January Pleasant Hill Mayor's Message
Dec 28, 2016 01:28PM
● By Sue Noack
Sue Noack, Pleasant Hill Mayor
On December 19, my term as mayor of Pleasant Hill came to an end. At that meeting we swore in our two incumbents, Tim Flaherty and Ken Carlson, and our new councilmember, Matt Rinn. At that time, the city council also elected a new mayor and new vice-mayor to lead us through the coming year.
2016 was an exciting year. I was privileged to participate in many community events: Community Awards Night, July 4th festivities, Memorial and Veteran’s Day, Relay for Life, Wine Women & Shoes, Blues and Brews, Art Jazz and Wine, Hospice Tree Lighting, Light Up the Night, and many summer concerts! I participated in ribbon cutting ceremonies at JFK University, the new Golf Club Road Bridge, and the completion of the Geary Road Improvement Project. While we lost some local businesses, we welcomed many new ones: Orchard Supply, Urban Plates, WiseGirl Ristorante, and Organic Coup, to name a few (and I apologize for those I have missed).
One of my focuses this past year was to improve relationships with local organizations. We established an Education Task Force to work closer with the Mount Diablo School District. We are off to a good start but still have work to do. The same is true with respect to our partners in the Recreation & Park District. We have been working closely with them on possible new ball fields and a new library. I look forward to continuing that work. In addition, we welcomed a new president and CEO of the Chamber of Commerce and will continue to work closely with him on economic development opportunities.
It has also been a great pleasure visiting a number of elementary schools. We held six mock city councils with the 3rd grade classes from Strandwood, Valhalla, and Gregory Gardens Elementary at City Hall as part of their coursework on government. It’s an educating and enlightening experience for all involved, including myself. Furthermore, we have had several students participate at our council meetings as Mayor for the Day, which is a great experience for the kids and an excellent fundraiser for their respective schools.
One of the most important accomplishments of 2016 was the passage of Measure K. This half-cent sales tax, which takes effect in April, will allow us to do significant work on our roads, sidewalks, and storm drains and finally get a new library built. We will be discussing many of the next steps in this process in the upcoming months. We look forward to the public’s input as we move forward with these exciting projects. I want to thank the Measure K campaign committee and the many volunteers who walked precincts. They put countless hours into the campaign and ensured its success.
Finally, I want to thank the people of Pleasant Hill for their support. The staff at City Hall is superb. They don’t get enough credit for the hard work they do, including our fantastic police department. The people of Pleasant Hill have been terrific, recognizing me on the street, in the grocery store, or at community activities. I appreciated the comments, questions, and suggestions and urge you to continue to participate in your government in this way. As city councilmembers, we are always striving to do what is best for our city, and your input is invaluable when making decisions that affect our community.
Hope you all had a wonderful holiday and look forward to seeing you all in 2017.