ANNA — Anna’s new village administrator isn’t new — not to Anna and not to the job.
Mike Homan, who became the full-time administrator officially, Jan. 1, grew up in Anna, graduated from Anna High School in 1986 and since 2014 had been serving the village in its wastewater department, most recently as public works superintendent.
But his involvement with the village government really began in 2008. Homan’s wife, Diane, was Anna’s fiscal officer then, and Homan, a plumber, was laid off from his job.
“At that time, the public works superintendent told me about the Operator Training Committee of Ohio program. It trains water and wastewater operators. I went through the training and worked as an intern with the village to get experience while going to school,” Homan said. He got his first job working as an independent contractor as a wastewater operator in Bellefontaine. That was followed by a post in the Logan County Water Pollution Department. And then, he was back in his hometown as a wastewater employee in 2014. He was promoted to public works superintendent two years later.
When Wayne York, the previous administrator, resigned in July 2018, Homan and Anna’s current fiscal officer, Stacy Meyer, shared the administrator’s duties for six months while the village council conducted a national search for York’s replacement.
“We worked together to make sure things were covered,” Homan said.
It was York who had given Homan the idea that he might like running the village.
“(He) asked if I’d be interested, but that was going to be a year or two from now. But it happened a little quicker,” Homan said. “This is my hometown. This is where I grew up. I enjoy the community and this was a chance to expand, to move up the ladder.”
He was one of a dozen applicants, and three finalists were interviewed by the council.
“Mike’s a hard worker. He likes to get tasks done in a timely manner. If he doesn’t know, he gets answers, and he communicates well,” said Anna Mayor Mark Pulfer. That was why Homan was selected over the other candidates.
Becoming acclimated to the job is his biggest challenge right now. Operating from an office is something new.
“I’ve been an in-the-field-doing-the-work kind of guy,” he said. The opportunity he most enjoys in his new role is getting to be in on the ground floor of projects
His first big, village project will be something that’s been talked about in Anna for more than 20 years: extending water and sewer lines under the interstate to the east part of town. Work will begin March 19 if the ground is firm enough.
“We’re hoping that it stays frozen,” he laughed.
June 1 is the deadline for the water to be fully functional. Homan hopes that the $725,000 extension will bring growth to the community, that industries and businesses will build along Anna’s I-75 corridor.
Other goals are to continue the sidewalk policy to get sidewalks put in along Anna streets.
“In the next seven to 10 years, we’ll have sidewalks on every street for people to walk on,” Homan said. He would also like to expand programs in the park.
“I feel fortunate to have a good, supportive staff around me with council,” he said.
When he’s not working, Homan enjoys “messing” in his garden and woodworking shop, camping and spending time outdoors. He and Diane have three children and five grandchildren, includng twins born just this week.
“I think he’ll be a good fit,” Pulfer said.
Reach the writer at 937-538-4824.