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Our Community Focus

November Pleasant Hill Mayor's Message

Nov 02, 2015 03:36PM ● By Ken Carlson

Mayor Ken Carlson

September was a busy month, but I did manage to sneak away for a wonderful cruise to Alaska to enjoy the beautiful and rustic scenery. I was even able to squeeze in an exciting day of fishing in Ketchikan. Back here at home, thanks to city staff, the Civic Action Commission and numerous volunteers, our 11th Annual Community Service Day was a great success. Volunteers spread across the city to work on several projects, helping our seniors, schools, and charity organizations. Food was collected for the Food Bank and bicycles were repaired and restored for those in need. Of course, the Lions Club was out in force cooking up a great pancake breakfast for all. Thanks for another successful Community Service Day!

I also had the privilege of representing Pleasant Hill on an economic development trip to China. I joined representatives from 15 different cities around the Bay Area, from Martinez to Menlo Park, in an effort to build the foundations for future economic relationships with local Chinese governments and businesses. We traveled to Yangcheng and Chengdu, meeting with local government officials and business leaders and touring business and educational facilities. Among some of the communities, we started sister city talks as well as the initial stages of business exchange discussions. On October 14, a delegation from Chengdu traveled to the Bay Area and the discussion of future opportunities continued.

But, let’s not slow down. Winter is just around the corner, with El Niño bringing hopes of ending the drought, possibly greater than we have seen before. In anticipation of a much-predicted ‘El Niño’ winter, city maintenance staff has been active over the past several months inspecting creeks, ditches, storm drains, and catch basins to ensure they are clear of debris and obstructions. Most of the creeks through the city are on private property, and homeowners whose property backs directly onto a creek are responsible for keeping that portion of the creek free of debris and overgrown vegetation. The city mailed out notices during the summer reminding all homeowners of this requirement. Of the approximately 500 affected homes, around 97% are in compliance with creek clean-up efforts. The city is now working with the remaining few homes to ensure that mitigation efforts are completed prior to any heavy rainfall this winter. 

Maintenance staff is also working with Civicorps (formerly known as the East Bay Conservation Corps) to finish cleaning up all publicly owned creek areas. Volunteers from Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) will also assist staff in filling 2,000 sandbags for emergency situations. Sandbag stations will be set up November 2 in the parking lots at City Hall (100 Gregory Lane) and the Community Center (320 Civic Drive). Residents may fill their own sandbags at these locations, with a limit of ten sandbags per household. Get the winter preparation done early.


Don’t make it all work and no play. Join me for family fun at the 8th annual Light up the Night Holiday Celebration in Downtown Pleasant Hill on December 2. This is a great way to get the holidays started. Arts and crafts vendors will help in holiday gift buying or decorating, and Santa is all set to arrive and join in the many festivities in Downtown Pleasant Hill, including the lighting of a 25-foot decorated tree in the small plaza next to Pasta Pomodoro at 6pm. Music, dance performances, and caroling will also be on stage at two locations on Crescent Drive. There will be free horse drawn carriage rides; free hot chocolate, coffee and cookies; music, Studio A Dancers, and caroling on two stages; an "Elf on the Shelf" treasure hunt; free pictures with Santa; holiday arts and crafts fair; and tree lighting at 6pm.

Join me Downtown to kick off the holiday festivities!