Combs settles in as Charleston mayor


Jason Howell

Charleston mayor Brandon Combs addresses new students during Convocation on Aug. 21 in Lantz Arena.

Mackenzie Freund, City Editor

After serving the city of Charleston as a businessman and public official for eight years, Mayor Brandon Combs said he wants to bring the Eastern students and the Charleston residents together as a community.

Combs said he feels that the Charleston residents sometimes feel the students of Eastern have a negative impact on the town.

“I personally do not have that mentality,” Combs said. “My wife and I get excited when the students come back because everything is alive again.”

Combs said he wants the students to feel like they are home when they are in Charleston.

“You guys are here for nine months out of a year. This is your home,” Combs said.

Combs said he has heard students say they do not feel welcome in the city and he hopes that mindset will change.

Combs said he wants people to come here knowing this is their town.

Combs said he was telling students during move-in day and convocation to call city hall and talk to him if they had a problem or a concern.

“Don’t feel like you can’t because its ‘uptown’,” Combs said. “This is your town, call me.”

Combs said he remembered talking to people on move-in day and hearing how many parents came to Eastern.

“One of the dads said ‘I love this town, I love this school’, and I want that passion to flow out to everybody,” Combs said.

Combs said he wants Charleston to be known as “the friendly city” again like it was when he was growing up.

“I am very interested to see Charleston grow as well,” Combs said.

Combs said being the mayor is a privilege and he is thankful that he is able to be in this position.

Combs said his wife has been very supportive of him taking up this position.

Combs said being mayor requires more of a time demand compared to when he was a city council member.

Combs said when he was a council member he would get calls and phone calls every so often, but now as mayor he gets many more.

“There could be a morning where I wake up and have 40 emails in my inbox,” Combs said. “As a city council member, maybe two or three a day.”

Combs said he also finds himself at city hall more often now whether or not he is there for his hours.

Combs said another difference is that he gets invited to a lot of different events throughout the city.

“I was going to a lot of stuff in the community anyway,” Combs said. “I’m more involved in those than just showing up to the event.”

Combs said he started serving the city when he started working with the chamber of commerce when he moved back to Charleston after he graduated from Logan College of Chiropractics.

Combs said he got started with the chamber because he wanted to start his own business and he was asked to join the board.

Combs started his chiropractic business in June 2007 and said when he got involved with city council, he made sure to keep that separate from his business.

Combs said he has a lot of support from all of the people he works with, especially when it comes to keeping his business separate from his Mayor position.

“I am very strict with my time,” Combs said. “I want to give my patients 100 percent of Dr. Combs, and when I’m not there I want to give the community 100 percent of Mayor Combs.”


Mackenzie Freund can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected]