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Our Community Focus

Pleasant Hill Mayor's Message

Feb 07, 2018 01:35PM
By Tim Flaherty, Mayor of Pleasant Hill

If you are looking for the wit and wisdom of Michael Harris, you will have to flip a few pages more and look for his book review column. The city council had its annual rotation election on December 18, and I was voted to the center chair of the council dais, where I am honored to serve as your mayor for 2018.
It’s Monday, January 15, and I am reflecting on the contrast between the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the current state of public discourse. Dr. King advocated for peaceful engagement and did so with an eloquence that today is rarely on display in Washington D.C. 
While our leaders on the national scene may be lacking in collegiality and common decency, the same is not true here in Pleasant Hill.  Our five-member city council is diverse in thought but truly homogenous in the desire to be smart stewards of the city. Our decisions are informed by the input we receive from city staff and from you, the residents. Since I began my public service here in Pleasant Hill, I have worked hard to increase public participation, not just in our events where we derive our sense of community, but also in the decision-making processes at city council. 
I am always looking for opportunities to increase public awareness and participation in our local regulatory process and to make it easy for you to stay informed about local events, city commissions, and council meetings — that is, if you want to. The city currently notifies residents through the city website, email blasts, social media such as Facebook and NextDoor, and by posting A-Frame notices at the library, City Hall, police station, and neighborhoods impacted by development projects under consideration. The city will soon install a new LED electric signboard in front of the flagpoles at City Hall to publicize all city meetings and notify you of other items of general interest.
At the February 5 city council meeting, we will be reviewing proposed changes to the manner in which the city notifies residents of development projects in their neighborhood and around the city. The city is contemplating discontinuing the A-Frame signs as a method of notification, assuming that most of you already rely on electronic notification through the city website and social media. While there will be some cost savings realized from discontinuing the A-Frame notification, the overarching goal must be enhancing notification and increasing public awareness.  If we can meet that goal, hopefully, increased participation will follow. 
How important are the A-Frames to you? Change can be controversial, but we shouldn’t reject change just because it’s different from what we have always done.  I welcome your feedback on this proposed change. You can reach me at the email or phone number listed at the end of this column.
I encourage everyone to come to a council or commission meeting.  Too often the gallery in the council chambers is empty.  We do live stream our meetings, so perhaps there is a large at-home audience! Please come to a meeting. Weigh in on whatever issue we are reviewing, bring a concern of yours to us, or just let the council know how you think we are doing. You need not be an adult to participate.  All ages are welcome! We meet at 7pm, the first and third Mondays of each month (except on holidays). I can be reached at [email protected] or