SYRACUSE – Mike Noe came in to his new position with extensive experience in the business world and quite a bit more working with municipalities.

That background, he hopes, will serve him well as Syracuse’s new town manager and utilities superintendent.

Born and raised around Diamond Lake near Ligonier, Noe graduated from West Noble High School in 1977, then went into the Air Force for four years. He went to college before going into business for himself.

“At that point, I dropped out of college because I didn’t have time for it,” Noe said.

Over a quarter century, he owned a body shop and a lawn maintenance business and a landscaping company.  

“I?worked those businesses for about 25 years, then decided I wanted something different, so I sold the business and got in to Ligonier wastewater plant,”?Noe said.

While he was there, he got his Class 3 wastewater certification and finished his college degree.

After that, he went to work in another lakes-area community and gained additional experience

“I was called by Infomark in North Webster, and I worked there for eight years,” Noe said. “In North Webster we did streets and wastewater, and I’ll be working for the next year on getting my water license, so I can also sign for that.

“But the reason I never got it is I’ve never worked a place that had water where I could get it. You need some experience in that work to get the license.

“The experience I got with streets and wastewater in North Webster definitely helps here, though.”

Noe is getting advice from his retired predecessor, Henry DeJulia, to ease his learning curve. Fortunately, he  says, a lot of skills from the business world transfer to a town manager’s job.

“We’d probably make a good team,” Noe smiled. “He knows the economic development end of it so well, and I have the streets and utilities background. I’m learning a lot from him, and I’m glad he’s available to me. I really appreciate him.

“Being new, I’m still learning a lot. I think a lot of it is you’re still managing people, just like in business. You treat your people the way you’d like to be treated, and they’ll perform well.

“The financial end of it is different. In this job you have to know which funds and in which accounts can be spent to pay for a project. In business you have to know your budget, but it’s all coming out of the same (bank) account. I’m learning how to pay for projects using different funds, like EDIT funds, TIF districts and so on. And I’m sure the town clerk will help me with that aspect as well.”

There might be an assumption that Noe has gone from being his own boss to having five town council members as bosses. White not untrue, it’s not the only way Noe look at it.

“Ultimately, the townspeople are really your boss,” Noe said. “So in that way it’s a lot like owning a business— you still have to take care of people.”

When he’s not working, Noe and his wife, Tracey, continue to enjoy a lake lifestyle and sharing it with grown children and grandchildren whenever possible.

“Growing up, I liked sports. I did baseball, basketball, and living on a lake I did a lot of swimming. These days my hobbies are riding my motorcycle – I have a Harley ... and we do a lot of boating and swimming, and that’s why?I was interested in working in Syracuse, because we enjoy it so much.”