ST. MARYS – Over the past few months, St. Marys City Manager Joe Fleming has settled into his role enthusiastic and eager to serve the community.
Fleming, who was elected city councilor in November 2019, was appointed city manager in May following the departure of former mayor Lou Radkowski.
Being from St. Marys and raising his family in the community and school district, Fleming said he felt he understood the city and had a passion to see it thrive. It has been an honor to hold this position in his hometown, he said, as he also has family roots and a history in local government.
When the city manager position opened following the resignation of Tim Pearson, it sort of looked like a fate, Fleming said, as it was a role he had considered before and one that had a lot of support from his family.
He “really appreciates” the chance to be a part of that, Fleming said. He also commented on working with “great and knowledgeable staff” at Town Hall.
According to Fleming, there are certain characteristics that make a great manager to be a “human person”, to be involved with the public and to engage with members of the community, to be willing to lead and to organize. , prioritize and consider what the future may hold for St. Marys.
He enjoys interacting with the public, Fleming said, and hearing about any issues and concerns he may have.
“This position is not about yourself, but how you represent the people,” he said.
Fleming would love to see how St. Marys can continue to grow, he said, constantly brainstorming projects and ideas in his head.
His transition from city councilor to city manager went smoothly, said Fleming, and he received many “thanks” and great support from the citizens of St. Marys.
Serving on city council has certainly helped Fleming prepare for this, he noted, and he continues to enjoy working with members of the city council of St. Marys.
It is one of his goals to stop at local schools frequently and continue to work with students, said Fleming, who was fortunate enough to participate on behalf of the new Downtown Event Park on Depot Street by submitting name suggestions.
The new park is exciting for the region and makes a great event hub to bring people downtown, he said, noting that weekend slots for the park are filling up.
“I am delighted to see the community come together again,” he said.
(Editor’s note: Joe Fleming has no connection with Courier Express reporter Brianne Fleming.)