Number 10. Newly elected city officials. In November's election, voters brought into city office three new faces, Councilmembers Ken Carlson and Tim Flaherty, and City Clerk Kimberly Lehmkuhl. Voters also re-elected Councilmember David Durant and City Treasurer Mark Celio.
Number 9. DVC Plaza. I’m looking forward with eager anticipation to the renovation of this out-of-date shopping center. I can envision a mixed-use development with a thriving shopping mecca, housing for DVC students and faculty with trendy cafés and other amenities along the creek.
Number 8. Improve pedestrian and bike safety. Through the great work of our city staff, we've been able to provide safer trail crossings for pedestrians and bike riders. Each of the new crossings is designed to help both drivers and trail users manage the challenge of sharing our roads in the safest manner possible.
Number 7. Capital improvement projects. There are major improvements on the way for the intersection of Pleasant Hill Road and Geary Avenue, Buskirk Avenue and Contra Costa Boulevard. None of this would have been possible without the hard work of our staff that generated some $2 million in grants to fund these projects.
Number 6. Economic development programs. To help current businesses and to entice others to locate in Pleasant Hill, the City Council has established two grants and loans programs, a retail-marketing program and a façade improvement program. To learn more about programs, please contact our economic development director Kelly Calhoun at 925-671-5213.
Number 5. Special events. This past year we’ve seen many special events that have enriched our lives and provided our families with opportunities to enjoy what's best about our community. Among my favorites are the Art, Jazz & Wine Festival, Light up the Night, the Fourth of July Celebration, and the Summer Concerts at City Hall and downtown. I'm looking forward to enjoying all of these events again this year. Hope to see you there.
Number 4. Community Service Day. When I introduced Community Service Day during my first term as mayor, I knew it had great potential to bring people of all ages together to improve the quality of life in Pleasant Hill. Now entering its ninth year, I have not been disappointed. Our Community Service Day has been so successful that other communities have copied it. It was recognized last year by the League of California Cities as the best Community Service and Development Program in California. Our ninth annual Community Service Day will be Saturday, September 28, 2013. Please mark it on your calendar.
Number 3. New businesses. We welcomed many new businesses to our community in the past 12 months. Among my favorites are In N Out Burger and Zachary's Pizza. The old Mervyn’s site now houses a new Safeway with Nordstrom Rack scheduled to open next door. My wife can hardly wait!
Number 2. New Senior Center and Teen Center. Both of these facilities are welcomed additions to our city. I'm looking forward to the opening of the new Community Center later this year. Hats off to the Rec & Park District and all those who worked so hard to see the centers become a reality.
Number 1. The People. You, the residents, are the major reason Pleasant Hill is such a great place it is to live, work, and raise a family. My sincere thanks for all you do for the city we call home!