As Concord makes progress, budget concerns a priority

On Jan. 29, I had the honor of delivering the State of the City address at the 35th annual mayor’s luncheon and awards ceremony hosted by the Greater Concord Chamber of Commerce.

It was special to look out at the hundreds of community leaders who work so hard on behalf of our city and share my excitement about the future.

Among our recent accomplishments, I highlighted the City Council’s recent decision to establish a smoking ban in multi-family housing units; allocation of $7.8 million for the development of affordable housing; completion of several capital improvement projects, including roadway paving projects and a Safe Routes to School project; the arrival of dozens of new restaurants and shops; and the success of our Tourism and Business Improvement District, known as Visit Concord.

At the forefront of the city’s priorities are quality of life, fiscal stability, economic development, public safety, infrastructure and the development of the former Concord Naval Weapons Station.

I am proud that we are making positive headway in these areas. We will continue to focus on making the city an even more attractive place to live, work, play, raise a family and visit.

Our challenges include a budget shortfall, an urgent need for roadway and other infrastructure repairs and our continued struggle with a growing homeless population.

While the city is taking steps to address each of these issues, I wanted to outline our fiscal challenges. It’s a topic we have been communicating for nearly two years and that we will continue to grapple with in the year ahead.

Although Concord has a balanced general fund budget this year, we did so through the use of reserves to protect funding for vital community services and maintain current service levels.

Looking at our long-term fiscal model, the city’s financial challenge increases to a $33 million deficit by fiscal year 2026-’27, which represents nearly one-third of our overall general fund budget.

During the Great Recession, the city had to make some serious cuts. Deferring maintenance on roads and facilities was a big cost saver. Over time, however, it gets more expensive to repair and replace this vital infrastructure. This is why it is so important to preserve our locally controlled funding.

The council will be discussing the budget at the Feb. 25 meeting, where we will receive an update on financial projections. There will be opportunities for the community to weigh in on potential cuts or new revenues over the coming months. We encourage public input, so please be sure to attend our meetings and use our online tools to tell us your funding priorities.

As mayor, my job is to make sure we move forward, fight hard and succeed every day. We must work together to create the type of community that we can be proud to call our own.

As a team and as a community, we all get better when we push past what is possible. As mayor, I bring that mindset into every meeting, every project and every interaction.

Thank you for all you do to contribute to the vibrancy of our city. I look forward to working in partnership with you to achieve our mission of making Concord a city of the highest quality.

If you did not have a chance to attend the event, you can watch my speech on the city’s website or on Concord TV – Comcast 28, Wave 29 or AT&T U-verse 99.

Finally, please join me at my next Meet Up With the Mayor, 10 a.m.-noon Feb. 22 at Centre Concord and Preschool, 5298 Clayton Road. The preschool is having its open house, so you can get more information about the programs.

Mayor Tim McGallian can be reached at 925.671.2489 or email