Special to The Gardner News
Mike Brown was sworn in as Johnson County Commissioner, District 6, on Jan. 9, 2017. The Sixth District includes the communities of Gardner, Edgerton, De Soto and western portions of Olathe.
Brown has lived in Kansas his whole life. His family lived in Bonner Springs during his childhood until 1985, when they moved to Shawnee. In 1987, he graduated from Shawnee Mission Northwest High School and later attended Johnson County Community College and Kansas State University.
Brown is general managing partner of Brown Midwest – a residential development, construction and real estate business founded in 1996.
“I’ve been in the construction business my entire adult life,” said Brown.
He grew up around the construction business too.
“I’m a third generation builder, and second generation land developer,” he added.
Brown has served on a number of boards and committees over the years, including: Johnson County’s Park and Recreation board, Kansas Workforce Development Board (KansasWorks), Kansas City Area Development Council, and the National Association of Homebuilders.
He was elected to the Builder’s Hall of Fame of the Homebuilder’s Association of Greater Kansas City (KCHBA) in 2012 and received 13 “Parade of Homes” honors in nine years.
Brown lives in Olathe with his wife Kristi, and has five children, each two years apart in age, at 13, 15, 17, 19, and 21.
When Brown is out and about in the district, he’s usually driving his 12 year old Chevy Suburban that has 272,000 miles on it. He’s proud of that truck.
“When things are taken care of and maintained they’ll last almost forever,” he said.
Brown attended a recent Gardner city council meeting to introduce himself. He gave members his contact information and told them he wanted to be their voice at the county.
At that meeting he said he looked at Gardner as a hometown. Asked to expand on that, Brown said, “I very much look at the cities I represent as my hometown, and I want what they want. If I know what Edgerton and Gardner and Desoto and Olathe need, I have that in mind – ‘What’s good for them, what do they need and how can I help them?’ – when we’re making decisions at commission meetings. “
Brown says during his term as commissioner, he wants to be frugal with taxpayer dollars and look for tax reduction when possible. He believes economic development projects are key to maintaining quality of life for Johnson County residents.
He says that by bringing more businesses here, we create more jobs, more tax revenue and expand the tax base.
“That is the ticket to holding up our end of the bargain, passing Johnson County on to the next generation and the one beyond that. We can maintain the quality of life we have now and improve on it, and have a stable tax base for 50 years easily. It requires economic development to do that. Somebody, or a group of somebody’s, have to keep pushing that agenda… and I am one of those somebody’s,” Brown said.
Brown takes office as Jo Co commissioner