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Dodge is chosen as first village coordinator

The Middleport Village Board has appointed Daniel Dodge to fill its newly created position of village coordinator, village officials announced Saturday.

The appointment comes after the board unanimously voted Monday to create the new position. The new job will address a number of tasks that have cropped up in recent years, particularly in the Public Works Department, according to Mayor Julia A. Maedl.>

"It's a sign of our changing times," she said. "I did a lot of research on this and we needed more than a bricks-and-mortar position. We needed someone who knows how to do that work, but there are more supervisory aspects to this new job and more work on computers and work to win grants and coordinate our local emergency management efforts, for instance."

Dodge, who begins the job Jan. 8, will be paid $45,000 a year, in addition to benefits. A lifelong Middleport resident, Dodge is currently service department manager for Howell Motors of Wrights Corners, where he has worked since 1980.

"He supervises the technicians and so has extensive managerial experience," Maedl said. "He has a lot of the skills we were looking for and another of them is computer skills. We need to bring our village offices into this century and there are not many jobs these days where computers aren't at the forefront.

"We have to multitask," Maedl added. "We had been using the old civil service specifications and a lot of those requirements don't cover what we need today. This is the future."

Maedl said she worked closely with civil service and the village attorney to create this new position, which is known by various names in other villages throughout the state, including crew chief and manager.

But the village coordinator job will not necessarily replace the position of Public Works supervisor, she said. That job has been empty since July 1, when James E. Mahar retired. And that spot will likely remain unfilled until village officials see if the new post suffices.

"That position [of Public Works supervisor] will likely remain idle because we can't abolish it without taking steps through civil service and if we later wanted it back, we'd have to go through a number of steps to re-create it," said Village Clerk Rebecca Schweigert. "A position can remain idle indefinitely."

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