Concord Mayor Tim Grayson’s “State of the City” Speech

February 9, 2014 16:00 pm · 50 comments

Please click on the video above to watch Concord Mayor Tim Grayson’s State-of-the-City speech.

old concord February 9, 2014 at 4:28 PM

Boooooo , Anti citizens freedoms . Lose this one quick .

There would be far more February 9, 2014 at 4:54 PM

diversity on the City Council if Council members were elected by district rather than at large. I, for one, am tired of seeing rich white people representing a city of diversity.

Its also time for Concord to begin electing its own mayor. Concord is large enough to require such a large city structure.

Anonymous February 9, 2014 at 4:55 PM

We voted to jack up the sales tax. How are we doing ? Can we bring it down?

mutts February 9, 2014 at 4:57 PM

Don’t have the stomach to watch. I figure its more of the same and no one has the backbone to do anything about the REAL state of this city.

@Anonymous #3 February 9, 2014 at 5:10 PM

The tax was sold as a temporary tax. Many said that there is no such thing as a temporary tax as politicians usually make them permanent.

Our City Council is considering making the temporary tax permanent and increasing the tax.

There a “unfunded liabilities”. I can’t see how the City Council cannot see and prepare for these liabilities rather than addressing them in a panic. I don’t know all of the details, but there has to be a better way to manage these liabilities in a panic.

We do NOT need an elected mayor February 9, 2014 at 5:21 PM

What purpose would it serve, for a largely ceremonial position? After being elected, a Mayor would then start lobbying for a “Mayor’s” separate salary. Keep the job as it is; just a member of the City Council, rotated among the members.

@6 February 9, 2014 at 6:05 PM

you have not been paying attention. The Mayor position is not ceremonial. How do you think we got the temp tax? Change in business fees, new laws, etc. For Pete’s Sake pay attention. Or do you want the POA/Garbage/Seeno to continue to pay for your council to get elected.

KJ February 9, 2014 at 6:31 PM

I hope Concord city officials don’t make the mistake of “luring” business by giving them huge tax breaks and paying for infrastructure out of city coffers. Over and over, cities that have done that have wound up paying out more than they get back. This is especially true when the “business” is a sports arena.

@ # 6 February 9, 2014 at 6:38 PM

The current Mayor is nominated and elected by fellow members of the City Council. It is not a rotation.

An elected Mayor is necessary when Council Members are from districts. The Mayoral duties become significantly more important.

As the largest city in Contra Costa County, Concord should be leading by example and becoming the regional center for government. I can envision the County Seat moving to Concord. Smaller towns surrounding Concord allowing themselves to be annexed. Concord has an opportunity to become THE CITY of the East Bay. I believe Concord’s future is full of opportunity and it needs to be cultivated, not lay dormant. Change is good.

@ #7 & 8 February 9, 2014 at 6:54 PM

Running a campaign for office requires a lot of money, to pay for advertising, posters, fliers, and greasing; and just where do you think all that money comes from? Right. Garaventa and Seeno, among others. Electing a mayor won’t change a thing from what we have at present, only another level of bureaucracy to deal with, and PAY for, including free medical and dental care, and probably retirement benefits. Just say NO to an elected mayor position. Concord has come a long way since inception, with only an elected City Council.

@#2 February 9, 2014 at 7:58 PM

= racist

@@ # 6 February 9, 2014 at 6:38 PM February 9, 2014 at 8:15 PM

The county seat isn’t moving out of Martinez and even if it did, there is no way they could afford to move the infrastructure so it would be the county seat in name only.

No city is going to allow themselves to sucked up by Concord. The individual city councils are not going to give up their power, it’s human nature.

Frankly it’s pretty arrogant for you to think that people from other areas even want to be annexed by Concord.

@ #10----Call it what you will, it IS a rotation February 9, 2014 at 8:39 PM

If it weren’t in fact a “rotation”, why don’t we ever see the same council member “elected” more than once in a row?

Matt The Brat February 9, 2014 at 8:54 PM

‘Talk about bloviating…. it took 23:47 to say “crappy”?

Noj February 9, 2014 at 9:15 PM

I thought Mayor Grayson gave a good state of the City speech.
He wants to make the Grant Street downtown area similar to San Jose’s Santana Row.
He wants a four year college for Contra Costa County built at the Weapons Station.
He wants a large sports venue and/or a first class golf course built at the Weapons Station.
He said that 65% of the Weapons Station will be open space and greenbelt.
He said that the Monument Corridor is on the short list for a complete overhaul.
I like Mayor Grayson. I like Laura Hoffmeister too. These people really help Concord. They don’t get paid much for it, or get a lot of support for doing what they do for us.
I would personally like to have Ygnacio Valley Road repaved as my number one.

