NEW BRITAIN — He began his career 35 years ago as a part-time janitor at the city’s public works yard. From there Mike Thompson rose through the ranks and on August 1 of that year retired as Superintendent of Public Works.
“We are truly grateful for Mike’s years of service, dedication and wealth of knowledge,” New Britain Mayor Erin Stewart told the Herald.
Thompson was well-liked by his colleagues and townspeople, known for his positive, “can do” attitude and pleasant nature.
As superintendent since 2016, he was responsible for the maintenance and operation of streets, parks, forestry, horticulture, sanitation, recycling and more.
“He was an integral part of a big transformation of the public works department, starting in 2010 through my administration,” Stewart said, referring to the merging of parks, sanitation and streets with the works public.
Among them, smaller moments over the years that have been a source of pride for Thompson, who didn’t gush when asked about his proudest accomplishments.
“We had a few blizzards in the ’90s — ’93 and ’96 I think — plowing through them was very memorable,” Thompson said. “Then become superintendent and help the whole merger go smoothly.”
He will have to work another five years to obtain his social security, but will first take some time to get things done in the house.
“I am very grateful for everything I have received from the city; it’s a great place to work,” added Thompson. “I’m going to miss making sure things go well for the public. Ensure baseball diamonds are made properly and roads are properly plowed.
A resident of the city, he has also served on the municipal council for three years.
“It’s always a source of pride for us to see New Britain residents being incredibly passionate about the work they do,” said Stewart. “Living here and having that kind of passion is very difficult to recreate. Money can’t buy someone who generally cares about the welfare and upkeep of their community.
Thompson is also a past president of AFSCME Local 1186, the union representing city and school board employees.
“Mike deserves to be congratulated for a job well done,” the mayor said. “We wish him success in his retirement.”
Erica Drzewiecki can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.