Officials from City in The Netherlands Visit Auburn Vice Versa to Share Ideas

Visitors from The Netherlands in East Alabama.

They’re here to learn how the City of Auburn runs things.

City officials from Hoorn, getting tips on disaster response and citizen involvement.

Auburn City Manager Jim Buston met Hoorn City Manager Frans Mencke at an International City Manager’s Association meeting.

They started talking and decided to visit each others cities to see what they can learn and implement in there’s.

Hoorn City officials like what they see in Auburn, especially how leaders get feedback directly from citizens and make decisions about the future, based on the data and exactly what people here say they want to happen.

“It seemed to be the citizen survey is the main input for your action plan for the city and our city we have to deal with a political environment with 13 parties in our council with all different fuses we always have to be aware of the political context whose in favor, whose opposing,” said Mencke.

The group from The Netherlands also picking up tips about disaster planning and response.

“I don’t think we are very sharp at if something happens, how to evacuate on a large scale. One, two, three days. What are the priorities, the vulnerable people, especially. We don’t have scenarios or action plans. That will be something we need for the upcoming time,” said Mencke.

“Here in Auburn, I tell people we practice evacuating the city seven times a year after football games. Because it’s what we have to do, it’s similar of how to evacuate a city. We set up evacuation routes to get the traffic out, but it can be used in the time of need we have that experience, we have that training,” said Buston.

The information exchange is a two-way street. Auburn city officials visited Horn this past summer. They were impressed by transportation options; more biking, walking and a great mass transit system.

“The men are wearing suits and the women are biking in heels and they are going to business meetings or work and are riding a bike instead of driving a car and I think if you want a walkable city, we have to provide alternate transportation for those people who want to engage in that,” said Buston.

Both groups of city leaders said the relationships and idea sharing will continue and help make Hoorn and Auburn better places for the people who live there.

Related Articles