Franklin County Commissioner Marilyn Brown announced this morning that she would be retiring from county government after more than 14 years as a commissioner.
“As your county commissioner, I have always focused on serving the residents and families of Franklin County,” Brown said. “But as the last year has made apparent, time spent with our families is both precious and fleeting, and while public service will always remain my passion, it is time to step aside to focus on being there for my family.”
Calling her time on the board “the honor of a lifetime,” Brown thanked the voters of Franklin County for electing her four times. “I was honored and humbled by the voters’ confidence and hope I lived up to their expectations,” she said.
While a member of the Board of Commissioners, Brown has championed children’s education and safety, workers’ rights and livable wages, racial and gender equity, domestic violence prevention, women’s reproductive health and freedoms, LGBTQ+ rights and marriage equality, housing stability for every family, and restorative justice for people impacted by the criminal justice system.
“Under Marilyn’s leadership, Franklin County became a nationally recognized leader in smart justice and assisting ex-offenders rebuilding full lives,” said Board of Commissioners President Kevin L. Boyce. “Her innovative work in changing the narrative around how we treat those transitioning from incarceration will carry forward through the Franklin County Office of Justice Policy and Programs, which works every day to restore families, one resident at a time.”
Calling her a responsible steward of public finances, Commissioner John O’Grady said, “Marilyn has helped to establish Franklin County as one of America’s best-managed counties, ensuring that essential services were always available for residents in need. She has also had a lifelong passion for the arts, and with her leadership, we’ve been able to ensure a stable source of funding for the Central Ohio arts and culture community. Her unwavering commitment to safeguarding our cultural heritage will continue to benefit every resident of this community and inspire the next generation of Franklin County artists to create, build, and dream.”
As commissioner, Brown served the residents of Franklin County in a variety of roles, including Board Chair at the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission, Board Chair of the Franklin County Criminal Justice Planning Board, Vice Chair for the Justice and Public Safety Committee at the County Commissioners Association of Ohio, and on the boards of One Columbus, CAPA, and the Future Ready Columbus Early Childhood Advisory Council.
In announcing her retirement, Commissioner Brown pointed to her commitment to upholding fundamental human rights and equality for all. She said that commitment comes largely from her family’s Jewish tradition of Tikkun Olam or “repairing the world”.
“I’ve carried that tradition with me as I worked on behalf of every resident of Franklin County, and I hope I have left our community a better place after my years of service,” said Brown. “I will miss my fellow commissioners and the dedicated staff who work diligently for the county and our residents. But most of all, I will miss serving the residents of our county as we move toward making our community stronger, safer, and more inclusive.”
Commissioner Brown was most recently reelected in 2018. She will serve through the end of this week, with her retirement becoming effective at the end of the day on Friday, May 14th. State law provides for the remaining two commissioners to appoint a replacement commissioner to serve for up to 45 days. Within that time, the departing commissioner’s political party appoints a replacement to serve out the remainder of the term.
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