The Genzman legacy of public service will end this summer

Mar 26, 2024 | Featured, Around Ottawa County | 1 comment

Oak Harbor Village Administrator Randy Genzman will leave behind 30 years of public service in July. (Photo by Sheri Trusty)

BY SHERI TRUSTY

A long era of Genzman impact on the Village of Oak Harbor is about to end. When Village Administrator Randall “Randy” Genzman retires on July 31, he will close the door on 30 years of public service and leave behind a family legacy that began when he was just a boy.

Randy, an Oak Harbor native, was inspired to enter public service by family members who worked for the village and demonstrated to him the impact that integrity can have on a town. They included his older brother, Charlie Genzman, who served as the Superintendent of the Light & Water Department in Oak Harbor, and his cousin, Gary Genzman, who was Superintendent of the Wastewater Treatment Plant.

“I had a lot of family members who worked for the village, and I always looked up to them,” Randy said. “My brother, Charlie, was superintendent for 32 years. I always looked up to him and thought it would be cool to do what he did.”

Randy said Charlie and Gary were community-minded and “wanted to do things the right way.”

“I saw how these guys did it, that they did the right thing and made the community better,” Randy said. “That’s how I was raised, and I wanted to follow that. I grew up wanting to do what those two did. It was something to see from my seat.”

Randy was first employed by the village when he was a teen working as a seasonal staffer in the Oak Harbor Wastewater Treatment Plant in 1986 and 1987.

“I went off to different places and then worked for two years for the Ottawa County Sanitary Engineer,” he said.

The sign outside the Oak Harbor municipal building will soon have a new name. Randy Genzman is set to retire in July. (Photo by Sheri Trusty)

Throughout the years, Randy also worked for the Oak Harbor Streets Department and served as operations manager, overseeing both water and streets. He was appointed as village administrator in February, 2014.

Randy continued the Genzman legacy of integrity and community commitment throughout his career. His greatest impact came through the $12 million Church Street reconstruction project, which replaced aging sewers in the village.

“I pushed for this from day one and worked with multiple councils to get it done,” Randy said. “We used to have a major flooding problem in homes and basements going back over 100 years. Once we completed the project, we did away with the majority of street flooding. We got the water out of people’s basements. This was the crown jewel of generational projects in Ohio.”

When Randy walks away from his career in July, he will miss the people the most.

“I will miss a lot of the residents. Some of the guys I worked with – we grew up raising our kids together,” he said. “I met some of the most wonderful, caring people in the last 30 years.”

Randy is leaving the village better than it was when he arrived. The water lines were replaced during his tenure, and the streets are in good shape. He was able to accomplish so much because of collaboration within the village and beyond.

“I will miss working together with the other communities, too. I have really good relationships with the surrounding townships and communities. We didn’t have that when I started. Now, they’re just a phone call away,” he said.

The village council is in the process of interviewing applicants for the next village administrator. Randy hopes they will care about the people of the village as much as he did.

“They’ll have to know the people, to learn the community,” he said. “Chances are, they will already know the work, but getting to know the people is very important.”

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1 Comment

  1. Scott Gresser

    Enjoy your retirement Randy.

    Reply

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