Roman Ducu Wins Award, Announces Retirement

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It was my pleasure a couple weeks ago to sit down and spend some time with Roman Ducu, Director of Public Works. He had just won the 2021 Clyde “Butch” Seidle Public Works Servant Leader Award, basically the Oscar for public service employees. It was nice to hear that a good guy had won. After all, it is the hottest seat in public service. Everyone has an opinion about streets, garbage collection, parks, etc. It's not a job where one can hide from the public to get by. Which is fine, as that is not how Roman Ducu rolls.
Roman started with the City of Lakewood as a part-time laborer. Thirty-one years later he heads the department. He arrived at the top seat just as COVID happened. Talk about trial by fire: between shutdowns, testing, mandates, sick leave spread over the 8 divisions he managed, he was able with his managers to bring a bit of normalcy to both the city and the 108 employees under him.

Roman is a buck stops here kind of guy, which is good as he is often the person people in the city want to hear from most. Because he grew into the job, he carries the responsibilities as well as the talent and background to coordinate Public Works and capital improvement projects, reviewing equipment defects, prioritizing repairs, and selecting and managing suppliers or contractors and costs.

Mr. Ducu also holds a Class A Commercial Driver’s license, cleared all the way up to a tanker truck, a motorcycle license, and is close to obtaining his private helicopter license, and can legally operate a drone as certified by the FAA.

Currently he is proudest of the city sidewalk replacement program. As Roman points out, in a city that advertises itself as the most walkable city in the area, we better have safe sidewalks for the walking. In fact, businesses in Lakewood would die if everyone had to drive to get there.

The other thing he is most proud of is his crews, managers and employees. When I asked about the award, he didn't want to say anything. Then he called and said, if we talk about the crews, and allowed them to be highlighted, he would spend the time and talk.

After I had spent some time with Roman, and saw first hand the crews he is so proud of, he turned to me and said that he will be retiring in the early months of 2023.

Thanks for your time, knowledge, and effort. Now go have fun, you've earned it.

Jim O'Bryan

Publisher, Lakewood Observer, Inc.

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Volume 18, Issue 22, Posted 1:51 PM, 11.16.2022