Council seat could go to BU professor
Tony Brown is excited about Baldwin's future.
"I see all the potential for really good things to happen in Baldwin," he said. "I think we're making decisions that not only affect the quality of life for this generation, but certainly the next generation as well."
The opportunity to make some of those decisions is what has Brown excited about the chance to serve on the Baldwin City Council.
The 42-year-old Baker University associate professor of psychology is expected to take Council Member Todd Cohen's seat at the Feb. 16 meeting. Cohen officially announced at Monday's meeting that he is resigning from council after one year of his four-year term because he will be moving from Baldwin.
Following Cohen's announcement, Mayor Ken Hayes said he recommended Brown fulfill the remainder of Cohen's term. The council will vote on the recommendation at the next meeting, and, if approved, Brown will be Baldwin's newest council member.
Though he has not had a lot of city government experience, Brown said he is excited about his chance to help make decisions that will affect Baldwin's future.
"This, I think, is a really wonderful opportunity," he said. "I see it as a great opportunity to serve the city of Baldwin.
"I really do see it as a great opportunity to have a hand in changes that have very long-lasting effects."
He thinks the fact he is a psychology professor will help in the position.
"I don't have a lot of experience, but I think I'm good at analyzing issues and reflecting on them from a lot of different angles," he said. "I think my professional training will benefit."
Brown has taught at Baker for 14 years, and lived in Baldwin for 10 years with his wife, Becky Henderson, and their third-grade daughter, Halley Henderson.
Though he's from much larger Evansville, Ind., his parents are from Southern Illinois, where smaller towns thrive.
"From my family background, I have the small-town familiarity," he said.
He originally hadn't considered living in a town as small as Baldwin.
"But now that I'm here, I think how could I not live in a small town like Baldwin," he said. "I feel very comfortable here. I can't imagine living any place else."
Brown, who has been a member of the city planning commission since May, said there are some issues he would like to see the city pursue including children's issues and their parks, schools and safety issues.
"Children are one of the sets of people in our culture that tend to be under represented," he said.
He also wants to look at Baldwin's overall quality of life and how it manages its growth.
"Some people see growth as a negative thing," he said. "But I think it's great that people want to live in our community and move here."
He said he wants to make sure Baldwin manages its money well in making its decisions, but also looks to the future and is progressive on social issues.
"Part of what city council members have to do is have a vision and see where we can go," he said.