By Steve Svetovich
Mike “Didge” Judge is the kind of guy who loves getting up and going to work everyday.
And the Borough of Dunmore and its people are lucky for that.
A Dunmore DPW employee for 34 years and head of the department for the past 20, Didge is diligently at work everyday at 6 a.m.
He has 25 full time DPW employees under him and they all share his work ethic.
“I love Dunmore,” he said. “I don’t mind doing what I do for a living. In fact, I love it. Not too many people can say that about their job. My day flies by because I love my job.
“I like to stay involved as much as possible and help the people of Dunmore. I love helping people, especially in this town. Our DPW employees are all like that. We try to make Dunmore a great place to live. And it is.”
Judge said his department has been following all COVID precautions right from the get go. “We do not go into the building other than to punch in and punch out,” he said. “We go right to our trucks. We don’t even use the lunch room. We stay out of the building as much as possible. We sanitize the trucks, wear masks, wash our hands and follow all COVID precautions. It has certainly been a different kind of year.
“Not one member of our crew has contacted COVID or been sick all year. And I run the garbage collection too. I can’t believe through all of this that no one has been sick, but that is a good thing.”
Didge said the DPW crew will be busy decorating all of the poles at and around Dunmore corners with Christmas lights and decorations Friday and Saturday, Dec. 4 and 5. A new Christmas tree with lights will be placed by the clock at Dunmore Corners, he added.
“It’s going to look real nice,” he said.
Didge said the Dunmore DPW department is already prepared for the winter season. “We have seven trucks filled with salt ready to go,” he said. “Plus we have a full barn with 500 tons of salt in the DPW building.
“We already had a trial run one morning last month at the higher elevations like Mount Margaret and the Boulevard. We are set and ready to go for the winter.”
Didge, 63, a 1975 Dunmore graduate, is married to the former Lisa Coccicci. His wife is a Valley View graduate. The couple has three boys: Michael, 28, a heavy equipment operator for the Lackawanna County Roads and Bridges Department; Patrick, 25, and Robert, 23, both full time employees for the Dunmore DPW.
“My boys and I are in the same line of work and two of them work for me,” said Didge. “We all like helping the public and doing what we do.”
Judge worked for almost 15 years at RCA in the Keystone Industrial Park prior to going full time with the Dunmore DPW department.
“I’ve had only two full time jobs my whole life and loved them both,” Didge said. “I guess I’ve been pretty lucky.”
Well known and highly respected in Dunmore Borough, Didge is looking forward to continuing to serve the public.
“We have a great DPW crew here in Dunmore,” Judge said. “It makes it easy coming to work everyday at 6 a.m. The guys do a great job and like what they do for a living. I can’t wait to get up and go to work everyday.”