06/12/06 — Mount Olive manager will stay the course

View Archive

Mount Olive manager will stay the course

By Turner Walston
Published in News on June 12, 2006 1:47 PM

MOUNT OLIVE -- The new Mount Olive town manager says he is not planning to shake up Town Hall.

Charles Brown said he plans to simply stay the course set by former town manager Ray McDonald.

Brown took over for McDonald last month. McDonald retired after seven years of directing the town government.

"My mission is to attempt to continue to build on the foundation that's here. Mount Olive really is in pretty good shape," Brown said.

Brown said the transition has been smooth. He started work in February, training with McDonald to learn the ins and outs of the town's various departments and agencies.

"Everyone has been very helpful and very open from day one," Brown said. "There wasn't a transition shock."

There was, however, a lot of work to do.

"We're staying very busy," Brown said. There's a lot of projects to keep tabs on."

Ideally, Brown said he will be able to help the town board capitalize on the momentum is has developed in recent years.

"I'm going to attempt to continue the positive direction I think Mount Olive is headed right now," Brown said. "We're in a very good position. We've got a lot that is already happening right now or getting ready to happen. I just plan is to use the structure and the foundation that we have to move forward with the challenges that we've got ahead of us."

Town officials hope to save money by using town labor and equipment to complete projects, like on the stormwater drainage system.

"Obviously they'll be projects that we can't handle," he said. "But if we've got the personnel and equipment to do a job, it's foolish to go outside."

One way to help Mount Olive grow is by working with Mount Olive College, Brown noted.

"I would like to see more interaction between the college and the town, just because they support each other. I think probably some new facilities will encourage certainly more interaction between the citizens of Mount Olive and the college. I think the college and the town have a lot to offer each other," Brown said.

The Small Town Main Street Committee and Mount Olive Chamber of Commerce are planning a 'Welcome Back' celebration for Mount Olive College students.

"To make the new students and returning students more aware of downtown Mount Olive," Brown said.

Brown brings his own hopes for Mount Olive to the town manager position.

"We would like to see a little bit more to offer in terms of restaurants in the downtown area," he said. "That would a long way to help with the revitalization of downtown."

Brown said projects being undertaken by groups like small Town Main Street and the chamber will help encourage such growth.

"I just want to be sure that continues," he said.

A native of Iredell County, Brown moved here from Raleigh in 2003. His wife, the former Joy Lee, is the daughter of a former town commissioner. The Browns own Southern Furniture & Interiors in downtown Mount Olive.