New Huber Heights manager Dzik is studying growth issues, city amenities

City finally filled manager role after bumpy two-year process; Richard Dzik previously led Mount Vernon, northeast of Columbus



Less than two weeks into his newly appointed role as city manager of Huber Heights, Richard Dzik had hit the ground running.

“The first week has been like the hearts and minds tour, where everybody is getting to know everybody,” Dzik said this week. “I’ve set as many meetings as I can to meet people in between keeping the ball rolling on everything else.”

After more than two years without a permanent city manager, Huber Heights council voted in August to hire Dzik, whose first day was Sept. 11.

Though he’d been considered for the job last year, Dzik failed to garner the support of enough council members at the time. This time around, the resolution to hire Dzik was approved in a 7-1 vote as an emergency, which waves the requirement for a second reading. Councilman Ed Lyons was the lone dissenter.

A native of Cleveland, Dzik is relocating to Huber Heights from Mount Vernon, where he most recently served as the safety service director since December 2019, supervising the city’s departments of code enforcement, engineering, fire, police, parks, streets, utilities, and “building, lands and cemetery,” according to the city’s web site. Mount Vernon has a population of about 17,000 people and sits about 40 miles northeast of Columbus.

Prior to that, Dzik served as a Mount Vernon firefighter, before landing a job as director of the Knox County 911 Center, a role he continued for five years.

Dzik said he was ready for a new opportunity when he learned about the Huber Heights position.

“I knew I wanted to join a council-manager type of government because the coordination between the council and city manager is something that isn’t always present in other types of governments, so that was a big draw for me,” he said.

The city itself was another big draw for Dzik.

Credit: Tom Gilliam

Credit: Tom Gilliam

“The community is beautiful and the city really does invest in itself. I have friends from Mount Vernon who visit five or six times a year just to go to the Rose Music Center, so the city is pulling people from all over the state to experience Huber Heights,” he said. “Along with the beautiful parks, amenities, and economic development that brings a lot of businesses and residents; it’s very modern and a beautiful part of the Miami Valley.”

Dzik highlighted the city’s fast-paced growth in recent years, noting that he’s excited to dig into the economic development aspect of the job to ensure Huber Heights is offering “top notch” amenities, with a goal to provide quality experiences for residents and visitors alike.

He does, however, recognize and acknowledge the concerns of some residents who may feel Huber Heights is growing at an impetuous pace. Dzik said he aims to meet in the middle with those who appreciate the growth and those who are more hesitant.

“I think this is common in any community,” Dzik said. “What I can say to these groups is we can still grow as a community while retaining our character. That will be the task for myself, council and staff over the next number of years.”

About the Author