Many leaders in our community are elected officials.
But do you even know who our elected officials are, or what they do? With 24 Warren County Commission members, and seven McMinnville Board of Mayor and Aldermen members, it can be challenging keeping up with local politics that affect your life.
That’s not to mention School Board members and elected officials in Morrison, Viola and Centertown.
With that in mind, here’s a snapshot of McMinnville Alderman Kate Alsbrook.
Q: Briefly describe yourself.
A: I’m a mom and that’s been my most important job over the past three years. I am a member of First United Methodist Church. My husband and I really enjoy kayaking, going to the lake, and live music.
Q: What neighborhood do you live in and where are your favorite places to spend time in our town?
A: I live by the Civic Center and we love the walking trail over at the Civic Center, the greenway at both Riverfront Park and Pepper Branch and our own back yard.
Q: Do you have a political mentor? How did he or she influence you?
A: My dad, Barry Medley. He was a judge for 16 years. I bounce a lot of my ideas off him because he’s been elected before, knows the stresses that it can bring and the kind of positive impact you can have. He’s always advised me to make sure I vote with integrity, transparency and honesty. If it feels right at the end of the day, then it probably is.
Q: For those who don’t know, what does an alderman do?
A: We pass resolutions and ordinances. If you petition the city to do different things like close Main Street, we vote on things like that. We also prepare budgets for each department. I’m the chairman of the Water Department so I’m responsible for being the person in between the department head and the city.
Q: What’s it like being an alderman, best part and worst part?
A: The best part is we have a deep love and concern for this community. The worst part has been overcoming the fear and anxiety. Being a younger female, I am a part of this community that needs to be represented and sharing that perspective and growing my backbone was probably the hardest.
Q: Can you share one of your ideas to better McMinnville?
A: I think continuing our greenway is important. We have such a beautiful feature running straight through downtown and we’ve also got the first two access points – Pepper Branch and Rocket Park. And anything we can do to bring awareness to our rivers and utilize an asset that’s not going to go anywhere is really important.
Q: What’s more important for our city right now: building new commercial space or rehabbing/ expanding/ better utilizing our existing storefronts?
A: I have mixed feelings about it. There are some ideas, for say, the Blue Building – save or demolish it. It would be cheaper to level it than put a new roof on it. I think that having that building raised and taken down would actually open up more for that lot to create another hub for downtown. If you did put the police department, condos or apartment building there, that’s a large acreage that could be utilized to bring people that direction.
Q: If you received a $1 million grant to use for the city of McMinnville any way you wanted, what would you do with it and why?
A: I’d split it up a little bit, but I think I’d use it primarily for the expansion of the greenway.
To get in touch with Alsbrook, call 931-273-4329 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.