Rudy Jones was the man who kept the county’s generators, alarm systems and elevators running.
He would come to work early and stay late, as needed — to make sure that the daily business of government was not disrupted.
He often worked behind the scenes, but his work was not unnoticed.
And, when Jones recently wrapped up his 32-year career with Pasco County, he was lavished with praise from the Pasco County Commission and from Pasco County Clerk & Comptroller Nikki Alvarez-Sowles.
Jones joined the county on May 21, 1990 working for the parks and recreation department. He concluded his career on Oct. 7, 2022, with his final role being a maintenance technician four in the facilities management department.
“During his career with Pasco County, Rudy has earned respect from all county departments, including Fire/Rescue, Court Administration, the Property Appraiser and the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office,” Alvarez-Sowles said, reading from a resolution of appreciation adopted by the county board on Dec. 6.
The resolution lauded Jones’ proficiency in different trades and his diligence to ensure that Pasco County team members worked in a safe and healthy environment.
He dedicated himself to making “sure that any issues within the county facility were resolved safely and efficiently,” the resolution adds.
Jones was hailed for his professionalism and friendly nature.
If there was a maintenance issue in the clerk’s office, Jones was there — ready to tackle it, Alvarez-Sowles said.
“He has just been so amazing to work with, in my office,” she said.
She characterized him as being calm and steady, and able to come up with creative solutions.
Commissioner Ron Oakley said he noticed how Jones took care of problems when they arose in the county board’s chambers.
“They call you the king of the boardroom,” Oakley told Jones.
When the board members concluded their remarks, Jones got a standing ovation from the crowd.
And, when it was his turn to talk, Jones turned the attention to others.
He singled out Erik Breitenbach, assistant county administrator for internal services.
Jones told the crowd that Breitenbach had once shared a conversation with him, regarding some words a wise man had told Breitenbach. That man said there are essentially two types of people in authority; one, you have to salute; the other, you want to salute.
“On behalf of facilities and Pasco County, we all want to salute you and say ‘Thank you for your hard work,’” Jones told Breitenbach. “Mr. Erik has been a blessing to Pasco County, especially facilities.”
Jones also asked for Vito Tambasco, facilities maintenance supervisor, to step forward.
“Vito, I just want to say that I think, over the period of years we’ve worked together, we had, what, 36 people in your position?”
Tambasco responded: “Thirty-four, 35.”
Jones continued: “Of all that, you’ve been the awesome and the best supervisor that a person could ever have, on my behalf and facilities, I think. I just want to say, ‘Thank you and I love you like a brother.’”
In response, Tambasco opened his wallet and pretended to pay Jones for the compliment, eliciting laughter from the room.
When Jones went to pose for a photo with the commissioners, the facilities team stepped forward, in a sign of support.
It was quite a crowd.
Jones was obviously touched.
He thanked his colleagues.
“That means a lot,” Jones said.
Published December 28, 2022