Plenty of old-time political heavyweights showed up at Thursday’s board of county commissioners meeting to congratulate Chuck Brown, the latest community leader to get a building named in his honor.
The county’s transportation center and hazardous waste facility east of town on Akers Drive is now known as the El Paso County Charles C “Chuck” Brown Transportation and Environmental Complex.
“I was kind of dumbfounded,” Brown said, describing his reaction when County Administrator Jeff Greene called to let him know the news.
Among those in the audience were former county commissioners Ed Jones, Jim Bensberg, Terry Salt, Loren Wittemore and Terry Harris; former El Paso County sheriff Bernie Barry; former district attorney Bob Russel; and former county administrator Terry Storm.
Brown twice served as a county commissioner, from 1981 to 1985 and 1993 to 2005, where he was known for wanting to spin off the eastern plains of the county amid controversy over new zoning rules.
He also was a Colorado Springs City Councilman from 1975 to 1979 and served on the city’s park and recreation board, the city’s planning commission, the city’s urban renewal board, the Pikes Peak Area Council of Governments and the county’s highway advisory commission.
Brown is credited with the initial concept and development of the Pikes Peak Regional Transportation Authority, a sales tax mechanism to fund local road projects. He also envisioned the county’s transportation center and hazardous waste facility, which now bear his name.
Descriptive phrases like “exemplary public servant” and “Mr. Community” were thrown around.
“Once you made a decision, by golly, you stuck with it and you didn’t waver,” Bensberg said.
Brown also was known for talking to his dog, Shiloh, Jones said.
“I used to get here early, and Chuck would be sitting in the parking lot. I thought he was talking to himself – this was before Bluetooth. But he was talking to his dog,” Jones said.
Brown said he would read the agenda to Shiloh and discuss how he might vote that day.
Two other county buildings are named after former county officials: the courthouse is called the Terry R. Harris Judicial Complex, and the building that currently houses the district attorney’s office at 105 E. Vermijo Ave. is the Robert L. Russel Professional Building.