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Our Community Focus

Mayor's Message

Jun 10, 2018 09:25PM ● By Elena Hutslar

Tim Flaherty

Last month I reported on the planned expenditure of Measure K funds for the library, roads, and deferred capital improvements. I received one comment from a reader suggesting my positive tone was ignoring “problems” in Pleasant Hill such as rising crime.  I thank the reader for taking the time to comment and start a discussion on the topic of crime.

Preventing Auto Burglaries

At the May 7 council meeting I requested our police chief, Bryan Hill, to speak about the crime rate in Pleasant Hill. Chief Hill said property and persons crime in Pleasant Hill overall is down from prior years. However, the anomaly in that favorable statistic is that auto burglaries are up about 30%. The uptick in car smash and grabs is not limited to Pleasant Hill but is happening all over the Bay Area and statewide. The chief noted these are crimes of opportunity and fully preventable. If you leave personal property in the passenger cab of your car in plain sight, criminals seize that opportunity to smash your window and grab the item. Lock your car. Do not leave any personal property on the seats, floor, or other visible areas of your car. Stow items in the trunk. 

Pleasant Hill has one of the premier small police departments in Northern California. Our top-notch police force works hard every day to ensure public safety. To maintain our high quality of life, the police department has deployed a number of strategies to address auto burglaries, including increased and random patrolling, expansion of volunteer patrol and neighborhood watch programs, and a registration program for security cameras. Let’s all do our part so we can continue to feel and be safe.

Central County Mayors’ Summit

On May 9, 2018, the mayors of Martinez, Lafayette, Walnut Creek, and Concord and I were invited by the Chambers of Commerce for each community to discuss a wide range of topics, from Regional Measure 3 on the June ballot to homelessness, among others. One hundred and sixty members of the hosting chambers attended and asked questions. Regional Measure 3 is a transportation funding measure that goes before voters in all nine Bay Area counties on June 5. The measure raises the toll on most Bay Area Bridges to raise nearly $6 billion over 25 years.  The money would be used to support transit related projects throughout the Bay Area to alleviate traffic congestion by extending public transit and widening freeways, among other transportation projects.

Pleasant Hill works collaboratively with Martinez, Concord, and Walnut Creek to address our homeless issue. The city managers and police chiefs of the four cities meet monthly to work out a regional and holistic approach to our homeless population and the challenges it presents to our communities.  Pleasant Hill and some of our neighboring cities participate in a county run C.O.R.E Program (Coordinated Outreach Referral and Engagement). Pleasant Hill notifies CORE when we encounter homeless, and CORE’s outreach teams step in to assess the needs of the individual(s) and facilitate a connection to shelter and services.

The mayors were each given a few minutes to talk about their city. I noted that Pleasant Hill was younger and hipper than our venerable neighbors. The audience appreciated that while Pleasant Hill may be smaller in population than the neighbors that surround us, our importance is reflected in our central location.  We are, of course, “At The Center Of Everything.”

June Happenings

A library town hall meeting will take place on Tuesday, June 12, at 6:30pm in the Community Center. After many months of public outreach, we expect the library architects to display several preliminary design plans for the new library. The new library is an exciting once- in-a-generation public construction project.  Please attend as your participation now will prove vital to the enduring success of our library when completed.

June is the month of grads and dads. Congratulations to the Class of 2018!  Thank you to all the fathers and father figures. Enjoy your special day.

Share your thoughts and reactions with me at [email protected].


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