New Public Works Director Mark Aurich is congratulated by Council President Larry Siegel and Council member Paul Stoelting at Tuesday’s Council meeting. Also partially shown (L to R) are Council Members Tom Hoover and Larry Martindale.
New Public Works Director Mark Aurich is congratulated by Council President Larry Siegel and Council member Paul Stoelting at Tuesday’s Council meeting. Also partially shown (L to R) are Council Members Tom Hoover and Larry Martindale.
SYRACUSE – A new town manager and a new public works director have been hired for the town of Syracuse and were officially welcomed at Tuesday’s Town Council meeting.

David Wilkinson is the new town manager and will be starting Aug. 2. He’s currently working in human resources and purchasing, but prior to that, he was South Whitley’s police chief (1999-2016) and South Whitley’s town manager (2012-2016). His resume listed as key accomplishments starting a school resource officer program, obtained over $800,000 in grant funding and created and implemented standard operating procedures and improved employee training programs.

After the meeting Wilkinson spoke about what most excited him about his new position.

“Returning to my roots. I did government for three decades in the town of South Whitley,” he said.

He said going into the private sector wasn’t as exciting for him.

“When this opportunity opened up and Larry (Siegel, council president) called, I talked to my wife about returning to a 24-7 lifestyle. I think it’s the right career move. I’m kind of excited — this is kind of my bread and butter so I’m glad to be back in it. This is a little bigger and more progressive community than what I was in so there’ll be more opportunity for me to apply my skills and knowledge to help the community and the team of the town to make it the best we can,” he said

Wilkinson and his wife, Dawn, who was present at the meeting with him, currently live in the South Whitley-Columbia City area so he’ll be commuting for awhile.

Public Works Director

Mark Aurich was hired as the new public works director and will start Aug. 9.

Aurich said he was excited about working in Syracuse because, “This town is a dead ringer for the small town I grew up in Northern Michigan — the lake, the people, the buildings, the atmosphere — and I get homesick.”

He said his wife is a Fort Wayne native so he thinks Syracuse is “as close as I can get.”

Aurich said they lived in Nappanee for four years at one time. Aurich’s wife Tracy and his daughter Emily were both with him at the meeting.

The previous town manager, Mike Noe, held down both positions and when he suddenly left employment council members surmised one person doing jobs proved to be too much and split the positions again.