In 2008, my wife and I were cruising through life with our four (soon to be five) young children, our business, a home, a dog, and a cat. How could I possibly fill all my free time? The answer, of course, is to found a weekly newspaper. My favorite from the wide selection of hats I wore during those years? Writing stories that people loved to read.
Copywriting, Creative Concept, Digital Strategy, Project Management
HEADLINE: Chuck Raube – King of the Roads
BODY COPY: For 15 years, Chuck Raube has been king of the roads. But this king works in the business of serving the people.
“I just do my best to make sure people can go to work and get home. I want to make sure everyone has a year-round outlet from their property,” said Raube.
Raube was elected Pontiac Township Road Commissioner in 1994, replacing the retiring Olaf Jacobson.
“I have the highest respect for Olaf. He taught me so much about what it means to serve the people in this job,” Raube said.
Service for Raube means maintaining 47 miles of roads in Livingston County, including six subdivisions. This time of year, that means plowing snow starting at 3:30 a.m. The subdivisions are plowed first and most roads are plowed two or three times to combat blowing and drifting.
“When I leave at 3:30 a.m. and come back at 4 p.m. and there’s no messages on the machine, I know I’ve done a good job. It tickles me to death,” explained Raube.
In addition to plowing, Raube is responsible a number of jobs during the year including road repair, grading gravel roads, cutting ditches for drains and culvert installation and cleaning.
The toughest part of Raube’s job isn’t the labor or the heavy machinery, however. It’s the litter, according to Raube. The junk and garbage, the beer bottles and plastic, all make Raube’s job tough at times. “You have to walk for it,” he said. A time-consuming task often delegated to part-time help for a department that has seen some supply costs nearly triple during Raube’s career.
“When I started, one mile of seal coat cost $3,200. Now it costs $8,000.” he explains.
Raube credits those he works with and those who have taught him when describ ing his years of service.
“David Winters, the county engineer, has never let me down. No matter how small the problem. I can’t say enough of the help I’ve gotten over the years in learning about the job,” Raube continued, “I could never repay guys like John Sancken or Kenny Schroeder.”
Behind it all lives a man who loves the outdoors. “I’m an environmentalist. We have the biggest fledgling of purple martins in Pontiac,” said Raube.
Raube enjoys spending time with his wife, Shelby, and grandchildren, fishing, tooling around in his pontoon boat and recanting the story of how his dog Dakota came to be his three-legged dog Dakota. (Ask him – it’s a great story.)
Raube’s term as road commissioner expires this year. He plans to run again.
Another four years on the roads? “I like to serve the people,” he happily admits.