Recently, I learned of the passing of long-time Aurora Service Director Charles Brown. It was my privilege to work closely with "Charlie" for over 20 years as Aurora grew from a small bedroom community to one of the key residential destinations in Northeast Ohio.

Aurora's carefully managed growth over time was due in great part to Charlie's foresight and leadership, and his uncanny ability to work cooperatively with almost anyone. Charlie was able to involve himself in what were at times seemingly intractable problems and issues, and in the end, manage to resolve the situation to everyone's satisfaction; a rare trait to say the least.

Charlie Brown was also highly regarded outside of Aurora. He worked steadily for years on the planning for the Pond Brook sewage treatment plant, originally conceived as a regional treatment facility that would eventually tie into the Cuyahoga Valley interceptor, a major component in the long-range sewer plan for Summit, Portage and Cuyahoga counties.

Not until 1986, after years of regulatory foot dragging and political shenanigans, did Aurora opt to go it alone to construct the Westerly wastewater treatment plant.

As I reflect on my years working with Charlie, one character trait stays with me: his perennial willingness to help, whether on a personal or work-related matter. His often repeated "How can I help?" always conveyed a sense of hope and goodwill, regardless of the circumstances.

I will always be grateful for the support and assistance he provided to me through the years. The City of Aurora is most fortunate to have benefited so much from his expertise and influence.

David A. Lipstreu,