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William Brammell, an attorney from New Castle, serves as a city attorney for Simpsonville and Pleasureville in Shelby County as well as Eminence, Smithfield and Campbellsburg. A 1973 graduate of Transylvania, Brammell also graduated in 1980 from the University of Louisville School of Law. He first served Simpsonville as the attorney for the city’s sewer commission, but that entity in 2012 was folded into the general city budget, he was retained to assist and support City Attorney Hite Hays. Brammell sat down with Brad Bowman of Landmark Newspapers and discussed his various roles.
BRAD BOWMAN: Why did you major in business and later go into law?
WLLIAM BRAMMELL:I was a business major with a minor in history. I always loved history, but I couldn’t find a way of really turning my enjoyment of history into the kind of profession I wanted to have. But I enjoyed studying it. I thought a business background would keep my options open in a number of areas. It was just good basic information that would allow me to go into a variety of different directions. At one time, I considered getting a master’s in business and going into some type corporate field, but law just seemed more attractive to me. At one time, I thought I really enjoyed the debate, the argument. I knew that attorneys had the opportunity to do that, but I also thought that attorneys had an opportunity to be beneficial, help people, to help their communities. The background gave them a platform from where they could do good things.
BOWMAN: What do you do for fun?
BRAMMELL:I enjoy doing things with my family. My wife and I enjoy hiking, biking, reading and traveling. We plan vacations to go places to hike and also locally. There are so many good opportunities for hiking right around here. We go to Bernheim Forest. We go to Salato, which is the old game farm there in Frankfort. There is Jeffersonville Memorial Forest. At least once a year, we plan a weekend getaway at a state park. In fact, we have one coming up in a few weeks at Pine Mountain State Park. There is some virgin forests you can hike down there by appointment and we are going to do that. We’ve hiked in Kentucky, Indiana, the Shenandoah Valley, in New York and Colorado. We just love to hike. I read mostly on the weekends. I will get an interest and read it for a while and go to something else I enjoy historical fiction. Ken Follett is my favorite author. I’ve read everything that he has ever written. In this past year, I’ve read a lot World War II history. Civil War history I’ve always enjoyed, but I’m just all over the place. I will get interested in something and then switch to something else. Outside of that, Dan Brown I’ve enjoyed all of his stuff.
BOWMAN: Tell about your experience practicing law.
BRAMMELL: I started practicing in 1980, so I’ve been at it for right about 33 years. It’s been a pleasure. It was a good decision for me. I enjoy what I do. When I came back here, there were two things I was really committed to getting done. This is kind of collateral to my practice of law. I really wanted to see Henry County have planning and zoning. I’m not going to say that I was responsible for it, but I was glad to be involved in that, representing them and working to get that done and proud that we got that now. I feel that it’s important to have good planning to preserve the agriculture nature of the community and not have haphazard development. And that is only possible through good planning and zoning. The other thing I was really, again this is not necessarily collateral to my practice of law, was having recycling available in the county. It was something that was very important to me. I put a lot of effort into having it available to everyone in the county. It makes me ill when I walk by a garbage can and I see an aluminum can or something that could otherwise be recyclable, reusable that’s been put into a garbage can for a landfill. As far as my practice of law, I’ve enjoyed it. I’ve really enjoyed the representation I’ve had of my cities. I really enjoyed and seem to be focusing a great deal now on estate planning and probate work. I feel like the work I do in elder law planning is something that is needed and beneficial. I’ve enjoyed seeing my practice evolve into where that is a large focus.
BOWMAN: What are some other things you would like to see happen?
BRAMMELL: I’d like to see Henry County become more self-sufficient. Meaning, I would like to see Henry County have the retail and service options available so that persons could meet their needs by staying in the county. I think that there are so many areas that people can’t meet all of their needs with what is available. We are forced to go out and shop or obtain services or entertainment by going out of the county. I think that is just the national trend. It’s not that we are different. I think we are seeing some signs of that. Our new business in Eminence, it’s not a local independent which would be most desirable, but it is at least a big business that decided Henry County is worth investing in. I encourage other businesses to look at Henry County as a good place to invest.
BOWMAN: Give me an example, an anecdote or a funny story that captures the essence of Bill Brammell.
BRAMMELL: I have always thought of myself as someone who looks at the positive side of things, and I work with people who are usually experiencing some type of difficulty. Whether it is the passing of a relative, etc. I see people at a difficult time in their life. I feel my role is to tell them that it is going to get better. And that is what I want to be. I do feel like it is important through difficult times to be positive as dark as it may get it will get better. My experience in life and in my practice is things do get better.