NEW PHILADELPHIA (WJER) (Aug. 28, 2023) – The Tuscarawas County Democratic Central Committee has an elected position to fill.
The committee will be appointing someone to replace Engineer Joe Bachman, who’s retiring on September 30th after 35 years of overseeing road and bridge maintenance in the county.
“I will submit a formal resignation to the Board of Elections, and then the Central Committee will meet in a publicly advertised meeting to select my successor.”
Bachman inherited 52 employees and an office with no computer when he became the county engineer in 1989.
“Our yard had one salt building with a collapsed roof and we actually now have four structures out there: two containing salt and two equipment buildings.”
He says technological advances gradually streamlined the operation, which can now accomplish the same tasks with a staff of 28.
“We’ve got a lot better equipment now than we did in 1989 – a lot more equipment and a lot better equipment – which really makes those employees a lot more productive.”
Bachman is proud of what he and his team have accomplished together, including replacing 171 of the county’s 275 bridges and implementing a house numbering system to help direct first responders to homes along the county’s rural roads.
“You can literally drive any of our county roads and you cross a bridge that we replaced or you can go through an intersection that we’ve increased the sight distance, maybe cut down a hump at an intersection.”
Bachman’s retirement plans include traveling with his wife and spending more time with their grandkids. The person the central committee appoints will complete the remainder of his term, which runs through the end of next year.