Brown: ‘Heart of service’

Published 11:01 pm Friday, October 24, 2014

EDITOR’S NOTE: The Suffolk News-Herald has invited candidates for all of the city’s contested offices to submit 400-word columns soliciting the votes of Suffolk citizens on Election Day. A different race will be highlighted on this page each day through Thursday, Oct. 30. All of the candidates were notified of the opportunity at the same time via email, and follow-up telephone calls were made to verify receipt of the emails. Today features the City Council race in the Cypress Borough, which pits incumbent Charles Brown against challengers Leroy Bennett and Clinton Jenkins. Tomorrow’s installment will include columns from candidates for the City Council seat from the Holy Neck Borough.

By Charles Brown

Leading from a heart of service has always been my commitment to the citizens of Suffolk, especially as your councilman from the Cypress Borough for the past 20 years. The Lord has blessed me to be an advocate for my friends and neighbors.

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I read a verse years ago that is my centerpiece. “As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace.” (1 Peter 4:10) When I came to Suffolk over 50 years ago, I had the clothes on my back and a bachelor’s degree in mathematics, without a place to sleep at night. My hard work paid off and I began my career as a teacher at John F. Kennedy High School.

As I worked towards career growth, I became a mathematics instructor for the Newport News Shipbuilding Apprentice School, but never forgot my community and where I came from. I continued to mentor students in their neighborhoods and churches as part of my commitment to see others grow and succeed.

That commitment is the same I hold as your councilman today. Cypress may have grown in population and length, but the citizens still want the same things: words that are turned into action followed by results.

My theme has been “Working for You, Getting Things Done,” because that relates directly to the leadership principles I try my best to embody. There is a distinct difference between saying you want to serve the people and putting those words into action, which is what I have done.

A few highlights of my achievements include:

  • Widening of Nansemond Parkway/Shoulders Hill corridor
  • East Suffolk Recreation Center revitalization
  • AAA Bond rating
  • Railroad quiet zone approved for Suffolk Meadows
  • John F. Kennedy athletic fields
  • New police precinct
  • Cypress pool and Bennett’s Creek Recreation Center
  • Neighborhood infrastructure upgrades

My vision is simple: to encourage positive economic development and job growth so future generations can call Suffolk home, while keeping crime low and our quality of life on a path of continuous improvement.

As our city grows, more opportunities will follow; Suffolk must have a strong voice of reason at the table to work towards that vision.

I ask that you reelect me Nov. 4 to continue to serve the Cypress Borough, so I can put your words into action.