City Manager’s Minutes: First Month on the Job
By Bradley J Hanson, City Manager
Well, it is hard to believe I have now been working for the City of Denison for one month; my first day of work was back on Tuesday, May 17, 2022. A common saying for new leaders is, “You hit the ground running.” I would say we all hit the ground sprinting. I say “we”, because in my opinion I have spent time with every department director not only to determine what they do in their department, but also to view all of the City’s assets and resources. Being able to work with the outgoing City Manager/City Engineer Terry Crawford has been a great resource, as I have been able to pick his brain on what is in the works, including status of ideas and information for future consideration by Council.
Crawford’s last day with the City as City Engineer will officially be July 31, 2022, but his last workday is Friday, July 29, 2022. As an individual who has worked in a dual role position, I understand the hard work and time commitment it takes to do two jobs. I further understand that sometimes not all the research or duties can be completed. Crawford has done a tremendous job, and I look forward to being able to see him on the street and discuss how his “retirement” is going. Getting to know him over the past month, I am sure it won’t all be fishing and vacationing but will also include working on engineering projects. I wish him all my best.
I’d like to finish my conversation by focusing on my personal and professional discoveries. I am a firm believer that you have an amazing staff here in Denison and I am excited to be able to play a small part in our team to improve services for you. I am a positive individual, and our community has so many different aspects, people, businesses, and services that we all have a bright future. City staff is well informed, professional, personable, approachable, and “hungry” to improve in their individual profession and services we provide for you. They have eagerly accepted projects and/or research assigned to them. Not all of these projects will be pursued beyond the research stage, but we are looking at different ways at providing you with the best living environment and services you deserve. This is often referred to as, “thinking outside the box”, or getting our minds and line of thinking, and going beyond our individual paradigms.
My door is always open. If you ask, “Do you have a minute?” My answer will probably be, “No”, but I will still give you the time whether you are a fellow staff member, community or business member, or visitor. My schedule is always busy with something that will better the community, professional improvement, or research myself. I am an active member of Rotary as I have carried that membership over from previous communities. Yes, I involve myself in my community as best as I can with volunteering in Rotary-type social clubs and events. Furthermore, I walk around the community and visit businesses to introduce myself and discuss your concerns. This time I will be accompanied by City Clerk Jodie Flaherty, as she has returned to Denison from Missouri Valley, not to mention she has one day of seniority.
Housing… does anyone know of a house that is going to be for sale? It used to be you waited until a house is on the market, but it seems as soon as they are on the market, they are already under contract. On a brief personal note, I have had two houses I intended to purchase, but unfortunately, they did not work out as I had hoped. So, my personal hunt continues. Community-wide, the City is discussing housing opportunities with two developers/marketers, and participating in the development of another house by the City to help meet our housing needs. When we will be able to catch up — as we already so far behind — and is anyone’s guess. We are doing our best to get us there and will continue to strive to get caught up with our housing needs. The only thing to say about this shortage, is that it is not only occurring in Denison. Almost every community is facing the same housing challenges. Here is to the next few months of learning, discovery, and understanding … enjoy your next few weeks.