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Separating fact from fiction about advisory committee

In a recent edition of the city’s manager’s “City Facts” release (a biweekly communication posted on the City of Brandon website), I shared with the community some basic information about the city manager’s advisory committee, which was formed earlier this year.

My goal in forming such a committee was to bring together a group of people of different age demographics and from varying walks of life to provide honest, constructive feedback on how they think the city is doing. City council is aware of the committee and its members, and is encouraged by my community engagement efforts.

I have met with the group only twice since its formation earlier this year, but already I see positives in it, as I’ve been able to gain their feedback on important issues such as the city’s growth, taxation, accessibility, volunteerism and infrastructure.

Unfortunately, there have been some in the community asserting that the group was handpicked to function as some sort of “secret” lobby group with political overtones. I can tell you that my advisory group is nothing of that nature.

The members of the committee include a very wide cross-section of residents, including university students, retired senior citizens, small business owners, people with accessibility challenges, active community volunteers and residents who care about their city.

The names were gathered internally as part of the general day-to-day interactions of my city administration and staff with a simple criteria: “Who do we know or have had dealings with in the community who might be interested in meeting two or three times a year to provide honest feedback on how we are doing and what is important to them?”

As the city manager, I was not involved in the gathering of the names and, in fact, had not met many of the members prior to the first meeting.

Truly, it is a group of dedicated Brandonites sharing their time at the grassroots level, formed to provide general feedback to the city manager’s office about the services the city is providing to its residents.

It has always been my plan to find ways to interact with our community. Such a process is a positive step in the engagement of Brandon’s residents and the relationship between the City of Brandon and its community members.

Scott Hildebrand

City manager

Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition December 7, 2013

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In a recent edition of the city’s manager’s “City Facts” release (a biweekly communication posted on the City of Brandon website), I shared with the community some basic information about the city manager’s advisory committee, which was formed earlier this year.

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In a recent edition of the city’s manager’s “City Facts” release (a biweekly communication posted on the City of Brandon website), I shared with the community some basic information about the city manager’s advisory committee, which was formed earlier this year.

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