Garrison leaders, along with the community mayor and unit sponsor; representatives from the Directorate of Public Works Housing Division; and Balfour Beatty Communities – Fort Leonard Wood’s housing partner – speak with South Lieber Heights community resident Brianna Dylla during a walking town hall Tuesday evening.
Garrison leaders, along with the community mayor and unit sponsor; representatives from the Directorate of Public Works Housing Division; and Balfour Beatty Communities – Fort Leonard Wood’s housing partner – speak with South Lieber Heights community resident Brianna Dylla during a walking town hall Tuesday evening. (Photo Credit: Photo by Brian Hill, Fort Leonard Wood Public Affairs Office) VIEW ORIGINAL

FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo. — Garrison leaders walked the South Lieber Heights community Tuesday evening to engage with residents and listen to their ideas, issues and concerns regarding on-post privatized housing.

Col. Jeff Paine, U.S. Army Garrison Fort Leonard Wood commander, along with the community mayor and unit sponsor; representatives from the Directorate of Public Works Housing Division; and Balfour Beatty Communities — Fort Leonard Wood’s housing partner — have been conducting the 90-minute walks in different neighborhoods around the post over the past 14 months as a way to provide a more casual environment to hear what’s on the minds of Fort Leonard Wood’s service members and their families.

This was the final walking town hall for Paine, who is set to retire next week.

“We have to put ‘People First’ into action and engaging with our residents is an important part of that,” Paine said. “I have enjoyed having these opportunities to speak with our housing residents, learn more about what they want and need from our garrison team, and help make a positive impact on the community — for our service members and their families now and in the future. One of my top goals here has been to make Fort Leonard Wood the No. 1 choice for service members and civilians, and that starts with quality of life.”

South Lieber Heights community resident Brianna Dylla has been living in her home here since October. She brought up a few concerns and had some ideas for improvement, but overall, she said she and her family are big fans of Fort Leonard Wood.

“We’re from the Midwest, so it’s kind of like returning home,” she said.

As to her on-post home, Dylla said they are really happy with their particular unit.

“There’s a lot of space — a lot of elbow room for a growing family,” she said. “We enjoy living on post for access to community events, the Main Post Chapel — the resources that are really helpful.”

Dylla also said she thinks it’s great that there are town halls; she sees positives and negatives to the walking format.

“The hope is you increase the accessibility — people can just step outside and ask questions,” she said. “At the same time, it’s very segmented. You don’t get to hear what your neighbors have issues with; you don’t get to add your voice to what others are saying.”

Paine invited Col. Anthony Pollio to walk the community as well. Pollio, who will assume command of the garrison next week, attended to gauge for himself how well the town halls help bring residents and community leaders together.

“It’s definitely a great way to get out there into the community and find out what some of the concerns are from the folks that live there, so I think it’s worthwhile and something that needs to be sustained,” Pollio said afterward. “I think a lot of folks had legitimate concerns, and I think it was great that they were comfortable coming out and addressing them.”

Pollio said he next looks forward to seeing how the follow-up process works.

“The first step is showing the commitment to get out there and identify concerns, but then the next step is you have to make sure that we close the loop — give them the courtesy of a formal response,” he said.

More information on Fort Leonard Wood housing — including ways residents can voice concerns and share ideas — is available on the Fort Leonard Wood website. Additionally, residents may make routine maintenance requests through the resident portal on the Fort Leonard Wood Homes website. Urgent requests may be made 24/7 by calling 573.329.4000.