Steve Dupee has been named Wellington’s new village manager and will start his new job Dec. 5.
Oberlin’s electric director the past 15 years, Dupee was chosen by unanimous vote in a special meeting Wednesday of the Wellington village council.
He will succeed water superintendent Mark Rosemark, who was temporarily tapped to handle day-to-day operations after village manager Steve Pyles stepped down in August to take an equitable job in Granville. Bob Dupee, Steve’s father, held the top Wellington job until retirement in 2006.
“I am honored by this opportunity to serve the village of Wellington,” said the younger Dupee. “Wellington is my hometown. I attended Wellington schools and raised a family here. It’s certainly a community that’s near and dear to my heart. It’s an honor and a privilege for council to have shown this kind of confidence in me.”
He lives in Wellington Township and began public work in Oberlin in 1992.
Dupee said there are many similarities in governance between Oberlin and Wellington, especially in population size when not factoring in Oberlin College’s impact.
“The college brings Oberlin’s population to around 8,000 while Wellington’s falls just below 5,000,” he said. “The size and scope of public services are very similar between the two communities.”
He was not one of the 28 original applicants for the job, according to mayor Hans Schneider.
“Steve was someone we were looking at from the time Mr. Pyles told us he’d be leaving, ” he said. “We had some conversations with him initially and toward the end of the application process. We were able to narrow the list down but there wasn’t anyone who really wowed us. That led us to making one more run at Steve to see if he’d be interested.”
Schneider said Dupee has been courted for the job over the past two weeks.
“He decided to submit a resume like everyone else did,” he said. “Council looked at that to see what he offered compared to other applicants. After that, it was clear that Steve was at the top of our list. Steve separated himself with his knowledge of utilities, his ability to climb the ladder, and the level of respect he holds throughout Ohio in the utility field.”
Dupee currently represents Oberlin on the board of American Municipal Power, a nonprofit that runs electricity plants throughout the region and works to lower energy costs for member cities. Appointing Dupee could lead Wellington to once again occupy a seat on the AMP board, said Schneider.
“We stopped going to those board meetings under Mr. Pyles,” he said. “We want to get back to being there.”
On what he expects his early days on the job to be like, Dupee said his familiarity with the community will help out a great deal.
“It will involve learning about the challenges that Wellington is facing,” he said. “It will be about working with employees and understanding their individual challenges. There will be a lot of listening, learning, and educating myself outside of my familiarity on where the community wants to head and understanding policy objectives of village council. We will work together to carry out those goals.”
Jonathan Delozier can be reached at 440-647-3171 or @DelozierNews on Twitter.