Town Public Works employee Keith Baron has been working for Cheshire for over two decades now — a job Baron states he loves. Now, the Town is showing that love right back to him.
On Tuesday, Jan. 14, Baron was named the 2019 Town of Cheshire Employee of the Year, commemorating his devotion to the town and hard work.
“It is with my pleasure that I can announce the 2019 Connie Wallace Employee of the Year goes to long time town employee, Keith Baron,” announced Town Manager Sean Kimball. “Keith has been a vital member of the Town for so long, everyone loves him. Whenever work needs to be done, everyone calls Keith.”
Town Council Chair Rob Oris also presented Baron with the Certificate of Recognition and spoke to the audience about Baron’s work ethic.
“While giving Keith this proclamation, I would like to highlight his dedication and commitment to Cheshire,” said Oris. “While I know Keith, I don't know him as well as some, but this award is given by a jury of your peers, and it’s clear that Keith is well-liked among his peers.”
The Connie Wallace Employee of the Year award has been presented to employees in Cheshire since 1998 in honor of Connie Wallace who was Secretary to the Town Manager and a town employee for over 30 years. Candidates for the award are typically nominated by their fellow employees, then a committee selects the final candidates, leaving the ultimate decision to the Town employees to vote for the winner.
“Keith is just the greatest, most conscientious guy there is,” said George Noewatne, director of Public Works and Keith’s boss of 16 years. “Anything good that can be said, should be said about Keith. He’s one of the most loyal guys I know and he really loves this town.”
Baron has worked for the Public Works (PW) department for over 20 years, starting when he was hired as a road maintainer. He eventually worked his way up to Lead PW Crew Member.
“I love my job,” Baron said. “I love the people I work with and my bosses. It’s a great job and I get to do something new every day … what’s better than that?”
As a Public Works Crew Member, Baron oversees the maintenance and functions of multiple town buildings; the Cheshire Public Library, the Town Hall, and the Senior Center, just to name a few. Baron is one of just two men who have this specific job in town, and he remembers a time when the Town had more PW Crew Members.
Baron’s position includes a wide variety of tasks, including air conditioning and heating maintenance and bathroom repair and maintenance, making his smiling face and friendly personality known wherever he goes.
“Often, when people call my office requesting for help, they ask for Keith by name,” laughed Kimball at the Council meeting. “He’s just that kind of guy.”
When he was selected for the award, Baron was blindsided, to say the least.
“I didn’t, and still don’t really know what to say,” he mentioned. “I guess you know you’ve done a good job when your boss notices you, but I don’t really think much of it. I just go into work everyday and do what I love.”