NEW BREMEN — New Bremen native Christine Dicke has been settling in as the village’s latest administrator since Wayne York left, Aug. 5, to become administrator in Anna.
Dicke, a 1979 New Bremen High School graduate and a Defiance College graduate, returned to her hometown following several years with the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT).
“When I got out of college, we were in a recession and I could not get a job in my field of study, so ultimately I ended up working for Mosser Construction as a laborer on the Ohio Turnpike,” Dicke said in an email to the Daily News. “I then became a heavy equipment operator with them. I was with them for approximately six years before I needed to find a less strenuous job. I had had two neck surgeries due to a car accident. So I applied and got a highway maintenance worker position in Lucas County/Toledo with the ODOT. My career at ODOT took many turns. I was a training officer in Columbus at the training site for truck and loader training and travelled around the state teaching many other subjects. I held county manager/superintendent positions in Lucas, Delaware, Union and Franklin counties, managing road maintenance, personnel, equipment. I finished up my career helping to manage mega projects with a crew of ODOT engineers or managing my own multi-million dollar road construction projects in the Columbus area.”
Several people contacted her when it became known that New Bremen was seeking a new administrator.
“I … really started to soul search about family, slowing down and what was important to me. I thought I could make a difference with the knowledge I had gained from my career with ODOT and living away from New Bremen all those years. I could bring new ideas and hopefully make New Bremen even a better than it already is,” she said. She was hired May 31 as the assistant administrator and moved into the top job three months later.
Dicke sees controlling the future growth of the village as one of the bigger challenges to be met in her new job.
“Everyone in the village should understand that they have a role in where we go and how we will get there,” she said.
Plans call for the village to update a long-term plan that was last done in 2002.
“We have to establish goals to work toward, and then it’s my job to find the most efficient way to get to them,” Dicke said.
In the short term, however, there is a laundry list of items the new administrator hopes to tackle: enhancing the village office computer systems; updating drainage, sewer, electric, streets and water; expanding the bike path; updating administrative manuals.
“I’m a very busy girl right now,” she said.
When she’s not busy, she enjoys following the Ohio State Buckeyes.
“Obviously — I lived in Columbus for 24 years,” she laughed. She hopes she’ll have time to get back into golfing, a pursuit her schedule has denied her in the last few years.
“I would like to start biking,” she added.
Dicke sees New Bremen differently now from when she was growing up there.
“I would like everyone to realize how fortunate they are to live in a safe, clean, slow-paced community that is rich in morals and values. We have great businesses that contribute to the health and wealth of the economy here. A lot of communities don’t have what we have,” she said.
Dicke also has some advice for village residents: “Be tolerant and kind to people. Young people, take care of and respect the older people in town. They made it what it is.”