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Brown stresses need for staying informed
Carlene Brown2.jpg
Carlene Brown

Born in the Outer Banks of North Carolina, a career move brought Carlene Brown and her family to McMinnville. 

In fact, Carlene said she was sitting on a bench in front of her condo the very day they moved when a Southern Standard newspaper was delivered to her neighbor. After a quick peek at the front page, she read the headline “Parks and Recreation Director Resigns” with excitement. Carlene applied, got the job and retired 25 years later from the position.

To learn more about District 9 County Commissioner Carlene Brown, check out this week’s snapshot.

Q: Describe yourself. 

A: I went to North Carolina State University. I got my degree in parks and recreation administration so I had a career in that field. I spent 30 years in public recreation and government and eight years in commercial recreation. I’m married to Ronnie and we have a son and two grandchildren. 

Q: What are your hobbies?

A: I love fishing, swimming and outdoor sports like tennis and golf.

Q: What’s your favorite go-to food or meal?

A: Salads, especially the organic and water-grown lettuces, but I love seafood too.

Q: What would you say to encourage more women to get involved in local politics?

A: If that is your goal or interest, the most important thing you need to do is stay involved in your community and educate yourself. Read your newspaper, read articles and stay informed because if you don’t have that information, you can’t make good decisions or educate others.

Q: How long have you been a commissioner? What major decisions have you been a part of?

A: This is my second term so this is my fifth year. The latest one has been supporting and voting for the energy savings project for the school system. That was a large investment with a large return.

Q: What inspired you to run for this position?

A: Having been in city government, I wanted to give back and use my experience. One of the commissioners was stepping down so I thought the time was right.

Q: What committees are you on?

A: I am chairman of the Education Committee and I’m a member of the Budget and Finance Committee.

Q: Do you have any specific goals to share?

A: I would like to see a long-term financial plan that includes a detailed five-year and 10-year capital plan. We have a lot of infrastructure that needs to be repaired and replaced. We have ideas, plans and goals out there, but they don’t have them in a plan yet. I feel like that would give us a financial vision of where we need to grow and make sure these things happen and are done on schedule. I’d also like to see us get more involved in tourism.

Q: What advice would you share with the younger commissioners new to government?

A: I think they should ask a lot of questions and intently listen to the answers and attend as many committee meetings as they can just to stay in the know. You get your packets a week in advance and that gives you time to ask questions and get info if you don’t feel completely informed on it. Never go unprepared at any time to a meeting.

Q: Best way to communicate with you?

A: 931-808-2397 or