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Mayor touts vision for growth in speech

Brandon mayor Shari Decter Hirst gives her fourth annual State of the City address to the Brandon Chamber of Commerce on Thursday.

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Brandon mayor Shari Decter Hirst gives her fourth annual State of the City address to the Brandon Chamber of Commerce on Thursday.

In the final State of the City address before her bid for re-election, Brandon mayor Shari Decter Hirst  extolled her record in front of an audience of hundreds.

More than 400 people crammed into the Brandon Chamber of Commerce's regular luncheon to hear the mayor speak, where she said that a vision for growth, prosperity and "21st century competitiveness" has been realized in the city since her election in 2010.

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"For the past four years, we have collectively been building a prosperous and competitive city for the 21st century," the mayor said. "That has been our vision, and I suspect that it has been your vision, as well. You could live anywhere; raise your family anywhere; start your business anywhere — and yet you choose to do it right here in Brandon. That is because, together, we have made progress over the past four years in making Brandon that prosperous and competitive city."

The mayor's speech nodded to many notable accomplishments of the past year, including the success of WestJet’s daily scheduled air service and the city’s plans for an airport expansion, what she called a "leaner and greener" public sanitation program, better recreational and cultural programming for residents, and the strategic work done during the Brandon Police Board’s first year of operation.

Decter Hirst also applauded work done on new infrastructure projects in Brandon’s Roadmap For Growth.

"Our enhanced diking protection will keep our community safe against future flooding; we have a state-of-the-art industrial water treatment facility to aid in our economic development strategies; and we’ve added $1.5 million into our core infrastructure budget so that we can make a tangible dent in our community’s hard infrastructure deficit," she said.

"We continue to fund upgrades to the major economic driver that is the Keystone Centre; and we will open the A.R McDiarmid Civic Complex to accommodate the City’s expanded planning and development services in the fall. All of this growth has occurred due to the hard work and dedication of all those in our organization, who recognized our vision and then put shoulder to the wheel to realize it."

The city says that video of the mayor’s 2014 State of the City address will be made available online for viewing in the near future.

A full story on the mayor's speech will be in Friday's Brandon Sun.

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