Ellen F.M. Posner, assistant county attorney for Fairfax County, was named the winner of the 2012 Cherin Award given by the Local Government Attorneys of Virginia, Inc. at its recent conference in Williamsburg.
The LGA’s Cherin Award recognizes distinguished service by a deputy or assistant local government attorney. It was established in 1994 and renamed in 2000 to honor the memory of Bob Cherin, who served in the Fairfax County Attorney’s office for 25 years before retiring in 1998.
Posner joined the office in 1988. She has developed specialties in the areas of taxation, transportation and public finance. She has provided guidance and advice to members of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors and various county agencies.
Her career achievements include her work in 1990 and 1991 as lead counsel for the county before the Supreme Court of Virginia in landmark litigation over the issuance of public financing bonds supported by a payment obligation contingent on annual appropriations by the local governing body.
This “subject to appropriation” approach to financing has become commonly used for the development of public facilities by localities and other political subdivisions throughout the commonwealth.
Most recently, Posner provided leadership on tax assessment appeals brought by Verizon Virginia, Inc., and Verizon South, Inc. She organized a joint defense team of other local government attorneys affected by the appeals. The group’s work was successful when Verizon withdrew the appeals.
Within the LGA, Posner helped to establish and has chaired the LGA Tax Practice Group. This group provides detailed assistance on a wide range of tax issues affecting the LGA membership.