Thursday, July 1, 2004

Liberty's new head a resident since 1997

By John Kiesewetter
Enquirer staff writer

LIBERTY TOWNSHIP - New township administrator Dina Minneci had a real advantage over the other four finalists for the position.

The Wyoming city finance director and her husband have lived in Butler County's fastest-growing township for seven years.

"There has been tremendous growth that has happened here," said Minneci, 34. "My husband and I drive around and say, 'Remember when that used to be a farm?' "

The Dayton native accepted the $80,000 annual position Wednesday. On July 21, she will officially replace Barry Tiffany, who was fired Jan. 5 for misusing a township cell phone.

"Being a resident here was an added plus for her. She has a lot of passion for the township," said Christine Matacic, trustees president and acting administrator. Minneci has first-hand experience in the needs of the township, which has tripled in population (to 28,000) since 1990.

She understands the challenges of easing traffic congestion and providing full access to Interstate 75 and Ohio 129 from Hamilton-Mason Road, the proposed Liberty interchange.

Seeing houses sprouting on the old farms made her realize the importance of increasing the business and commercial base, particularly near the Liberty interchange. "The population growth has been tremendous, but a lot of that burden is on the residents," she said.

She also knows that many families have moved into the township for the same reason she did in 1997 - the sense of community, excellent Lakota schools, and good police and fire service.

"It's on the verge of being a very great community," said Minneci, who has a son, 5, and a daughter, 3.

Minneci said she had planned to transition into government administration by her mid-30s.

After earning a master's degree in public administration from the University of Cincinnati 10 years ago, she was the Fairfield tax compliance officer, tax administrator and deputy finance director.

She was hired by Wyoming as assistant finance director in 1999, and promoted to finance director the next year. "This is the opportunity I've been looking for since college," she said.


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