Brad Anderson is seeking the office of City Councilman of the City of Brooklet. Both he and his opponent were given identical questionnaires, however, his opponent did not return a questionnaire.
What are some of the features/qualities that make Brooklet great and led you to call the city home?
When my wife and I married, we wanted to raise our children in a small town atmosphere with quality schools for them to attend. Brooklet was that answer for us. We both were born and raised in Bulloch County but knew that Brooklet was home as soon as we arrived. The town has a warm appeal with well-maintained yards along the main thoroughfares with a rich history. The citizens of Brooklet are exceptionally friendly people who are very proud to call Brooklet home.
What do you believe are the biggest issues facing the City of Brooklet? How do you plan to address them?
I am of the opinion the that there are three major concerns that face the citizens of Brooklet.
- First, the City of Brooklet does not have a long-range plan to address infrastructure problems of a growing community. We have an aging water system that lacks adequate valves to isolate outages and aged water pipes in certain portions of the city. In addition, there is a lack of adequate drainage in certain areas which causes flooding that can be dangerous for residents and streets that need repairs and/or resurfacing due largely to standing water. I believe, with citizen input, a plan needs to be put into place to prioritize spending on major projects and equipment needed in our city. A financial plan focusing on funding these needs can be achieved through government grants and/or municipal bonds. This is essential for the city to be prepared for the growth of the future for both commercial and residential areas.
- Second, many citizens outwardly express a lack of confidence in the governance system for the city. Some of those concerns may be attributed to misconception, but some are well deserved based on the open council meetings and the responses from city elected and non-elected officials. To begin this process, it would be imperative for the council to engage in the development and implementation of effective protocols to ensure city officials remain professional and adhere to a set of ethical standards in all situations. A lack of trust and confidence can only be remedied by clear outward expressions of transparency, accountability, equity and a results-oriented approach with the community.
- Finally, another key area is the lack of effective communication for council to public and public to council. There are numerous communication mediums that the city could use to reach all aspects of the community, including an updated website, social media platforms, and alert systems through text or email. Effective communication channels would be an easy solution for the city to address quickly and inexpensively (possibly even free in some cases).
If elected, what three steps would you take to put Brooklet on a firm financial footing?
The three steps that I would engage in with council members to help ensure financial stability that align with my beliefs of being fiscally conservative:
- Begin with analyzing the recent financial audits of the city and financial management protocols. Additionally, I would want to know that the city is following the accounting principles as prescribed by the Governmental Accounting Standards Board. Also, I would want to know what financial findings have been identified and if they been remedied by city officials.
- Develop a budget process whereby waste and/or duplication is eliminated from the budget. Examine long term financial solutions for infrastructure items in the long-range capital improvement plan such as a phased project solution or search for financial solutions to address the needs more immediately (grants/municipal bond program/other).
- Explore outsourcing options that save the city money for the needed services.
If you received a $1 million grant to use for the city in any way you wanted, what would you do with it and why?
With Brooklet developing a long-range capital improvement plan that addresses the prioritized comprehensive needs of the city, the project allocations process will be a very simple one as the prioritized projects are already identified by the citizens of Brooklet. As previously noted, I strongly advocate for a long-range plan that addresses the needs of the city as a whole such as infrastructure needs, training for council and city officials, along with the replacement of necessary equipment on an identified replacement schedule.
Brooklet has dealt with some contention amongst residents over whether or not the city should annex in more property and/or absorb the responsibility for maintaining the streets in subdivisions. What types of things would you take into consideration when weighing decisions such as these and how would you make sure the best interests of the city are at the forefront?
As a Council, it would be essential for an annexation study to be conducted to clearly identify the costs and benefits to the citizens of Brooklet for informed decision making. However, I would note, any annexed property must adhere to the same ordinances and construction standards that are specified for all citizens of Brooklet. Ideally, the standards were developed to ensure a quality that avoids premature repair cost for sub-standard construction of streets, drainage systems, and adequate lighting systems for subdivisions.
Ultimately, citizen involvement in the decision-making process should be an integral part of any major decision for Brooklet. Additionally, council members should be open to listen to citizen concerns. More specifically, any council members who have or may be involved in the development of an area should recuse themselves from the decision making process.
Describe what a police department in the city the size of Brooklet should look like and what its primary functions should be.
I envision a police department that is small, but clearly meets the needs of the citizens it serves in a friendly and courteous manner. The Brooklet Police Department would routinely patrol the city to ensure it is free from crime and other nuisances. The primary function of the Brooklet Police Department should be to protect and serve the residents of the community. I would want to ensure that our police department provides that service in a highly professional and impartial way. The safety of Brooklet is paramount, and we should have a police department that remains focused on providing the highest quality service 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. I believe in hiring highly effective people who can make the appropriate staffing and scheduling decisions to meet the needs of the community in a cost-efficient manner based on effective processes and protocols for managing the department.
A) How do you plan to involve residents in the decision-making process in Brooklet? B) How can the city be more transparent?
There are several ways to involve all citizens in the decision-making process:
- Improve communication of upcoming events and the need for input, through channels such as electronic notification systems, newsletters, social media, etc.
- Utilize Town Hall Meetings, paper or web-based surveys, a task force, etc.
- Brooklet City Council must be willing to listen and act on the results and desires of the community. As your council member, I pledge to seek ways to involve all citizens in the decision-making process.
A standard operating procedure should be developed so that agenda items and supporting documentation are accessible from the city website for all citizens to view. Additionally, a true and accurate representation of agenda items and discussions should be reflected in the minutes of the council meeting. More specifically, Brooklet must adhere to the standards of Georgia’s Open Records Act.
Do you plan to stay involved in city activities if you lose the race?
Yes, I have a vested interest in Brooklet and will remain active regardless of the outcome of the election.
Why do you feel you are the best candidate for the job?
I have a passion for ensuring Brooklet remains a town that people want to move to as newlyweds, raise their children in, and/or simply retire—more simply put the city that my children want to return to and raise their families. I have a work history of being a leader for more than 20 years in educational administration and getting positive results. As your councilmember, I will be committed to transparency in the day to day operations and official meetings of the Brooklet City Council, listen to your thoughts and ensure you have a say in the decisions for Brooklet, provide the necessary leadership to be a strong advocate for all citizens of Brooklet, and remain committed to developing an accountability system where you can measure the results of your city council.
Please include any additional information.
I am married to Shannon Anderson and we have two children, Reagan (19) and Nicholas (15). We moved to Brooklet in 1997 right after being married. I graduated from Georgia Southern University and have worked in education for the past 23 years. I have been a member of Brooklet United Methodist Church since 2000. I would be honored to represent you for post 2 Brooklet City Council.
Any social media accounts/contact information you’d like the public to have if voters would like to reach out to you: