Bridgeville Town Manager recognized by the state

By Lynn R. Parks

Bridgevilles town manager has been named the states town manager of the year by the Delaware League of Local Governments. Jesse Savage was honored in September at the leagues annual meeting, held in the Duncan Center in Dover.

Jesse is a real hard worker and a quality town manager, said Carl Luft, executive director of the league. What put him over the top, Luft added, was the fact that he serves in two roles: as town manager and as town financial director.

Savage was nominated for the award by Bridgeville Town Commission president Pat Correll.

Savage, 38, is a resident of Georgetown. He and his wife, Wendy, have two children, Talan, 12, and Avery, 9.

A native of Gumboro, he graduated from Sussex Central High School in 1997. He went to Brown University, Providence, R.I., and graduated from there in 2002 with a degree in economics. His first job after graduation was with Seaford Burton, a car dealership. I was there for a few months when I received a call from the town of Bridgeville, asking if I would be interested in interviewing for the treasurers position, he said. The interview went well and I was offered the job.

He became the towns treasurer (now called finance director) in 2003. In March 2012, he was named acting town manager, still keeping his finance director responsibilities. Four months later, he was appointed town manager. His duties include ensuring that the towns code and personnel policy are enforced, overseeing departments and operations, maintaining good relationships with Bridgevilles citizens and writing and keeping watch over the towns budget.

Each day can bring with it a new issue of concern, so the job keeps you on your toes, Savage said. In particular, balancing citizens needs with costs is a challenge, he said. I would say that at present, one of the major challenges facing Bridgeville has been the uncertainty of the state budget, he added.

Savage attributes his success as town manager to the help that he receives from citizens and from town employees. We have residents from many different backgrounds and they have been engaged and understanding when difficult decisions have been made, he said. Public input is imperative in order for the commissioners to make necessary and difficult decisions.

As for the employees: We have a small staff and each employee has a lot of responsibility, he said. The fact that each of them is able to effectively manage his or her workload, while assisting co-workers when they need help, has allowed the town to be successful.

Admitting to some jitters prior to last months awards ceremony '97 I tend to be a modest person professionally, so the ceremony made me a little anxious, he said. He added that he is honored to have been named town manager of the year.

I was very appreciative of the thought and time everyone put into [the ceremony], and for those who attended, he said. It means a lot to be recognized by my peers, especially when I know there are so many of them [who] are just as deserving of the award.

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