Mayor Bradburn holds two-week town hall tour
Apr 30, 2018 12:13PM ● Published by Justin Adams
Sandy Mayor Kurt Bradburn listens to a resident’s questions during the first in a series of town hall meetings that took place in April. (Justin Adams/Sandy City Journal)
For two weeks during the month of April, Sandy Mayor Kurt Bradburn and top leaders in his administration held a town hall tour throughout the city, hoping to fulfill a campaign promise to be more transparent and to interact with residents more often.
“We’re not only getting people up to speed with what the mayor has been working on since he was sworn in but also to get a sense of what people are concerned about and to answer questions,” said Evelyn Everton, the city’s deputy mayor.
The six town hall meetings are scheduled in three different locations and at different times of the day in order to accommodate as many different schedules as possible.
“We know people’s lives are really busy, so we just wanted to make sure we had enough opportunities for people to attend a town hall if they wanted to,” said Everton.
The first of the six meetings took place on Monday, April 16, at Albion Middle School. While there was not a very large turnout, Everton said the administration expected more attendees at following town halls as word of the tour spread.
“With town halls sometimes you get 50 people and sometimes you only get five people,” said Everton.
After introducing the attendees to the various city department leads, Bradburn spoke for about half an hour as he talked about some of the things his administration is trying to accomplish, as well as addressed a recent salary-related controversy.
“There were some news headlines around a salary decision I made when I first came into office,” he said. “I’m very new to politics and the optics were certainly not something that I thought through when I did that.”
The mayor cited figures showing that he had saved the city hundreds of thousands of dollars by eliminating certain positions within his administration, particularly a senior adviser role and multiple lobbyist positions. He explained that at the time he believed his salary increase was commensurate with the increased workload he would have as a result of eliminating these positions.
Many of the city initiatives Bradburn mentioned follow a formula, which he said is the underlying philosophy behind what he is trying to accomplish. The formula stipulates that increased efficiency leads to decreased costs, which in turn leads to increased value and citizen satisfaction.
Many of those increased efficiencies will be a result of taking advantage of new technologies, according to Bradburn. Some of the examples he gave included Citizen Connect, a software that helps the city government communicate more effectively with residents; Cityworks, an app that helps cities to manage its infrastructure (and which also happens to be headquartered in Sandy); and AquaHawk, an app that allows users to monitor their household water usage and even receive alerts when they’ve reached a certain amount of gallons used or dollars billed.
Any residents who are unable to attend any of the town hall meetings won’t have to wait too long for another chance. The administration is planning on making the tour a biannual event, with one in the spring and one in the fall every year.