The man behind the mayor

Mayor Brian Carlin does a lot more than just running council meetings.

You’ve probably seen him at town council meetings and on Friday nights cheering on the Falcons varsity football team to yet another victory, but how well does Burlington Township really know Mayor Brian Carlin?

It all started when Carlin decided to run for school board. Three years later, he was asked to sit on the town council. Five years after that, he was sworn in as mayor of Burlington Township.

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Since then, Carlin has made it a point to form a relationship with the Burlington Township community.

“We get out and we get into the community. I have the football schedules here because I like to go out. We don’t have a town center, so our meeting and greeting places are our schools and our athletic fields,” Carlin said.

If there’s one thing Burlington Township takes pride in, it’s sports, and the mayor is no exception. Although Carlin can be seen at any sporting event from football to field hockey, his true passion is soccer. He coached both of his sons’ teams through high school and now runs a free Pre-K clinic that teaches young kids how to play the game.

Sports aren’t Burlington Township’s only claim to fame, though. Carlin raved about the high school’s theater program and the town’s very active senior organization.

“I know that if I’m presenting something and [the seniors] are comfortable listening to it, that it’s a viable, acceptable alternative, because they’re the first to call me out when I’m going a little far,” Carlin said.

Carlin is also very proud of Burlington Township’s police force, saying it has become very active in the community. The police department is always making an effort to find out what the community’s expectations are. The mayor explained that, as with all relationships, it’s a work in progress, but it’s something they are absolutely working on.

When he’s not serving as mayor or working as an attorney, Carlin can either be found watching “NCIS” and eating M&Ms or on his couch with his nose in a book. The mayor is quite the bookworm, reading everything from political biographies to what he calls “trash novels.”

Carlin also likes to spend time with his family, and has enjoyed taking up cooking since his kids have grown and left home. His favorite meals are vodka penne and grilled hamburgers, especially in the winter.

“I love a homemade hamburger on the grill, generally around January or February. Because, it’s not something you do. My neighbors will tell you, I do it,” Carlin said.

Carlin’s wife Maureen has been his willing test subject to his new cooking hobby, and he said she’s always very truthful to him.

“God bless her. If there’s one thing about my wife, it’s that I always get an honest answer. I may not like what I hear, but I get an honest, honest opinion,” Carlin said.

Carlin’s wife and children have always been his biggest supporters. Each time he wins an election or takes an oath, he’s always quick to recognize his wife who, interestingly enough, is apolitical.

Carlin says that whenever he starts to get a big head, he knows his wife and kids will always be there, ready to bring him back down to earth again.

As far as what he’s trying to accomplish as mayor, Carlin would love to redevelop the Burlington Center Mall, which has come under new ownership. He also recognizes the township is in need of new roadways and would like to see the water treatment facility be updated in the coming years.

Carlin had nothing but positive things to say about his town council and the community as a whole, saying each council member leaves their ego at the door to do what is best for Burlington Township.

“We have some things that are unique. I expect, as mayor, that when you call a department, that a human being answers the phone. If a department head is asked to call back, department heads call back,” Carlin said.

Carlin enjoys getting out in the community for this very reason — he wants to be approachable and accessible to Burlington Township residents, as he sees the community as the most rewarding part of his job. He says being made mayor of Burlington Township was an absolute honor.

“The spirit of volunteership, the number of volunteers we have, the community mindedness and the community spirit from the oldest senior citizen to our youngest resident is fantastic,” He said. “It’s the people, it’s the atmosphere, it’s just this town. It’s really the most rewarding part of what we do.”

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