North Wilkesboro’s Public Services Department is responsible for the operation, maintenance, and upkeep of the town’s streets, water, and sewage systems. This week we highlight team member, J.C. Brown, a smiling face from the streets department you may have noticed around town helping to keep our streets and sidewalks safe, clean, and attractive.
Brown joined the town’s ranks in 2007, bringing his technical skills and background in construction and maintenance work to the water and sewer department and then streets department. As equipment operator, he tackles streets projects such as paving, patching, sign installation, and landscaping, and continues to assist the sewer and maintenance department on occasion. “Anything that anybody needs,” he says, “we do [it].” Remember those dying trees along C street that flooded every time it rained? J.C. helped to remove their stumps and make way for new landscaping.
He says he looks up to streets department supervisor Mike Shew and is inspired by the team he works with: “I try to look up to all the people I work with [and] I try not to look down on anybody.” For those looking to get involved in public service work, J.C.’s advice is, “if you do the very best you can do, lots of times people will see [that].”
J.C.’s hopes for his future are to make it to his retirement healthy, and to continue spending time with his seven-year-old grandson. “I’ve been trying to teach him some life skills,” he explains. “It's good to have a good education but you need life skills to go with that.”
For the future of the town of North Wilkesboro, he hopes to see continued focus on the parks and recreation system, such as bench swings for families to use in the parks and greater use of the Yadkin River: “[I would love] if they could turn the rivers into a rafting [site].” In addition to the roadways, J.C. and the streets department team are responsible for mowing and controlling erosion within the parks and Yadkin River Greenway.
JC adds an insightful comment on authenticity at the end of our conversation: “Every day I try to be me, J.C., today, yesterday, tomorrow, and nobody else.”