Joe Denen is Washington Court House City Manager.

Joe Denen is Washington Court House City Manager.

By Martin Graham


Joe Denen

When you think of a nice vacation, where would you go? I like to be outside and have the ability for a nice walk. A beach is OK, but I like other activities along with a beach. I suppose it is about the memories of doing things together. I especially love to go north in summer.

Why do you garden, and what do you grow? A garden, like the gardener, changes over time. I used to think of the garden in terms of something to be accomplished. A section improved, this changed, like it was permanent.  I don’t love hens and chicks. However, I recall a neglected, but vigorous clump that grew at a grandparent’s home. So, I have a few hens and chicks. Roses are fun in that you get to embrace childhood with sprays, drenches and all sorts of concoctions and experiments. Several of the roses I grow were hybridized by Griffith Buck. Dr. Buck worked hybridizing roses amongst other plants at Iowa State University from the late 1940s to the mid-1980s. You know who hybridized the rose, a rose with a story.

What are your favorite places in the community? We get to experience flat a lot in the landscape. I like any location with a bit of elevation so you get to see the landscape on a larger scale. The new reservoir is a great place to look back towards town and see a landscape. I enjoy the open area near the two ponds. I like a lot of sections of the trail, when you get to walk along the creek. You also have several private gardens of exceptional quality.

What do you consider to be the most challenging aspect of your job? With time, the number of matters we attend have increased and having something constantly on your mind makes thinking about larger issues more difficult.

What do you love most about your community? Relationships between people have developed over time. The place is a real place, not people thrown together in an artificial world.

Salt Magazine

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