Pleasant Hill Mayor’s Message
Feb 04, 2016 04:26PM
● By Elena Hutslar
Sue Noack, Pleasant Hill Mayor
by Sue Noack, Mayor of Pleasant Hill
Every New Year I start by reflecting on the previous year, and my resolutions stem from there: places I want to visit, things I want to accomplish, and changes I want to make. I am not going to bore you with my personal resolutions but instead focus more on reflections on our city and opportunities for the upcoming year.
This past year as a city councilmember, I attended many wonderful events that reinforced my belief in what a great community we live in. It all starts with the people and their willingness to participate, to volunteer, to lead, and to donate their time, money, and effort into making Pleasant Hill an outstanding community.
We have many great neighborhoods that epitomize the saying “It takes a village.” We have many incredible people participating in numerous city commissions in planning, architectural review, aging, civic action and education, to name a few. We have dedicated volunteer organizations, such as the PTAs, Chamber of Commerce, Community Foundation, Lions, Rotarians, Friends of the Library, and the Foundation for Pleasant Hill Education. The number of unselfish, giving people is astonishing. This list is far from complete, and I apologize in advance to those not included here.
Our success as a community is further evidenced in the participation of people in so many events and activities. My job at Light Up the Night last year was handing out 2,000 cookies. We were out of cookies one and a half hours into the event! At one cookie per person, that shows the fantastic attendance on Crescent Drive in Downtown Pleasant Hill. This type of participation is repeated over and over again at the Concerts at the Park, Community Service Day, Holiday Festival, Art, Jazz & Wine, and the Fourth of July festivities.
I attend a monthly luncheon of the Elected Women of Contra Costa County, and I’m asked repeatedly how we are able to build such a strong community. My response is that the people of Pleasant Hill make it happen because they care about where they live, and they want to contribute to maintaining the character and well being of the entire community.
In partnership with our colleagues at the Recreation & Park District, our job at City Hall is to support and enhance that sense of community that we hold so dear. This will be one of my top priorities during my tenure as mayor of Pleasant Hill.
Last year, the city council completed the first, long-term financial plan. This will ensure that we have the financial reserves necessary to weather any storm and pay down our unfunded pension liability, while allowing for additional funds to be used for street and road repairs, storm drain improvements, and continuing Monday hours at the library. The plan also gives us the framework for our budgets and a tool to assess other opportunities, such as building a new library.
It is important that we continue to focus on the needs of the community. Our city staff provides excellent service and will continue to do so. But in order to stay connected with the people of this city, we need to get your input. One of my goals this year is to get wider participation by our citizens. We recently launched a great new mobile app called “Ask PHill,” and we will be working to update our website to make it more user-friendly. I want to encourage people to use these tools, along with the Outlook, the city’s social media pages, and notifications for staying informed about activities and meetings. The city holds many open meetings and study sessions where public input is encouraged and appreciated. We want to hear from all of you to help us make important and necessary decisions that benefit the entire community.
One of my first duties as mayor is to present the “State of the City” address at the Mayor’s Breakfast. This will be held on February 19 at 7:30am at the Pleasant Hill Senior Center. Tickets for the event are available through the Chamber of Commerce by emailing [email protected]. I hope you can join me there, but if you are unable to do so, please do not hesitate to contact me with your thoughts, suggestions and comments. I can be reached, along with my fellow councilmembers, at www.pleasanthillca.org/council.