40 years ago today, Louis Edgar Von Holle, former Mayor of the City of Cheviot hired a young man by the name of Thomas Braun to work as a laborer in the maintenance department. Braun was 16-years-old at the time and still attending High School at LaSalle.
Originally Braun saw himself landing a career that involved animals like Zoology or something that involved traveling. So how did he end up being the Safety Service Director for the City of Cheviot? "Hard work and determination," said Braun.
Hard-work is something it seems Braun has no issue with. In 1985, Braun took another job with the city as a sanitation engineer (garbage man). For seven years he woke up at the crack of dawn shoveling residents waste into the back of a dumpster truck and hauling it away to the treatment facility.
In 1992, Braun was transferred back to the maintenance department and two years later he was promoted by Mayor John Michael Laumann, with the title as Superintendent of Public Works. Then in 2010, Mayor Samuel Keller, promoted Bruan to his current position, Saftey Service Director. Keller will be the first to admit, "I am very lucky to have him,".
Braun and Keller have worked closely on many projects together over the last ten years. For Bruan, two of those projects stand out a bit more than the others.
The Reds Home Field Makeover
In 2012, the Reds Community Fund and Procter & Gamble declared Cheviot Memorial Field the winner of The Reds Home Field Makeover. Braun and many other volunteers and City Officials devoted countless hours to make that project possible. In the wake of the meetings and negotiations after the contest, the Cheviot Memorial Field received a much-needed makeover. Both fields received infield restorations, new backstops, fencing was installed, and the historic grandstands were brought back to life.
Harvest Home Park/Splash Pad
On June 4, 2018, the city celebrated the grand opening of the Bicentennial Splash Park and renovated pool house. The Bicentennial Committees' efforts and hard work as well as the City Administration and Council all contributed to the success of this beautiful project.
It's not all work and no play for Braun around the office though. According to him he enjoys joking around but his co-workers can never tell if he is joking or not. They'd also tell you he has never been shy about jumping in to help with anything around the office or out in the field. "The biggest complaint I get from the different department heads about Tom is he won't let them spend any money," said Mayor Keller. Braun is known for balancing city funds the same way a fiscally responsible household would. A rare anomaly that isn't exactly the status quo in government.
When he isn't negotiating with energy providers or waste management providers to provide the city the best possible rate Braun enjoys working in the yard and his garden. He is also a bird watcher. "When I talk about it at work they tell me how much of a nerd I am," said Braun.
They say cream always rises to the top and Thomas Braun is no exception to that rule.