Dave Schemansky always knew he wanted to be an engineer because he wanted to build highways.
Schemansky was born and raised in Canton before he went on to Ohio University and received a bachelors in Civil Engineering in 1971. He started out working for the Division of Highways, which wasn’t called the Ohio Department of Transportation until 1972.
Eventually, he was offered a job with the Stark County Area Transportation Study (SCATS) as a transportation engineer. He worked there from December 1974 to May 1977 before taking a job with the Stark County Engineer’s office.
Schemansky worked for the county until 2000, when he retired. He remained retired for three years but admits he really didn’t want to retire. One day his wife came across an advertisement in the newspaper from the city of Green looking for an engineer project manager.
He applied, took the civil service test, and eventually interviewed with the city. He was interviewed by several city officials along with City Engineer Paul Pickett, who he had never met before. Mayor at the time Dan Croghan also talked with him and within a few days the city called and offered him the job and he began in September 2004.
Schemansky said his weaknesses were Pickett’s strengths and they worked well together.
“Working for Paul Pickett has been a joy,” Schemansky said. “Paul and I are like a hand and a glove.”
He said working with Pickett has always been a collaboration rather than a top-down approach. Working in the engineering department he said has been a great experience.
“Deb has been the best secretary I have ever had,” Schemansky said. “She is organized as all get out.”
Over the years, Schemansky has been involved with many projects throughout the county and city. One project he remembers well is when improvements were made to the intersection of Steese and Greensburg roads in Green. He said the city needed to improve the turn radios as when a bus made a right turn from Steese onto Greensburg, the left bumper of the bus went halfway across the yellow line.
While this project may seem small, it was notable along with making shoulder and drainage improvements along Greensburg Road.
Schemansky said he has enjoyed every day getting up and going to work.
“In 45 years, there was only one year I didn’t want to go to work,” Schemansky said. “Not many people can say that.”
Schemansky said the city was preparing to make improvements to the intersection of Steese Road and Massillon Road when plans changed from a signalized intersection to a roundabout.
He said he never heard the term roundabout until Summit County Engineer at the time Greg Bachman made a presentation to the city about roundabouts. Bachman built the first roundabout in Summit County, near Copley High School. The city eventually got onboard with the idea and decided to construct a roundabout at the intersection of Steese and Massillon roads, which opened in 2009.
Schemansky is interested to see how some projects turn out such as the proposed roundabouts for Massillon Road, which will be built over the course of the next few years. He said ample time has been spent looking at how to make the traffic flow better along Massillon Road.
“Was it roundabouts, was it a combination of roundabouts and traffic signals,” Schemansky said. “Also where do you start?”
Some improvements have been made already such as the adding a drop right turn lane on Massillon Road for cars traveling south wanting to turn onto Boettler Road. Also, the island was removed on Corporate Woods Circle so a double left turn lane could be created. The city also shrunk the size of an island on Massillon Road to allow for the northbound lanes to Interstate 77 to line up.
He said the number of roundabouts in Green will continue to increase over the years. One city building roundabouts at a rapid pace is Carmel, Ind., which has more than 100 roundabouts and Schemansky said they have greatly decreased the number of traffic signals.
The upcoming Massillon Road North project, which will add three roundabouts on Massillon Road north of Interstate 77 he expects to greatly improve the area. He said he has no doubt the city will be presenting the project at a roundabout conference.
Schemansky said Green is in good hands with Pickett and Wayne Wiethe, the planning director for the city.
“They care about the community,” Schemansky said. “The two of them have done a lot of good for the city of Green.”
He said he will miss working with his colleagues.
“All the people in this section get along and work well with one another,” Schemansky said. “They are plow horses and pull more than their own weight.”
In retirement, he is looking forward to woodworking and getting his golf game back. He also said he hasn’t been able to park his car in the garage for 25 years because of a giant drafting table He plans to change that this summer.
Pickett said Schemansky has been a real pleasure to work with.
“He brought decades of engineering experience to our department and has a passion for traffic engineering, that is so valuable to a growing community like Green,” Pickett said. “He used a phrase to describe our role as serving as “infrastructure mechanics” and I’ve always liked that. We diagnose problems and fix them and develop maintenance plans to maintain the highest performance of our road network we can with the budget we are given.”
He said he appreciates Schemansky’s contribution and will miss working with him. He said the whole department will miss Schemansky’s dry sense of humor.
Deb Talkington, administrative secretary for Green, said she learned a lot from Schemansky.
“He took me under his wing and taught me so much,” Talkington said. “I am really thankful for everything he has done.
John Walch, an engineering technician for Green, said Schemansky was a great resource and will be missed.
“I am very fortunate to learn from someone with such a wealth of knowledge,” Paul Ciocca, engineer for the city said.
This story was also published in The Suburbanite. www.thesuburbanite.com