Behind the List with John Brown, Northampton County Executive

Foster growth, enhance quality of life

The economy of the Greater Lehigh Valley is one of the strongest in the nation.

With many major projects already developed and more in the pipeline, growth is expected to continue behind local decision makers and government leaders.

Having a strong leader at the forefront of any business or organization is imperative to success. John Brown, Northampton County executive, is in his second year of a four-year term, and he expects to see a continued resurgence in the county and beyond.

Brown is featured in this week’s “Behind the List” to talk about his role as county executive and what he expects for Northampton County.

Lehigh Valley Business: How long have you been the Northampton County executive and what are your primary duties and responsibilities in this role?

John Brown: I took office in January 2014. I am just starting the second year of a four-year term.

As county executive, I am the chief executive officer and administrative official of the county.

My core responsibilities are to oversee the day-to-day operations, prepare the annual financial budget and execute all of the county’s ordinances.

I oversee the departments of Administration, Human Resources, Fiscal Affairs, Community and Economic Development, Court Services, Human Services, Public Works, Corrections, Sheriff, Coroner, Emergency Management Services, Office of the Public Defender and Office of the Solicitor.

LVB: What have been some of the biggest hardships and opportunities that you’ve encountered in the years that you’ve been county executive?

Brown: Coming into office, I knew the finances of the county were in dire straits. The general fund, which had a balance of $68 million in 2008, had been depleted to $11.1 million by January 2014 due to years of habitual overspending. If this pattern was not interrupted, the county would not have sufficient money to meet its operating needs going forward.

Christopher Holland
Christopher Holland is a researcher for Lehigh Valley Business and blogs on arts and entertainment in the region.

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