By a unanimous vote Wednesday, the Doña Ana County Board of Commissioners authorized Commission Chairman Billy G. Garrett to finalize a contract with Julia T. Brown, Esq., to bring her on board as Doña Ana County’s newest county manager, effective Dec. 1. Brown’s two-year contract will pay her $130,000 a year.
Brown will replace Interim Doña Ana County Manager M. Sue Padilla, who announced her retirement earlier this year.
Brown and Interim Assistant Doña Ana County Manager Chuck B. McMahon were the finalists for the top job, and the Commission voted unanimously to seek Brown’s agreement on retaining McMahon in his current position.
Brown comes to the manager’s job from the Doña Ana County Sheriff's Office, where she is a grants assistant, monitoring compliance with law-enforcement, education and training grants. She took that job on Aug. 25 of this year.
Brown has a wealth of experience in both the public and private sectors. In addition to being a licensed attorney who graduated from the University of Oklahoma College of Law, she is a former project manager and executive assistant to the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Economic Development in Washington, D.C., the former director of the City of Oakland, California’s Redevelopment Agency, the former community affairs and compliance officer for the Western Region of the U.S. Comptroller of the Currency and a former community reinvestment act officer for Charles Schwab Bank, headquartered in Reno, Nev.
Garrett praised both Brown and McMahon as strong candidates and predicted that their collective leadership of Doña Ana County will bring positive change and enhanced transparency and efficiencies to the organization as a whole.
As manager, Brown will be the sole direct-report employee of the Doña Ana County Board of Commissioners, and she will oversee approximately 850 employees and will interact and coordinate budgetary support for the five elected officials who operate independent departments within the government: County Assessor Andy Segovia, County Clerk Lynn Ellins, County Probate Judge Alice Salcido, County Sheriff Todd Garrison and County Treasurer David Gutierrez.
She is the recipient of numerous awards and honors related to her work experience in both California and Oklahoma, and she maintains professional affiliations with nearly a dozen state and national organizations. She also has served on the boards of directors of Operation Hope, the Opportunity Fund, Equal Rights Advocates and the American Association of University Women, of which she is the current Vice President.
Brown’s undergraduate degree in political science was earned at Oklahoma State University.
Brown will hold a press conference for regional media in early December to lay out her management plan and expectations for her first 90 days on the job. She also will answer questions at that time.