It started in 2015, and grew to 16 committee members from different age groups, interests and parts of Brea. Past City Council members or planning commissioners could not join. The idea was to have a truly grassroots committee.
That was the beginning of Brea Envisions, a community effort to discover what Breans really want for Brea’s future. While city staff was present, their role was only for support, according to committee member Eric Johnson.
Soon BE Brea Envisions banners adorned light posts on our major streets, but then competed with the Brea Centennial banners. Progress reports were given at council meetings, but usually before or after Centennial updates.
But the Envisions group carried on, and with public workshops added 40 ambassadors. The ambassadors, at-large community members, gave presentations to community groups, service clubs and the ministerial association. Committee members and ambassadors manned booths at several community events including the Wellness Festival, Brea Fest, the Brea 8K and National Night Out, to name a few.
Breans were also encouraged to give their views of the city’s future online, but only 797 of us responded, and 33 percent of those respondents were not residents, but were people who work in Brea. Maybe you were one of the 730 people who participated in a telephone survey or via email. Hopefully all of those respondents lived in Brea.
According to True North Research, hired by the city to poll residences, responses of those 730 folks represent Brea’s 43,710 population; 730 was the magic number.
But that wasn’t all.
“We engaged the community in many ways and got many responses,” Johnson said. “That was then largely corroborated by a separate effort with the polling.”
MIG Consultants, the civic planning and development consultants often used by Brea, facilitated Brea Envisions, and for a mere $185,000. On top of that, True North did the polling for $26,000.
And how was that $211,000 funded? According to Community Development Director David Crabtree the city used money from the General Plan Maintenance Fund, Landfill Capital and Mitigation Improvement Fund and the General Fund.
So what did most Breans say they wanted Future Brea to be? No big surprises here. People said they want to retain the small-town atmosphere, have good public safety, low crime, good schools, diversity of business, family oriented entertainment and recreation and responsible development.
I think responsible development will be…