By Madeline Grubbe
As a media staff member for the campaign to elect Tom for mayor, I felt it was important that I understood what this incredibly humble man deals with on a day-to-day basis. Having approached Tom with the request to follow him throughout a “typical” day, he accepted without hesitation to do so the very next day.
TOLEDO, Ohio—He’s a city councilman, mayoral candidate, and an average, everyday Toledoan. But, being on the campaign trail, and continuing his duties as councilman, there is no “typical day” for Tom Waniewski.
Tom wakes up each morning at 6:00 A.M. He starts his day having a cup of coffee and reading his Bible on his front porch, of course weather permitting. He follows with checking his emails, exercising, and getting cleaned up for the day ahead.
On Monday and Wednesday mornings, Tom can be found at St. Paul’s community shelter where he writes grants to help combat homelessness. His other mornings vary with meetings, researching council issues, and calls.
On this particular day, Tom started his morning at Panera with a concerned citizen on a public health boundary ordinance. After hearing about the issue at hand, Tom set aside an extra thirty minutes for the meeting to make the meeting as productive as possible.
As I watched Tom manage the meeting, it was clear he has a way of making whomever he is with feel like the most important person in the world at that moment. He shows concern. He actively listens. He asks questions, and he gives advice. Tom is so personable. He has a story to tell for everything, almost as many stories as he has phone calls and meetings in a day. Quite a few times a day, Tom asked, “Can you handle one of my stories, Madeline? Let me tell a quick story.”
Next, Tom headed to Kathy’s Confections, a local bakery cafe in the West Oak Walk, a business district Tom has always advocated for in west Toledo. While he waited for his next meeting, he enjoyed another cup of coffee and a pastry. He also took the time to say hello and speak to citizens that came in and out of the café. He chatted with a mailman who shared his knowledge and concerns about the city. He spoke to a mother and a young girl who was about to start high school. And lastly, he spoke with some Girl Scouts about their garden project outside the café. He even posed for a picture when their mother asked!
Following the café, Tom had a few hours to himself which he spent making more phone calls to citizens, eating lunch, and preparing for a busy afternoon. The first activity of Tom’s afternoon was a meeting to cover campaign logistics and marketing strategies.
Shortly after the campaign meeting, he headed downtown for his city council meeting. Tom is very personable, professional, and courteous to every person that he interacts with. He takes on his City Council position with a lot of pride and devotion; his only interest is serving the people of Toledo the best he can, which he wants to continually do as our next chief executive.
To end the day, Tom went to the Regina Coeli festival where he had the opportunity to chat and hangout with the people of Toledo! It is obvious that Tom’s favorite part of his job is serving the public, building relationships with citizens, and being able to share his vision with them. The festival was a lot of fun; music, funnel cakes, Coca-Cola, and conversation were had among Tom and the festival go-ers.
If Tom is not found at an event later in the evening, he usually spends his nights answering emails from 7:00 P.M. to 10:00 P.M. After that he will watch something on Netflix…a movie, series, or documentary until he finishes the evening with an episode of The Office before going to bed around midnight.
What a day! Tom is so thankful for all the support from Toledoans, and the opportunity to be a public servant. He couldn’t do what he does without all of you.