MOUNT GILEAD — Dan Rogers received a heartfelt thank you Monday afternoon at village hall. An open house was held for Rogers, who recently retired after 19 years as village administrator.
“I started in 2000 and got offered the job from Tom (Whiston, former mayor). I had been traveling as a project manager and wanted to get back into the community,” he said.
Rogers knew there was work to be done as he transitioned from the private sector to the public sector.
“The sewer plant and just infrastructure in general was not in good shape. We still have a long way to go and we’ve discussed that with Derek.”
Derek Allen, who took over last month, is no stranger to municipal government.
“The storm water projects and a big water project that will get started either late this fall or early spring. Catching up on maintenance is an ongoing thing,” Rogers said.
“That’s something that has to be given attention day to day, every day, every year. The water and sewer plants have a lot of different maintenance required on those.”
Rogers also pointed out the water towers painting project that was finished last year.
“That was huge, about $700,000.”
Rogers, 67, was quick to credit village employees.
“You can’t do this job alone. This part in here (the office), what the girls do. You just can’t put a price on it. They do the job of half a dozen people with 3 people,” he said.
“We got crews working all hours of the day and night. Blizzard, Christmas holidays. They were always here. You couldn’t ask for better people.”
Mayor Mike Porter lauded Rogers for his efforts.
“I’ve worked with him for the past 11 and 1/2 years. I think he’s done a fantastic job. He’s done well getting grants for different projects and street repairs,” he said.
A decade ago the village, like many in Ohio, faced severe financial challenges.
“He has moved us forward in a very good, economical way. Keeping us ahead of the game even in the rough financial times and recession of ’08 when we had to cut back on spending on roads and vehicles that needed replaced sooner,” Porter said.
“We didn’t curtail any services,” Rogers said. “We did cut back on one brush pick-up a year.”
The ability to work with village council also is important in this role, Rogers said.
“They’ve been nothing but supportive. We’ve got some good young people on council now. I think the sky’s the limit.”
Rogers plans to spend more time with his 3 grandchildren and take care of some home projects. He also has been on the fair board for 29 years.
“This job has been a blessing for me. I’ve really enjoyed working here,” he said.
Porter believes Allen brings some additional skills to the village.
“He has had some city positions with larger communities. We’re hoping that can help us with development and opening some doors.”
Most recently Allen was city manager in Portsmouth and has held similar positions elsewhere.
“He’s not going to fill Dan’s shoes the same way that Dan did. But hopefully in his own manner he’ll do a job that we’ll be as proud of,” Porter said.