New DDA director has big plans

By BROOKE STEVENSON
Sunday Times Newspapers

 
WYANDOTTE — The city’s new Downtown Development Authority executive director has high hopes for his new position.
 

Brandon Wescott was approved by the City Council on Monday to fill the position of DDA director. His first day on the job will be Feb. 17.
 

He currently is the community and transportation planner and transit coordinator for the Liberty Consolidated Planning Commission in Hinesville, Ga.
 

Hinesville has a population of over 30,000 and is home to the 3rd Infantry Division and Fort Stewart. Wescott describes the city he has worked with for four years as a “real military community.”
 

Originally from Bay City, Wescott looks forward to coming back to Michigan with his wife, Danielle.
 

“I’m a Michigan guy at heart, and I want to be in Michigan,” he said, “The Wyandotte position presents me with the opportunity to come back to a great city, from what I have seen.
 

“My wife and I are excited to ply our talents in the state of Michigan. I want to have the opportunity to better things.”
 

Wescott has received a bachelor of science and master of science in administration degree from Central Michigan University. He believes his education and experience will help him better serve the community.
 

“The DDA board is a very engaged board with very high standards,” Wescott said. “They have a benchmark of excellence, and I want to maintain that excellence and improve upon it.”
 

Having only visited Wyandotte briefly, he believes he can bring an outsider’s point of view of how the DDA can better the city.
 

“I know that it is a riverfront community and the downtown is very attractive,” he said, “(The DDA board) does have a project list that we are going to take a look at, and we’re going to make it better than it already is.”
 

While he’s waiting until he starts work to get a feel for the direction the board is looking toward, he does know some main points he’ll be working on.
 

“The board chairman (Greg Gilbert) would like to emphasize bringing in outside dollars into the community other than from residents,” he said. “That is something we are going to be exploring, bringing in new capital.”
 

During the three hours he spent driving around the city prior to his job interview, Wescott found the city to be a “creative and progressive community.”
 

“My main goal is to have a lot of fun and to do a lot of hard work,” he said. “This will be a great challenge, and I think there is going to be some great opportunities. “(DDA members) have a great passion about their community. We’re walking into a quality institution.”

 

He hopes to get support from the residents and believes the downtown area can be improved on.
 

“What we’re going to do, I believe everyone is going to be proud of,” he said. “That isn’t to say some folks aren’t going to be happy, because that is always the case, but hopefully we’ll have support.”
 

Wescott and his wife plan to live in the city, marking the first time he will live in the community in which he works.
 

“I think living in the community will really make a difference,” he said, “because I will have something personally invested in it. I will want the downtown to thrive, not just because it’s my job, but because it is my own community’s downtown.
 

“I’m going to bring a lot of energy and passion to the job, and I look forward to being a resident there as well.”