Farae Wolfe was recently hired to serve as the city administrator and she said that her main priorities are to improve the city's human resource component and to focus more on youth by implementing programs that will enhance their knowledge about the governmental system.
"I want to bring a little more structure to our human resources component and I want to make sure that we are in compliance," said Wolfe.
"I also plan to incorporate or implement a Mayor's Youth Council in the spring," she added.
According to Wolfe, the program will cater to children in the Cleveland School District in grades 6–12
The children will come together and learn about the governmental process, local municipalities and many other parts of our governmental components.
This will provide children with scholarship and networking opportunities.
"Anything that is left unattended deteriorates. It is so easy to watch the news, read the paper and shake your head about all of the things that children are doing. I just want to know where was the guidance when all of these things were taking place," said Wolfe.
"I think that the most important role that we can play aside from our titles and our jobs is to take an active role in what we say is so valuable to us. I will be calling on several entities for this project," she continued.
Wolfe is a Cleveland native and a 2006 graduate of Delta State University — she received a bachelor of arts degree in marketing with a minor in finance.
After receiving her first degree, she went on to receive a master's degree in management from St. Xavier University in Chicago, Ill.
"My mother, Yvonne Wolfe, graduated from DSU as well but my father, Frederick Brown, graduated from Mississippi State University. I guess I continued my mother's legacy," said Wolfe as she giggled softly.
Wolfe said that before taking the position as city administrator, she worked at Delta State University as an account analyst.
She originally aspired to become a civil or genetic engineer.
Her hopes and dreams of pursing a career in engineering changed after getting some hands on experience in a science lab.
"It was just disgusting! We tested dog food and some of the food from major food chains for things such as ecoli and salmonella," Wolfe added.
She said that her current position as city administrator came as a surprise.
"One day my friend told me to pull up the website for the City of Cleveland and I saw an opening for the position. I really did not want to apply but I went on and applied just to please her," added Wolfe.
"I did not really expect to get the position but I wanted to go on record for at least trying. After the first interview I was called for a second interview but before I could make it back to my office, after the second interview, I received another phone call to notify me that I had gotten the job," she continued.
Wolfe said the board of alderman were so gracious and down to earth during the interview.
"Initially it was kind of intimidating but it was probably one of the best interviews that I have ever had," added Wolfe.
"Whether it is acknowledged or not, the board of alderman really took an unconventional step with this community," she continued.
Not only is she the first female city administrator but she is also the first African American female that the city has had in this position.
"For the board to bring me on is really a testament to the progressive nature of Cleveland. Change is a challenge for everyone and it is just great when you can produce a good idea at the right time – every idea has its time," continued Wolfe.
She expressed strong appreciation for the welcoming nature of the city and the community.
"I love any opportunity to serve and I love in the capacity that I am serving. Of course it does not come without its challenges but it is a great position. I am getting to meet a ton of people that I probably would not have met," said Wolfe.
"I just want everyone to know that I am here and I am accessible. I don’t ever want to have any sort of barriers between myself and the people that I am charged to serve. Cleveland is on the map and we intend to stay there," she continued.
Wolfe said that in her free time she enjoys spending time with her 14-year-old son, Tyler Rivera, baking designer cakes, making hair accessories and traveling.
"I do not have a life. The majority of my time is either spent at work or with my son. Tyler is such a great friend and he is so outgoing," she added.
"I also enjoy watching Scandal and Being Mary Jane – I cannot miss Scandal and one of my favorite movies is Mommy Dearest," continued Wolfe.