Recently I spoke to a constituent who asked me whether I would support their cause if elected to the city council, and if I would, they would support my campaign. I told them honestly that until I am fully informed to make a decision, that I couldn’t. I promised them that I would execute my responsibilities with excellence and integrity, and would make well informed decisions based on information that includes the desires of constituents. I will not champion individual policies to get elected or to make people happy. I will champion good policies that are for the benefit of the citizens of Liberty Hill.
“Brannan Ready to Weigh Options,” was the title of the article Mike Eddlemen wrote about me in the Liberty Hill Independent. I have run into constituents who were won over by what Mike wrote (which I greatly appreciate) and others that were highly disappointed (because they want to see me win). Their reasoning? Because it is not what voters want to hear in order to vote for someone. The thinking is that they want to hear champions for their individual causes. I will admit, Mike seemed bored, after all, there is no juicy story from such an article. Many politicians will say anything to get elected, but that is not who I am. In a previous article, I promised I would continue explaining my vision “to steward the growth in a manner that is responsible, emphasizes a safe city with a vibrant family atmosphere while developing a strong local economy.” In this article I am going to continue discussing my vision but will also tell you more about myself. I am going to be transparent about who I am, why I am running and how I will serve the city (and try to keep it short enough to read). In the process I will probably say some things that someone running for a political office should not say, but I want people to know who they are voting for.
First and foremost, I am a Christian. My wife Stephanie will sometimes ask me not to talk about religion or politics when she takes me to meet new people. That is hard for me because I am very passionate about both. I work in a multi-denominational setting, and I truly appreciate the diversity there. My personal Christian tradition believes that civic responsibility goes hand in hand with being a Christian. We are citizens of the world and members of our communities. When friends asked me if I would run, the first thing I did was look into the responsibilities involved to see if I could adequately meet them (mostly the time required to do an excellent job). I agreed because I will serve Liberty Hill with excellence, but I also wanted to model service and civic responsibility to my students. I have followed the growth of Liberty Hill for years, and am pleased with many things that I see happening that include annexation, investment in infrastructure, a safe community with an excellent police force, a transportation plan being implemented to deal with the traffic situation and investment in making Liberty Hill beautiful and family friendly. I have watched as the downtown develops and, overall, I like where Liberty Hill is going.
There are individual issues that I care deeply about that I do not like the way I see them developing. An example is the development of Highway 29 in a manner that is visually pleasing (to me it is not right now). Yet, I recognize that this is an area that I need to investigate more. I do not want to assume that there isn’t a plan in place already. Are there plans to overlay the development with landscaping, but it needs to be funded first? Are there plans already in place to address this in other ways? Are there issues in play that I am not aware of yet? What do the citizens of Liberty Hill want? Are there good ideas concerning this that I am unaware of yet? These types of questions are due diligence, and are a part of being a good leader. I believe this is the type of leadership Liberty Hill needs. What I can promise is that when I have had all of my questions answered, then I will be bold about moving the right plan forward.
I decided to run because I know that my skills will help steward growth in a positive direction. It was only after I agreed to run that I started looking deeper at what is going on in Liberty Hill that I became convinced that this is a very important election for the future of Liberty Hill (future articles will address this more fully).
In order to steward growth in a manner that is responsible, leaders need to have a vision for the city, and that is exactly what I have. My vision is that Liberty Hill will be known for its family environment. We will create a family environment through beauty, safety and opportunity amid a flourishing economy and a fiscally sound city. Growth is happening, and it needs to be directed intelligently. Leaders need to understand all of the moving parts and how they work together in order to steward the growth. Transportation is a huge issue, but it is only one of many. All of the issues including annexation, investment in infrastructure, public safety, parks and recreation, financial stability and economic development all need to be moved forward seamlessly for Liberty Hill to flourish. We have an excellent staff that is up to the task and we need strong and visionary leaders on the city council to move it forward. That is the type of leader that I am, and for this election I unhesitatingly endorse Liz Branigan and Troy Whitehead. All of us are independent thinkers that share a common vision for Liberty Hill and will make a strong team to move the city forward as we continue to grow.