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Colorful Mayor Brown Served His City Well

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who died yesterday af ter a s long illness, was i ly Ann Arbor's most colorful i mayor and certainly one of t the most successful in terms 1 of lasting achievements. Brown served from 1945 to 1957, when he was defeated by Democratie Mayor Samuel J. Eldersveld. He vas best known, and through him Ann Arbor was best known in municipal government, as the prime mover in the municipal parking field. The Miami Herald in 1955 called him "probably the leading authority on offstreet parking" in the country. One of Mayor Brown's proudest moments was at the dedication of the Washington St. parking structure on May 27, 1947. It was the I first municipally owned I parking structure in the U.S. Í In later years he was to 1 particípate in the dedication I of other parking buildings, I as the city and University of I Michigan maintained leaderI ship in the field of publicI owned parking facilities. His I last major public appearI anee carne at the opening of I the enlarged Maynard St. I parking structure two years Brown always boasted that [ all of the city's off-street I parking facilities were proI vided at no expense to the I taxpayer. He insisted that I parking rates and regulations protect the bonds that I f inanced them and his knowlI edge of municipal parking I led to requests for his advice I from ei t i e s all over the I country. He promoted a strong land I annexation program for the I city in the years after World j War II, when some cities were floundering in I sion. He pushed for research I industry for the city, viewing I it as a" natural corollary to I the research going on at the I University of Michigan. NOT ALL of the mayor's I projects were successful. He I struck out on a joint I county building plan. He I was a leader in a toll-road I movement in Michigan, but I the state ended up going the I freeway route. He foresaw the defeat of a major civic I center bonding program in I 1956 and tried I ly on the eve of the election I to get the City Councü to I pledge a spending ceiling. Mayor Brown helped bring I Guy Larcom here as the I city's first and only I trator under a new charter, I with which the mayor never fully agreed. He was never I reconciled to the loss of 1 ens of experts from the 1 versity f aculty who had I served the city without pay I as members of boards and commissions under the old I charter. The mayor himself I believed strongly in civic I vice and spent freely from I his own substantial funds on I trips and projects in behalf I of the community. His more than two decades on the Selective Service! Board was only one of many I i civic contributions. Bill Brown was bluff,! ■ hearty, plain-spoken. He 1 t er backed away from a fight, I - and, to our knowledge, nev- l er accused a newsman of I ; misquoting him. Ann Arbor was fortúnate I to have him at the helm 1 ï ing those early post-warl b years when strong 1 i ship was a great asset to 1 panding cities. J