The Spirit of Somerville

A Memoir ™Written By Eugene C. Brune, Mayor Emeritus


About Gene

Gene Brune has had a very successful political career. His career began in 1969 when he was an appointed member of the Board of Health and soon after its chairman. In 1972 he was elected to the Somerville Board of Aldermen, where he served in that position for six years.  He was elected to served as Vice President and President of the Board.  In 1977 he ran unsuccessful for the office of mayor, but in his second attempt in 1979 he was elected mayor. Gene was sworn in to the position in January 1980. Gene was reelected four additional terms. After ten years in office he decided to run for Register of Deeds for Southern Middlesex County comprising forty-four cities and towns. Gene was reelected for four additional six year terms and after serving twenty-four years he retired on January 2, 2013.

Before taking office as mayor Gene started out in the engineering department of Groisser and Schlager Iron Works in Somerville working as a structural, steel, and miscellaneous iron draftsman. Their office was located on the land that is now Cobble Hill Senior Housing,  Gene later worked in the engineering department of  E.T.Ryan Iron Works, before leaving to take over the office of mayor. Gene worked as a project manager and spent most of his time on construction sites attending job meetings, trouble shooting for the iron workers and taking field engineering dimensions.

Throughout Gene's politicial years he has been the recipient of many honors, including being awarded the "Tufts University Presidential Medal", being named the "Public Administrator of the Year" by the American Society of Public Administration, was honored by the Post Gazette Newspaper as the 1984 "Man of the Year." He was awarded a Lifetime Membership in 1989 by the Somerville P.T.A.  In 1989 The Somerville School Committee honored Gene by naming the High School  the "Eugene C. Brune Field House."  In 2006 the Board of Trustees of the Cambridge Health Alliance honored Gene by naming their new adolescent wing the "Eugene C. Brune Adolescent Wing." The Somerville Rotary honored Gene by naming him a "Paul Harris Fellow", and the Somerville Lions also honored him by naming him a" Melvin Jones Fellow."  Mayor, Brune received a Special Commendation from Governor King and the House of Representatives for "Courageous Leadership and Effective Management" during the crisis of the Somerville hazardous spill in 1980. Gene was also honored by the Boston Minuteman Council, Boy Scouts of America and by WHDH-Channel 7 for his prior work in scouting.

Gene served as President of the Massachusetts Registers Association 1991-1992, President of the Massachusetts Municipal Association1983,  Chairman of the MBTA Advisory Board from 1984 - 1989, Chairman of the Fiscal Policy Committee for the Mass. Municipal Association 1986-1989. He is a Founder and the first President of the Somerville Boys and Girls Club, President, Somerville Unit of the American Cancer Society 1986-1988, Former Vice Chair. Board of Trustees for the Cambridge Health alliance. Little Sisters of the Poor Advisory Board, Director, Trustee Somerville Museum, Trustee, Somerville High Scholarship Foundation, former board member CASPAR Program and the Cambridge/Somerville Mental Health and Retardation Board. Walnut Street Center,  Gene served as an Ex-Officio School Committee Member for 11 years. Gene was also a recipient of an Honorary Academic Degree of Bachelor of Science in Media Arts and Technology from the Massachusetts Communication College. Life Member Knights of Columbus, Post 19 American, Logan Post V.F.W. the Medford Order of the Sons of Italy.

When Register of Deeds, Gene was invited to speak at several computer imaging conferences throughout the United States. Gene is a Veteran, United States Army, Medical Corps.