A Q&A with Brighton City Manager Philip Rodriguez
Offered by: City of Brighton Public Information Office
Q. Why is transparency in government important?
A. A key reason I chose to serve in local government is that I enjoy building community, and not just building any community, I strive to build an authentic community. However, I also believe the only way for us to build an authentic community, is to make sure city government is accessible to everyone, responsive to the needs of our citizens, business and visitors, and make sure we deliver our services fairly to all.
In order to accomplish this, we need to make sure we have no walls or barriers between the City and the community. Every individual should have access to their local government and have trust that we are going to respond to the things they are concerned about on an individual basis.
It shouldn’t matter how large or small a question or concern is, we need to make sure our processes, values and services are open to everyone. This concept should apply to someone who is brand new to the community just like it is to a family who’s been in town for several generations.
I’d also like to continue to see productive citizen engagement in our transparency efforts. This means we need to make sure the City and the community have productive conversations. This requires transparency from all of us here at City Hall and of course, requires good listening skills. Good listening is a skillset I am hopeful we will champion and put in high regard at the City of Brighton.
Ultimately, if we are trying to build community but don’t spend time listing to the community, then we’re not going to be better in the long run.
Q. What do you see as Brighton’s greatest opportunity?
A. I think one of the themes I’ve seen here is that we have a desire to be unique when compared to the neighboring Denver metro municipalities. We have an opportunity to market ourselves as the unique destination to new businesses and residents. Before that can truly happen though, we need to work together to help define what truly make us unique and make sure we advance those distinctions.
I genuinely believe Brighton can be one-of-a-kind. As a city manager, I’m energized by a community that does things differently and is willing to take risks. I see that happening here, and I also see an opening to do that even more. It’s very energizing to see that as a leader.
Q. What do you hope to accomplish in the first 6 months as City Manager?
A. The first six months are going to be packed with discussions around our city’s budget which was just adopted by City Council last month to be put in place January 2018.
We also have an election this year, and I am committed to remaining nonpolitical through that process. I plan on spending time on the issues candidates feel are important to meet the needs of a growing community.
I would also like to continue spending time listening to existing City Council members, staff and community members. I’m really trying to make the effort to go around to meet with as many people as possible. It’s important to hear diverse perspectives from people all across our community.
In addition to relationship building and the 2018 budget, I’m hopeful we can create a strategic plan for the City very soon. From that plan, we will be able to help define what the next several years are going to look like.
Ultimately, I think Brighton could really benefit from having a strategic plan because it would help staff and City Council unite around a clear vision for our community. And while vision is important, if we don’t articulate our plan to help get us there, the likelihood of the vision coming to life is diminished.
Q. What’s something the community may be surprised to learn about you?
A. I really love music and I think people are usually surprised to hear I was in a U2 cover band back in the day. And even more surprising, we actually used to book gigs and get paid! But overall, I enjoy writing and playing music, performing and singing.
Would you like to connect with City Manager Philip Rodriguez?
Visit the ‘Stay Connected’ tab at: www.brightonco.govor reach out to him directly by visiting: www.brightonco.gov/206/City-Administration.