A change in Shenandoah town managers; Roudabush takes reins as Dovel retires

Page News and Courier
SHENANDOAH – Residents will welcome a new town manager on April 1 when Assistant Town Manager Juanita Roudabush steps up to fill the post being vacated by Larry Dovel, who is retiring after 41 years of service to the Town of Shenandoah. Dovel was recovering from a snow-shoveling back strain and was not at the March 14 council meeting when the announcement was made.

“I have been very honored to be able to work with Mr. Dovel,” Mayor Clinton Lucas said, adding that Dovel has done “a real good job for us.” The two have been working together for the nearly 27 years that Lucas has been mayor.

Of Roudabush, Lucas said, “We are extremely fortunate to have her. With her knowledge, we should be able to transition from Larry going home and her starting and never skip a beat.”

Roudabush joined the Town Hall team in 1999 as town clerk, a position she held until 2002 when she was named assistant town manager/clerk. Previous to her employment in Shenandoah, Roudabush spent 10 years with Page County Planning & Zoning.

When she added the title of assistant town manager, Roudabush said she retained all the clerk duties, which included everything from assisting in the office, taking payments and answering phones, to helping market the town at events, to learning about utility systems and budgeting processes. In her new role as town manager, Roudabush said she will be taking on even more planning and zoning and economic development tasks, and will be working more closely and directly with all departments.

“Things in place currently work so well,” she said, “but I believe Council desires we direct even more attention to replacing aging water and sewer lines and other infrastructure as we have funds available and, as we move along into the future, conduct even more grant research, etc.”

Though she knows she has more to learn about utilities, Roudabush said, “Because of training of our current employees, Larry has left a great foundation of one certified chief operator and two other employees certified now for water and wastewater, too.” Dovel’s leadership experience and his knowledge of the town’s utility systems will be missed, Roudabush added.

The town manager’s job pays $65,000. The job of assistant manager will not be filled immediately, if at all. Also at the March 14 meeting, the council authorized advertising for a full-time town clerk. Viewed as an entry-level position, the job pays $18,000 annually plus benefits. With an expected May 1 start date, the clerk takes minutes at various town meetings, assists in collection of payments for town services and prepares correspondence for the mayor and other town officials.

“I am thankful and humbled by the opportunity the mayor and council have given to me,” Roudabush said. “We are blessed with excellent employees, who really care about their community and the work they do each day. We are also blessed by having a mayor and town council members who always have the best interest of the entire community at heart in their decision making.”

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