Infrastructure, cleanliness of city on the mind of Brown

Sep. 19, 2013 @ 04:45 PM

When Vernon Brown visited the recreation department responding to a newspaper clipping asking for volunteers to coach, he was instead asked to referee.

Brown just wanted to help. He’s been calling games ever since, including throughout a 32-year career with the Vance County Department of Social Services. He retired in 2012.

Brown’s desire to serve continues in his quest to keep his Ward 4 seat on the Henderson City Council. Early voting started Thursday. Election Day is Tuesday, Oct. 8.

Brown spoke of several accomplishments while in office, including the current effort to improve infrastructure.

“We got to get our infrastructure straight, water and sewer,” Brown said. “I’m big on a clean city. I just think we need to do a little bit better job of keeping this city clean.

Maybe somehow, the whole county. That’s one of my itches right now.”

Brown said he was proud of his vote during budget sessions, helping complete the rail crossing at Rockspring and Garnett streets and his work with Pinkston Street Elementary when he was president of the Parent Teacher Association.

“When I left, we had a new addition to that school,” Brown said. “We were changed from worst to exemplary. I could have taken my child out of that school. I’m proud of changing that around.”

Brown is a 1973 graduate of Vance Senior High, and a 1979 graduate of Shaw University. He honored as a “Vance County Local Black Hero” by Young Memorial United Holy Church in February of last year.

As a gardener, he describes great joy from the first seed to the last harvest. And he says Henderson has need for seeds.

“We have to not have a city that is lost in time,” Brown said. “If everybody else around us is doing things to be modern and come into the 21st century with information that everybody seems to know about, and we’re getting that same information and we’re choosing not to move forward, and we’re choosing to stay still or take a step back, I’m totally 100 percent against that.

“A healthy city and healthy people make better cities and better people.”

Brown describes himself as an ordinary person with extraordinary gifts.

“Because I recognize my gifts, I just want to give back to my community, to my town, to my county,” Brown said. “What I bring is the ability to reason without anger, to be effective without being noticed, without being seen. This ain’t about glory to me. This is about helping a town that desperately needs help by some strong people.”


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