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How this former public servant helped shape West Chester, Warren County and beyond

Dave Gully.
Dave Gully.

Former West Chester Twp. Administrator Dave Gully is being honored next month with the West Chester-Liberty Chamber Alliance’s Everest Award.

The award is presented to “a person who has reached the heights of being a legend or leader through his or her actions, making a significant positive impact on business, the community and quality of life within the Interstate 75 Growth Corridor,” according to the chamber.

Gully said he is “humbled” by the honor.

“So many talented people contributed to the progress of the I-75 corridor over the past 20 years,” he told this news outlet. “I’m just one of many who did their own small part.”

That “small part” includes his 15 years as West Chester Twp. administrator, and the 11 he spent as Warren County administrator before retiring in 2016.

During his time in West Chester, Gully was “able to sink his teeth in to many projects that really put the township on the map,” according to West Chester-Liberty Chamber Alliance’s Everest Award Committee.

He administered the 2003-2004 West Chester 20/20 long range vision planning committee and led the “Claim the Name” branding effort to change the name of Union Twp. to West Chester Twp.

Gully’s vision and forethought made him the secretary-treasurer and founding member of the Butler County Transportation Improvement District, which completed work on Ohio 129 (the Butler County Regional Highway), the Union Centre Boulevard Interchange and Ohio 4 Bypass improvements. He negotiated transformation of McGinnis Park to Voice of America Centre shopping plaza, West Chester Hospital, and corresponding creation of Beckett Park.

Gully’s commitment to the community helped him coordinate the decommissioning of the Voice of America Transmission Site and transformation into the Voice of America Park.

Over his years with the township, he helped implement the first township Tax Incentive, or TIF, district in the state of Ohio.

Gully was “instrumental” in the construction of Union Centre Boulevard and the development of West Chester’s Central Business District, according to Joe Hinson, the president and CEO of West Chester-Liberty Chamber Alliance.

As West Chester Township’s administrator, he was valued for “his vast knowledge, years of experience and key business and community connections,” Hinson said.

“Dave was not afraid to think big and then follow through with his team of visionary professionals to make the vision become reality,” he said. “The development of the epicenter of business activity on I-75 between Cincinnati and Dayton over the past 20 plus years, is due in part to Dave’s hard work in helping lead West Chester to become one of our nation’s best places to live, work and enjoy life.”

Gully said identifying the priorities of the community and then working to put the infrastructure in place to accommodate those goals was his greatest achievement during his time in West Chester.

“But my biggest source of pride is knowing that my West Chester assistant, Judi Carter-Boyko, is now the county administrator in Butler County and my Warren County assistant, Tiffany Zindell, is the administrator in Warren County, the first women to hold both of those positions,” Gully said. “Both (are) well qualified. They got there on their own, but I am proud to have been a part of their journey.”

Gully said what he misses the most about his time in West Chester are the people.

The people he worked with in both places are A-plus performers and genuinely great people to work with, and I miss them,” he said. “As a county administrator, you have a whole lot less contact with the public. Sometimes that’s good and sometimes not so much. But I’d have to say the interaction with the community is what I miss.”

As Warren County administrator, Gully worked to better the area, grow business and increase jobs. He was chairperson and co-Founder of Warren County Transportation Improvement District where they worked on projects like the Fields-Ertel loop ramp, Mason-Montgomery Road district improvements, and the Western Row Interchange.

Gully was active on many boards to make the county the best it could be for residents and businesses. He was part of the Warren County Elderly Services Board, Metropolitan Housing Authority Board, Executive Director Warren County Jobs and Family Services, Tax Incentive Review Council, and a Warren County Ohio Port Authority member. Gully was also instrumental in implementing distribution centers larger than 1 million square feet just off of I-75 in Monroe.

Before his time in West Chester Twp., Gully served as Colerain Township administrator, during which time he coordinated the implementation of the 1st community supported full-time police department, instigated the creation of the Colerain Ave Merchants Association, led the creation of the Colerain Avenue traffic improvements advisory committee, and participated in the re-zoning and engineering of the Rumpke Solid Waste Disposal facility.

His long list of community involvement includes work with numerous non-profit and faith-based groups including the Community Foundation of West Chester/Liberty, Vineyard Community Church and being a founding member of Cornerstone UMC – West Chester. He also was founding member of the Northern Lights Emmaus Community, a member of Rotary Club of West Chester and Lebanon since 1990, and a recipient of the President’s Award from the West Chester-Liberty Chamber Alliance in 2008.