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In retirement, Bucher vowed to give back

Dave Bucher Dave Bucher

Dave Bucher said his work designing safety features for farm tractors was one of his more rewarding experiences as a design engineer for John Deere. The process was collaborative, and the farm machinery maker willingly shared the safety innovations with its competitors.

That fits Bucher, who is known for his benevolent spirit and attention to detail.
The Flat Rock Village Council members and mayor have historically waived pay that the budget includes — $3,000 a year for council members and $6,000 for the mayor. One member suggested the pay might help the village attract working people to the council.
Bucher was emphatic about keeping it the way it is, said Mayor Bob Staton.
"He said, 'I just do not want to accept compensation for the job. This is how I give back to the community,'" Staton said.
Bucher was already working as a volunteer zoning administrator when the council appointed him to a vacancy in 2004. He has served ever since.
Like Jim Wert, Bucher is a Habitat volunteer. He also served on the YMCA board, volunteers as a tax preparer for the AARP and is active in the Methodist Church.
Bucher and his wife bought a lot in Dunroy in 2000.
"My idea was to use it as an investment but my wife had different ideas," he said. The couple moved to Flat Rock in 2001.
"Judy Boleman (then the zoning administrator) had a lot of influence on me," he said. "One of the things that interested me was the move to our own facility in that early period of time. Over the years I've been involved with the grounds and the office and probably the most significant part was as budget officer."
Boleman, a former council member who is now the fulltime town administrator, said Bucher took budget drafting seriously.
"He tried to consider the budget from the real needs the village is going to have," she said. "He goes out and he asks for feedback. He'll go to the planning board chairman and ask, 'What do you think the needs are going to be with respect to the planning board in the coming year?' He certainly did that in a collaborative manner."
Bucher said when he left John Deere he really wasn't ready to retire.
"I still think many of us that were fortunate to have had good employers and are still in relative good health really need to be committed to the community for all the years we worked" and could not volunteer, he said.
Even the few instances of disagreement have not been discordant.
"It's never been one of animosity and I'd say for the most part that the people that have been serving for two terms have really worked together well," he said. "I never go away from those meetings feeling that there's any animosity or that it's a win-lose situation."
Bucher, 79, has also been the liaison, along with Councilman Jimmy Chandler, to advisory committees that explored the Highland Lake Golf Course purchase and then recommended improvements. If he continues his volunteer service in the village, he said, he would like to see that through.
"I feel pretty strongly that once made the commitment to purchase the property and keep that open space and have a nice park," he said. "I want keep being involved in trying to make that park a success."