One of the toughest jobs in the Wilson Building has been filled: Bernadette Tolson has been named the new top aide to Ward 8 Councilmember Marion Barry, according to a Barry press release. (Yes, Barry’s press freeze on LL remains—-he was forced to rely on a leaked press release.)

Tolson, Barry says in the release, is “a time tested and battle proven manager” who came out of retirement from 31 years of service to the District, mostly in the Department of Employment Services. She will become Barry’s fourth chief of staff since he returned to the council in 2004, following in the footsteps of Keith Andrew Perry, E. Faye Williams, and Linda Mercado Greene. Perry left Barry’s office to start a consulting gig last month.

Here’s one reason Tolson might be close to Barry’s heart: She once headed up the city’s Summer Youth Employment Program—-summer jobs, of course, being a key piece of any Barry campaign/governing platform for time immemorial.

Her LL profile has been slight over the years: She rated a react quote on Mayor Adrian M. Fenty‘s decision to low-key his first State of the District speech. She also turned up when LL raided Greene’s inbox in 2006, asking for gala ticket money from Barry.

Full release after jump.

Media Advisory

Ward 8 Councilmember Marion Barry names Bernadette Tolson as New Chief of Staff

Washington, DC —Ward 8 Councilmember Marion Barry named Bernadette Tolson as his new Chief of Staff, effective immediately. Ms. Tolson, who came out of retirement to accept the position of Chief of Staff, spent 31 years of service in the District of Columbia Government. She began her career with the DC Board of Education, then moved on to the DC Department of Employment Services as Coordinator of the Mayor’s Summer Youth Employment Program, Director of the Marketing Unit, finishing as Director of Customer Relations and Special Assistant to the Director. Ms. Tolson ended her government services as a special assistant to then Mayor Anthony Williams.

“I am more than delighted to be reunited with Bernadette. It was a blessing to get her to come out of retirement and accept the position of running my office,” Said Barry. “Not only is she a no non-sense result oriented manger, she is also a great teacher. I feel that she is the kind of individual that could train, mentor and advise the younger members of my administrative staff. More importantly, Bernadette is a time tested and battle proven manager that I am truly fortunate to have as my new Chief of Staff.”

Ms. Tolson, who is a Ward 8 resident, has been actively involved in the east of the river community for several years.