Kirkwood chief administrative officer retires

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KIRKWOOD, MO (KTVI)-- In Mike Brown's office sits one of his crowning achievements.

"Thirty five pounds and 44 inches long," says Mike Brown.  "It took me 25 minutes to land him."

While you might not know brown, he's a lot like Tony LaRussa.

"A baseball manager never gets to throw the ball, never gets to swing the bat or runs the bases," says Brown.  "But without the manager there, the rest of the team would just fall apart."

Brown has been the chief administrative officer for Kirkwood for the last 33 years.

He's seen the city through good times and bad, like the 2008 Kirkwood city council shooting that left six dead and two injured.

"Cookie Thornton was a friend of mine," says Brown.  "I don't know if that played a role in it or not but after he shot one of the police officers in the council chamber, I would have been his next easiest shot and he passed it up."

Public service runs in his family.

Placards from his father and father in law sit on a shelf as a reminder of their service. His brother Jack Brown was mayor of Woodson Terrace for 33 years.

But Mike Brown might best be known for saving this little train station when Amtrak wanted to close it in 2003.

"They said, 'Well they said we got our orders'' says Brown.  "I said, 'What if the city took it over?"

For three months he organized volunteers to keep the doors open for passengers.

"Between my wife, myself, people around city hall and a couple of friends we met every train," says Brown.

Today the 1:13 was right on schedule, and as for brown's future schedule?

"It is a fantastic place to live," says a smiling Brown.  "It is a fantastic place to work. I love it here and no plans whatsoever to move elsewhere."