Gallatin Mayor Paige Brown was named the 2021 Mayor of the Year by the Tennessee Municipal League at their 81st Annual Conference in Chattanooga.
Each year since 1954, the Tennessee Municipal League has honored a city mayor that typifies the attributes of intelligence, effectiveness, hard work, dedication, and sacrifice. To honor her service to her community as a leader who can take on big challenges, keep up community momentum, and build assets and amenities that keep her city unique, TML is proud to announce Gallatin Mayor Paige Brown has been selected as the 2021 Mayor of the Year.
In her second term as mayor of Gallatin, Brown has helped her city navigate the impact of important national conversations and issues while still maintaining Gallatin’s reputation as the “Nicest Place in America,” a title bestowed by Readers’ Digest in 2017.
Under Brown’s leadership the city has also opened one of its newest parks and recreation facilities. This past year, officials with the city of Gallatin gathered to cut the ribbon on the $2 million Gallatin Miracle Park complex, a $2 million facility on nearly six acres that features the largest facility of ADA-compliant recreational amenities in the state. Featuring a 27,000-foot-playground, Miracle League field, and pedal park, the park project is not only beloved by those in and outside the community but a source of pride for city employees.
The rapid growth Gallatin has seen has led to some concern over land preservation and under Brown’s leadership, the city has purchased nearly 70 acres of land to remain green spaces. Brown has supported beautifying the city with plants that support pollinator populations and helped create pollinator sites around the city.
When the local “flower lady” had to move flowers from a once vacant piece of land that was being paved, Brown was out with her personal tiller to help her move the flowers into other areas around the city, spreading beauty around the community. Brown also spearheads the Gallatin Beautiful committee that recognizes businesses that beautify their properties and organizers cleanups in the community.
Reaching out to senior citizens in Gallatin, Brown coordinated the Gallatin Senior Roundtable to evaluable and meet needs of the community as well as aided the city in the process of becoming a member of the AARP Livable City Initiative. The city is working with AARP to develop action plans that will lead to safe, walkable streets; age-friendly housing and transportation options, and ways to involve seniors in services and community events.
One city employee described Brown as, “Country enough to shoot guns, drive her beat-up Jeep with knobby wheels, and climb a tree yet savvy enough to balance the city’s budget and manage one of the fastest growing cities in Tennessee.”
Brown works closely with city employees and other elected officials to make sure all facets of the city are working together for the same goal. Willing to listen, understand, and learn, Brown remains approachable and friendly while still being professional and willing to stand her ground and make tough decisions when they are needed. Under her leadership, the city of Gallatin has seen major economic investments even as economic times remain uncertain on the national level.
Brown has also overseen important national conservations in her community, including those surrounding race relations. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Brown began weekly live updates with members of the community about the pandemic to keep residents informed with information from local hospitals, businesses, and emergency services. She also helped with community efforts to support local businesses and help residents who needed assistance amid quarantines and stay-at-home orders.
In addition to serving as Gallatin’s mayor, Brown serves as president of the Greater Nashville Regional Council (GNRC), chair of the Tennessee Local Government Planning Advisory Committee, the vice chair of the Regional Transit Authority (RTA), on the executive committee of the Middle Tennessee Mayors Caucus, on the board of the Nashville Area Transportation Policy Board (MPO), on the board of the Tennessee Municipal League (TML), the Tennessee Local Development Authority, and Sumner County Anti-Drug Coalition.
Brown has served as mayor of Gallatin since 2014, and served as executive director of the Gallatin Area Chamber of Commerce for eight years prior to her election. A graduate of Florida State University, she worked as a news reporter and anchor for several years in Florida before returning to Tennessee where she worked for several shows on TNN and News Channel 5. She also worked as a writer, producer, and talent for corporate, nonprofit, and independent clients.