Brown era begins

Adam Brown arrived in Keizer this week to take over for Wes Hare as the city’s new chief executive. The former Ontario, Ore. city manager said he’s all about collaboration and building teamwork.

“Building relationships is number one,” he said. “Then assessing where the organization is at and helping to build up a team environment.”

Brown managed Ontario since June of 2016, having served as a deputy county administrator in Michigan prior to that. He holds a bachelors and masters degree in public administration from Virginia Tech and was described by Mayor Cathy Clark during his selection process as “a proven local government professional with a strong reputation for integrity, competence and achieving results through teamwork.”  

A former colleague of Brown agrees. “Adam does not speak loudly but his words carry a lot of weight,” Ontario City Councilor Michael Braden told the Argus Observer in February.

“I’m a builder – I like to create stuff,” said Brown. “I really love team environments and collaboration — getting people in the organizations and institutions in the community to be on the same path, so we can have a collective impact, and Keizer is on a good trajectory.”

Brown describes himself as a Navy brat, and like most children in military families, he moved around quite a bit while growing up.

“My dad was enlisted for seven years and was a reservist for 30,” he said.

Brown’s father, who still lives in Ontario, spent most of his Department of Defense career helping develop the Aegis missile cruiser, and they lived in New Jersey, California, Mississippi and Virginia. Brown’s own family includes six children, three that still live at home.

“We have a senior, a sophomore and a sixth-grader,” he said. “This is the first time we won’t have a kid in elementary school.”

Brown said after six years in Ontario, his family is looking forward to living in what he called “the green part of the state.” He’s still looking for a home that meets his family’s needs in Keizer.

When it comes to hobbies, Brown says he’s got too many.

“I used to do beekeeping and run marathons,” he said. “Recently my son got me a game called Magic the Gathering, and while we were playing I noticed everyone had these play-mats that they use to play on, so I decided to make a leather one for myself and everyone thought it was great. Now I have an Etsy shop and I make enough from one hobby to pay for the other.”

Brown spent the week meeting with council members and leaders in the community, and will be formally introduced at the city council meeting on May 2.