New town staffer wears several hats

Photo By Madeline Hughes
Aaron Brown

About a month into his job Charlotte’s new zoning administrator Aaron Brown has “started right on the ball,” said Dean Bloch, Charlotte town administrator.

Brown now serves as the zoning administrator, E-911 coordinator, sewage control officer and public health officer.

Wearing all four hats, Brown says he is “here to help walk people through the processes.”

He understands that the legal jargon around different processes are often hard for people to understand, and he wants to help develop some easy guides for helping people.

Brown said he has always wanted to work in municipal government since he was a “nerdy student who was part of his county youth leadership program” when he was in high school in Darling, S.C.

Charlotte is the first municipality he has worked.

“It’s been fun and interesting translating technical- sounding documents – even though some of these systems are basic home systems – into clear language for permits,” Brown said. “In the realm of zoning, I’ve looked at simple additions people are putting on their houses to (no formal proposals yet) ideas about subdivisions.”

As for Brown’s public health officer position, Brown said he hopes he “never [has] to do anything in this capacity.”

Should a dog bite someone, or if there is a violation in rental housing, Brown said he is there to help get to the bottom of the issue.

This summer, Brown said he will work with town beach staff to keep an eye on water quality and issue warnings should blue-green algae blooms in Lake Champlain become a concern.

Growing up in South Carolina, Brown migrated north to earn a master’s degree in environmental law and policy from Vermont Law School in 2007. Brown previously obtained a master’s in history from Ohio State University and a bachelor’s in history from Sewanee: The University of the South in Sewanee, Tenn.

He decided to stay in Vermont because he “hasn’t found a compelling reason to leave.”

In his spare time Brown enjoys getting outdoors, backcountry snowshoeing and hiking.

Between earning his environmental degree and taking the post in Charlotte, Brown has worked as an adjunct professor at Green Mountain College in Poultney. He consulted for nonprofits on fundraising and strategic planning. He also worked as a transportation manager for Vital Communities in White River Junction, a regional nonprofit that partners with municipalities and community organizations.

A little over a year ago he moved to New Haven to be with his partner and her children. The new role in Charlotte was a good opportunity.

Bloch said Brown was chosen for his interest in the town. The Selectboard approved hiring Brown 5-0 on Feb. 26 for a full-time salary of $42,949.

“I encourage people to come by and say hi to him,” Bloch said.

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