New Troutdale councilor says he's 'hooked' after one meeting
Full of aspirations, Corey Brooks believes the key to service is simple: make the best choice for the most people.
Brooks, 35, was recently appointed to the Troutdale City Council, filling the position of Eric Anderson who resigned with eight months left in his term.
The list of applicants to replace Anderson was long and filled with relatively well-known Troutdale residents. But with the hope of lessening discord, the council appointed Brooks, who had lived in Troutdale for just more than a year.
After just one council meeting, Brooks says hes hooked.
Get your foot in there, do your best and see if its for you, he said in an interview with The Outlook. I have to be honest, I love it.
Its about serving. If you can get past everything else and put your focus on the people and the needs and wants of them it doesnt matter. Focus on the people, do the right thing and everything will work out. Thats my firm belief.
An Eagle Point native, Brooks started in service early.
I signed up (for the Marine Corp) at 17 with my moms signature, he said.
He left the Marines in 2003 and went into sales, for a time working with mortgages when the market crashed in 2008. By 2010 he had moved to the Portland area and met his wife.
I joined the National Guard in 2012, I just did a year there to really see if the military was still for me, he said. I learned it wasnt. When youre back as a civilian for nine years, its a totally different world. Its tough going back.
Brooks is now a vice president of client services for Webfor, a digital marketing agency in Vancouver. Brooks said he soon became involved in community service. First, it was the city of Greshams citizen advisory committee. Brooks and his family moved to Troutdale and he joined another committee.
I was able to get on the Parks Advisory Committee, just little over year ago, he said. Then I obviously heard about Councilor Andersons resignation. Ive always wanted to go in that direction. It was just a perfect opportunity for me without really running right now, knowing I will have to run.
Brooks is not worried that other council members hope he can help unify the group.
Making the right decision when you know its the right decision should be easy, he said. Its thinking about the decision that youre making and basing all the decisions youre making on facts.
Heading into the budget season, Brooks acknowledged he has a steep learning curve, but intends to approach it the same way he plans to approach other issues.
Its doing the research in advance with the materials that are given. Then ask questions, he said. Sometimes we forget to do that. Its not about one side or the other, its about asking the right question.
With a few weeks under his belt, Brooks said he has some ideas for Troutdale.
I truly do want to see more youth involvement. I think sometimes we forget about that in regard to youth and them coming up, Brooks said. Theyre our future. I would love for them to be able to understand how the government works. Gresham has a youth advisory committee, it was a fantastic thing. I would love to see something like that in Troutdale.
Improving the citys website and social media presence is also important to Brooks. Being able to access city information and improving communication with the community is vital, he said.
A proponent of livability and responsible growth, he added he wants the community to know he cares.
I care about the community, because for lack of better words, we chose to buy a home there, Brooks said. Its not something I take lightly.