long. I’ve certainly enjoyed it.”