Three at-large seats are open on the Killeen City Council for the upcoming Nov. 3 election, which was rescheduled from May 2 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Mellisa Brown is running for one such seat. A caretaker by trade and community advocate, she stresses the need to “maximum citizen engagement.”
Name: Mellisa Brown
What neighborhood do you live in?
What was your upbringing and what brought you to the Killeen area? What is your education level?
I am the oldest of four girls. I was raised in Upstate New York. My family moved frequently. By the time I was in 6th grade I attended 9 schools. That’s what happens when you live in poverty. I was in foster care twice and aged out at 19 when I left Syracuse University to get married. Eventually, my husband was stationed to Fort Hood and we decided to make Killeen our home. I have a Bachelor’s in Business Administration and Legal Studies.
What do you do for a living and how did you get into the field you are in? If you are retired, what did you do?
I am currently a caretaker and community advocate. I was the Marketing Director for a retirement community in Temple, I have been an Admissions Manager for multiple colleges, and I owned an insurance agency. I have been fortunate to have positions that allow me to have a positive impact on the lives of others.
Have you run or served for a public office before? What office was it, and what was the outcome of the election? Why did you decide to run for a seat on the Killeen City Council?
I have ran for Killeen City Council twice before. I did not earn a seat, but I haven’t let that stop me from engaging in the community and with the City Council. I am currently a Board Member of the Senior Advisory Board. I am the COO of Guardian Overwatch, Inc. I am also belong to numerous other community organizations and work independently to help our community as a whole.
If elected, what will be your priorities as a council member?
We need to maximize citizen engagement and make sure the Council is accessible and approachable to the public. The City needs to change its attention from immediate satisfaction to thinking about the long term effects of the decisions being made. We need to take care of what we have before putting money into new projects that only benefit housing development and we need to bring in companies that will benefit the City: financially (pay and revenue), for jobs that fit our skills, and that will provide entertainment for all ages. When we meet necessities, safety will improve.
What do you want voters to know about you on a personal level?
I’m passionate about what I do because I care about our community. I have a difficult time with the word “can’t”, especially when it is regarding something that will benefit the community (ex. We can’t get services until we have more tax revenue). Until I am satisfied that every available option has been tried it is either a “won’t” or “not yet”. If there is no current way to make something happen, the next step is to start making the changes needed so it can happen.
What are your qualifications for this position?
I’m active and involved in the community and I follow the City Council activity closely. I am ready to get to work and am informed from day 1. I don’t need a learning curve or time to catch up. I have followed and reviewed the City budget for years. I know where we can adjust spending to meet needs. I know where the City’s strengths are and where we have room for improvement.