Shaun Cameron has taken over the leadership of Renaissance Brandon from former chairman and Rosser Ward councillor Corey Roberts, whose term expired earlier this year.
Cameron, who has served nearly two years as vice-chair and citizen-at-large of the downtown development corporation, took over the chairman duties as of June 1.
"I’m excited for the challenge," said Cameron, who works as an employment specialist at Career Connections. "I have a great group of board members that I’ve worked with. It’s an exciting group of people that want to see change in our downtown."
Roberts, who served a pair of two-year terms on the board, will now remain on the board in his function as councillor.
Last May, city council passed a motion that the Rosser ward councillor be made a permanent part of the Renaissance Brandon board. There were no previous provisions for a city councillor to be part of the board that takes up half of the Rosser ward boundaries.
"He’s still an active member of the board for sure," Cameron said. "I think it’s important he is, because it is an entity making decision in his ward. It’s important that he’s engaged at that level."
For his part, Roberts says he would have had to step down as chair anyway because he was nearing the end of his term. But the actual change was very quiet, as no press release was issued to the public.
"I was surprised that nobody asked me about it when it was actually happening," Roberts said.
As the new chair, Cameron says he would like to further enhance Brandon’s downtown by continuing the development corporation’s involvement with groups such as the Global Market, which recently opened on Rosser Avenue.
"It’s projects like that which meet our benchmarks for bringing people downtown after dark," Cameron said. "It’s projects like that where you put people on display, and get people there after five, that will make it a place people want to be."
As a citizen-at-large, with no political office, Cameron says he will have less encumbrances than his predecessor.
"I think it’s important that the board chair is a community member at large. You don’t have some of the same political pressures out there."
There are nine board members for Renaissance Brandon, including Mayor Shari Decter-Hirst, Roberts and seven citizens-at-large directors who were appointed by city council.
Cameron’s term as board chair will last about two years.
Clancy’s news ‘pending’: Roberts
The owner of Clancy’s Eatery and Drinkery in downtown Brandon says he hopes to have news about the future of his business next week.
“Something is in the works,” Corey Roberts told the Sun yesterday. “These things don’t happen overnight.”
The popular restaurant and pub, located on Princess Avenue, is currently closed to the public, and has been since mid-June.
When asked whether the business had been sold, Roberts would only publicly say that changes are “pending.”