This presentation is an opportunity to reflect on what we, as a city and a cohesive community, have accomplished and where we are headed.
I am proud of the work the city has done to respond to the pandemic, and I’m thankful for the many partnerships that we have created over this last year to support residents and businesses in need.
Looking ahead, we still have much to do, including the implementation of plans and programs (some of which I’ll highlight here) that will make a positive impact on our community.
State of the City
If you would like to watch the State of the City presentation in its entirety, please check it out on Concord TV (Comcast 28, Wave 29 or AT&T U-verse 99) or find the YouTube link at cityofconcord.org.
In late February, the City Council held its annual priority setting meeting. Among the many high-priority goals we have for 2021, those that stand out include:
- Developing a strategy for investing our Measure V funds into near-term infrastructure projects based on community priorities.
- Implementing the CORE (Coordinated Outreach Referral and Engagement) and MHET (Mental Health Evaluation Team) pilot programs to support the unsheltered and residents with mental health challenges.
- Utilizing additional federal funding to help with recovery efforts, housing stabilization and economic development.
The council discussed the Measure V investment strategy on March 9 and will continue conversations about the city’s Capital Improvement Projects (CIP) plans and budget over the coming months. Our goal is to determine how we can leverage the Measure V funding to initiate an accelerated investment program for our road and infrastructure improvement projects.
To receive calendar alerts and council agendas about upcoming meetings, please visit cityofconcord.org/notifyme.
I am proud to report that our recent investment in the CORE and MHET programs (detailed in my February column) are underway, with our CORE team now working full-time in Concord to support our unsheltered residents. Scheduled to begin in May, the MHET pilot will provide support in the form of a mental health specialist paired with a police officer to respond to residents prior to their being in crisis.
The goal of MHET is to avoid mental health crises when possible by ensuring those in need are receiving support and getting help accessing resources.
In early March, the U.S. Senate and House passed an amended version of President Joe Biden’s American Rescue Plan, which will provide billions of dollars to cities and states to support COVID relief efforts. While it is still unclear how much funding Concord will receive, and the rules for receiving the funding, our staff and council will share this information once we have it.
COVID stats improving
As of March 14, Contra Costa County was back in the Red Tier of the state’s color-coded system. Indicators such as COVID case rates, testing positivity and equity metrics are headed in the right direction.
- More business activities will be allowed, including:
- Restaurants can open indoors at 25 percent capacity or 100 people.
- Retail can open indoors at 50 percent capacity.
- Places of worship indoor occupancy remains at 25 percent capacity.
- Gyms and fitness centers can open indoors at 10 percent capacity.
- Grades 7-12 in middle and high schools are allowed to open.
Additionally, vaccinations are well underway. As of March 10, more than 371,000 vaccination doses had been administered in the county, and officials were anticipating a surge in vaccine availability.
In the March 18 “Concord Connected” podcast, I talked with Deputy Health Officer Dr. Ori Tzvieli about the state of the pandemic and the latest in vaccine distribution. You can tune in through Apple, Spotify or Soundcloud. For direct links, visit cityofconcord.org/news.
There is a light at the end of the tunnel. I can see it, and I am so grateful to our community for doing its part to stay safe and healthy. Keep doing what you’re doing, and we will continue to get through this together.
Mayor Tim McGallian can be reached at 925.671.2489 or email Tim.McGallian@cityofconcord.org