- Drew Wyeth
In her 30 years as the mayor's assistant, Nancy Bramwell saw it all.
There was the man who wrote a letter to longtime Mayor Bob Isaac, explaining how he wanted to build a dome around the entire city. Isaac sent him a thank-you note.
Another fellow pulled a knife on a surprised Bramwell, and then came back the next day to apologize. And then there was the drunk with the wad of cash ...
Through it all -- six mayors and 15 City Councils -- Bramwell was sharp, stylish, unflappable. "We had a great time," Bramwell said of each of her six bosses. "Each one has a special place in my heart."
Her first mayor, Eugene McCleary, "was such a nice man. He made me realize that the mayor is just like everyone else. I couldn't believe it."
Andy Marshall, her second, was "so down to earth, such a nice man." She "got along great" with her third mayor, Larry Ochs, who can be credited with giving her self-confidence. Bob Isaac, with whom she worked for 18 years, "taught me so much." Leon Young, mayor for a short time, "was such a sweet man." And Mary Lou Makepeace, the city's first female mayor, "really rejuvenated me," Bramwell says.
Earlier this year, Bramwell decided it was time to retire, no matter who became the city's next mayor. As she gets used to not having to go to work every day, she's got some good advice for her replacement at City Hall: Enjoy your job, keep your opinions to yourself and ignore the sometimes-nasty politics in the office -- they don't have anything to do with you.