• 61°

Bermuda Run Candidate: Mike Brannon

The Candidate

Name

Mike Brannon

Age

61

Address

Riverbend Drive

Family

Wife, Virginia (Gini) Wilson-Brannon

Occupation

Vice President Enterprise Data Governance at Sallie Mae Bank

Education

Vincennes University, associate degree in industrial design; Indiana Wesleyan University, bachelor’s degree in management, master’s of business administration

In The Community

• Project Needy Family (20 years)

• IRS VITA Tax Volunteer (15 years)

Why did you decide to run for public office?

Brannon: My wife and I moved to Bermuda Run from Indiana a few years ago as part of our plans to eventually retire in this area. As part of this life-changing move, we both committed to connect with our new neighbors and become engaged in our community—just like we did in Indiana. Over these past few years, I’ve attended nearly every monthly Town Council meeting and have come to appreciate the important roles the Mayor, Council, and Town Staff have in leading and supporting the Town of Bermuda Run.

I’ve spent my career leading people, managing budgets, setting strategic direction, communicating, and collaborating. I see these same competencies being key to the work of the Town Council. After 40 years in the private sector, I will be retiring early next year. With the departure of a council member and the upcoming election, the timing seemed ideal to seek this opportunity. I have the experience, energy, and dedication to serve as an effective representative on the Bermuda Run Town Council.

What is the No. 1 issue facing your town, and what is your plan to address this issue?

Brannon: Today, I see no major issue facing Bermuda Run—at least not at this time. That said, like any town, there are always issues that need to be addressed, or differing views on where the town should invest or grow. One challenge I see at Bermuda Run—and frankly every town faces this challenge—is how to create community visibility in the work of the Town Council and in ensuring the residents are part of the decisions being made.

Like many towns, most residents have busy personal lives and most town matters are not a top priority. At times, there are issues or events that drive sudden awareness and engagement like safety issues, stormwater events, tree removal projects and other similar catalysts. While those catalysts will continue, the challenge I am describing involves engagement that comes with ongoing awareness of key decisions that are made and planning for the future of the town. For example, Bermuda Run will be updating its Comprehensive Plan. It is important that residents participate in this planning and decision-making as it will create the roadmap for this town for several years. Nearly every project that has been completed in Bermuda Run was designed and implemented using the Comprehensive Plan as the roadmap.

If elected, my goal is to help the other town planners connect with the community for input into the updated Comprehensive Plan as well as ongoing awareness of key town decisions. The town leaders and staff work hard to communicate through multiple communication channels to share information about town matters. I also use neighborhood social media to share news and insights of town happenings and decisions. However, there are more ways to provide residents greater access and transparency in the governing process by implementing remote access to the Town Council Meetings. Technology exists to help extend the reach of the Council meetings through live video streaming and play-back video to make the work of the town leaders more visible. This technology is in place in cities everywhere; it should be in Bermuda Run as well. Again, all of this aimed at better connecting the residents with the town decisions that affect them.

I also firmly believe all residents should feel comfortable connecting with their local representatives—whether it is connecting to raise concerns or to share ideas as well. As a resident of Kinderton Village, Bermuda Run West, Bermuda Run Village, or the original Bermuda Run, each person has the power to influence the direction this town takes and decision this town makes. Again, regardless of where someone lives in Bermuda Run, that person should expect their elected representatives to be visible and accessible—not just in Town Council Meetings, but anytime.

What is the top quality that makes you proud of your town?

Brannon: In a word, welcoming. When we moved to Bermuda Run, we were immediately treated as if we had been here for years—we felt welcome. People introduced themselves to us, shared the stories of the history of the town, and invited us to be a part of this new family. Those connections led to more connections which continues to grow. This network of neighbors and friendships is the glue that connects all of us to Bermuda Run.

The people of Bermuda Run are genuine and caring—whether it is stepping in to help a neighbor locate a lost pet, donating to a local charity or a family in need, or simply saying thank you to a small gesture of kindness. While the golfing, tennis, sports venues, businesses, and other area attractions bring people to the area, it’s the people who live here who create the ultimate attraction for others to want to call Bermuda Run their home.

Other Issues

Brannon: My campaign message to all residents of Bermuda Run is based on three core statements…

Your Town – no matter where you live in Bermuda Run, you should expect your Town Council to represent every community in every decision impacting your town.

Your Voice – you have a say in how this town plans and invests for today and for the future. Your voice impacts decisions made by the leaders of this community.

Your Vote – this is an “off-year” election which typically has a low number of voters. Please take time to vote as your vote might be the deciding vote in the election.

…and this commitment:

If you elect me to your Town Council, I commit to put the time and energy needed to be an engaged, effective Councilman. I am here to listen to your concerns and your ideas. I will answer your calls, your e-mail messages, and will happily meet with you in person. Every decision I make will be grounded in what is best for all residents of all communities, and for the future of Bermuda Run.

Please vote:  Nov. 2, Hillsdale Baptist Church, 4815 US 158 (1.2 miles west of NC 801).