Mayor Laura White-Brown recently sat down with Kentucky City, a publication of the Kentucky League of Cities. Below is her interview.
How long have you been mayor and what was your path to getting there?
I have been the mayor for the City of Morehead since January 2019. Since I was very young the idea of being a public servant has always been appealing. Being born and raised in Morehead has taught me about the importance of giving back to the community that helped raise me and where I am now raising children of my own.
Have you held any other public office before?
What led you to run for public office?
As a mother, wife and a full-time employee at a local business, timing was the biggest question when deciding to run for office. I was five months pregnant when I filed to run for office. I wanted to show my children and women everywhere that being a mother does not mean you can’t achieve the same as anyone else. Running for office taught me and my family patience and perseverance. Being busy isn’t a bad thing. My family and I enjoy being busy. We find being busy keeps us very involved in the community.
What’s the best thing about being mayor?
The best thing that I have experienced being mayor so far is getting to know the people behind the day-to-day operations. City employees take so much pride in their work. It is very rewarding to see progression and accomplishment both inter-nally and externally. These employees truly care about their community.
Anything unique about a university town?
Living in a university town creates a unique scenario. Morehead is a regional hub to surrounding communities because we have a university, regional medical center and a community and technical college. There is a greater effort and sense of communication because all entities need to be aware of what the other is doing. All these organizations affect our emergency services as well as day-to-day operations.
What’s your work or personal background?
I started my career with the University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service, where I was a family and consumer sciences agent. I left the university to work for my family’s lum-ber business, where I was the international sales and export coordinator. Working for a family business specifically focusing on an interna-tional market gave me the opportunity to travel across the world and bring back a new cultural perspective to share in the community.
Who inspires you and why?
I am inspired by many people in this world. Any person who puts themselves in the politi-cal arena inspires me because it is no small task to put yourself in front of the public. I have multiple personal heroes. My children and husband are my heroes because they continue to support me on this journey of serving as an elected official. I came to know a person during the campaign cycle that told me I gave them faith in our community again. That was a bold statement that stuck with me. To meet people who I have never interacted with [who] believe in me and provide support [to] me inspires me beyond measure. Being an elected official can seem like your wheels are spinning, but there are days when you get to see good, genuine things happen, and that makes this job worth every second of time it takes.
Where do you hope to see Morehead in five years, 10 years, etc.?
In the next five years Morehead is one of the only communities in eastern Kentucky pro-jected to grow. I hope that brings additional housing, economic development, increased retail and schools to our area.
What’s a little-known fact about you that people may be surprised to find out?
I like to take on challenges that push me. I am a marathon runner, completing a 26.2-mile race. Running gives me peace of mind and also teach-es me how to accomplish and achieve goals set in front of me. I am also a mother of two young children, ages 4 and 1
You can find this interview in the Fall 2019 publication of KentuckyCity.