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Mayor Shari Decter Hirst

Mayor Shari Decter Hirst was elected in the fall of 2010 and has inspired Brandon’s senior leadership team to strengthen its commitment to efficiency, public service, transparency, accountability, and consultation, all of which have been embedded in the systems and processes within City Hall. Mayor Decter Hirst’s belief in transparency and accountability have resulted in Brandon City Hall being a leader in open data sharing, greater accountability and a more open budgeting process.

Decades of experience in the not-for-profit sector have given the Mayor a passionate belief in community engagement and partnerships. Since 2010, the City has established a Youth Advisory Committee and the Urban Aboriginal Peoples’ Council, done the spade work on the creation of a Seniors’ Advisory Council, and joined the Assiniboine Hills Conservation District as one of the largest urban communities to be part of the conservation framework. As well, City Council meets regularly with the Brandon Chamber of Commerce, the Brandon School Division Trustees, the Construction Association of Rural Manitoba, and is a strong partner for Brandon University, Assiniboine Community College, and the Prairie Mountain Health Region.

Ten years as Board Chair of Manitoba Public Insurance trained Mayor Decter Hirst well in risk management principles, an experience that served her well as she and the City of Brandon organization pro-actively and successfully dealt with a one-in-350-year flood of the Assiniboine River in 2011.

Mayor Decter Hirst continues to focus her leadership on pro-actively managing the growth of one of Canada’s fastest-growing cities, in part by the forging of strong partnerships with the surrounding RM’s of Elton and Cornwallis. Brandon’s growth strategy is being moved forward with the Development Master Plan, a Growth Management Strategy and secondary plans for the downtown HUB, the recently-annexed South Brandon lands, as well as the North Brandon Gateway. Addressing the many challenges of the City’s infrastructure not only means repairing and maintaining what is already in the ground, but also building additional capacity for new development.

The Mayor is also focused on economic growth via the development of a strategy for prosperity involving stakeholders and community leaders. Mayor Decter Hirst has led the City’s continued efforts to negotiate regular air service for Westman and is very committed to downtown redevelopment. She has also made affordable housing a priority in the city, looking for innovative approaches and strategic partnerships.

Shari Decter Hirst believes that the mayor needs to be part of the community, and as such, remains engaged with residents as a guest columnist for the local daily newspaper, as a regular guest on local radio and as an avid social media enthusiast. She is also in regular attendance at community events, makes frequent visits to elementary classrooms and patronage in the arts and culture community. Mayor Decter Hirst’s dedication to the community was recently celebrated by her receipt of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal, presented in February of 2013 by the Hon. Philip Lee, Lieutenant Governor of Manitoba.

Away from work, Mayor Decter Hirst keeps her life balanced by enjoying the exploits of her three grown daughters, the escapades of her dogs, the good cooking of her husband, and by learning Spanish and playing in her garden. Inside her heritage home, her fondness for miniatures is evident with a seasonal Christmas village that never seems to get put away, and a large dollhouse, complete with a tiny wine cellar.

Mayor Decter Hirst is involved in the following committees, boards and community organizations:

  • Audit & Finance Committee (Chair)
  • Brandon & Area Planning District Board
  • Brandon Downtown Development Corporation
  • Personnel Committee(Chair)


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