Oh, yeah, we need another water-sucking golf course February 9, 2014 at 9:29 PM

Green playgrounds for the elite, while the rest of us are told to ration water.

RANDOM TASK February 9, 2014 at 11:31 PM

@10 wow how much were you paid. Everyone knows the mayorship is a hollow spot designed to appease a system that is broken and being exploited to its extreme. Everyone knows you get on the council play ball for few years then get your share of the loot. Please take your snake oil out of the city limits please we don’t need anymore. The city council will not allow their money train to be dissolved and or replaced by actual people and or a real mayor who is elected and paid to serve the city in a way to progress it and increase its over all education, employment, housing, and overall happiness to increase production in a community and pride. All done by not bending over and taking a payoff from those who intend to destroy our city for a few dollars more. Please this state has been under rule of an evil monarchy for 40+ years and under their supervision this state and every city is on verge of meltdown and chapter 11. Please do not send our children to be indentured servants to a broken and criminal policy. Please feel free to hug your tree and feed and water it as everyone else falls victim to your oversight. The purpose of being a citizen is to help the whole city grow and prosper….not be a punch line to your false agenda.

RANDOM TASK February 9, 2014 at 11:37 PM

@10 really concord is full of opportunity …yes for the greedy and incumbent criminals who have obviously steered you to their own desires. They have manipulated opportunity to further our demise as they take all our earnings. these opportunities you speak of are for illegals and low income free housing money….free healthcare …..and votes to keep the crime ongoing. Feel free to empathies with said opportunist as your kickback depends on it.

RANDOM TASK February 10, 2014 at 12:01 AM

wow thanks mayor this post is so full of holes it is transparent. You voted for a temp tax lol you were told and have been told for years that never gets taken off the books …..when the money is flowing why stop it and since it is no longer going to something that can be tracked it can be fleeced and plucked at their will. You fall for it every time …they threaten closing schools and you jump and pony up. Hey ever think that if a politician who is supposed to do their job so well they will get re-elected and continue doing well for us would ever let schools be closed and crime to rise and infrastructure to decline. If their job was actually on the line they would bust their butts to make that not happen ……they know you buckle at their pointed words and give all your money to them …wait sounds like a tv evangelist……woah your soul will be for ever in demise unless you help us help you with a small donation and for only a small half tax we will be stronger and better than any other. Well it seems we need to bolster up and find a way to give more or we will be for ever under the fingers of the evil doers…..find a way to reach for more money and it will be temporary for a short time as to send us down the golden road. Well it appears we are in need of some more pews in all our services so we will continue to collect for years to come and you will be coddled for your efforts with new wooden seats made of ALL NEW recycled materials made in shops by our biggest backers as we give them all your money…….as well as tax cuts ….and these new seats will be made by our new neighbors in south America who pay nothing back to our community accept immigrants looking for your tax dollars so they can send it back to their country and retire millionaires. So its late and just as the same slop you get fed every day this was a bit more ..obscured and off the mark ..maybe yet not even close to the actual slop flying at you daily from your elected puppets.

The one and only Anon E. Mouse February 10, 2014 at 1:54 AM

Mayor’s coffee break? Well too bad they are driving small businesses OUT of Concord, they could meet at Panama Red coffeehouse.. EXCEPT they CLOSED down and moved to Walnut Creek. Found out that the hard way when I went to splurge and get coffee on my birthday, only to find out they shuttered their doors. Who is going to pay for the downtown remodel when they can’t even keep businesses there?? (Psst… it’s us.)
Tax measure Q was set to expire next year…when they extend it “indefinitely” and increase it to cover their financial “short fall” (read incompetence), I will be logging in from my new house in a new town and post “I told you so!” A wise man once said: “fool me once, shame on — shame on you. Fool me — you can’t get fooled again.” Let hope Concord voters don’t get fooled again by the City crying wolf.
If the city council’s previous track record since I’ve been following local politics is an indication, I will be getting out of here just in time before the train wreck of the Naval weapon station redevelopment begins.
Concord, the new Oakland.

Anonymous February 10, 2014 at 5:56 AM

Why do anything to the weapons station? Leave it open space.

State of. The Citizenry February 10, 2014 at 6:35 AM

Here is what a citizen wants:

A good, quick police dept. One that catches burglars, dopers and other thugs. A good clean bandit shooting from time to rime is fine ,too.The POA should leave running the City Council to the garbage company and developers.

Lead foot Laura to slow down.

A real reluctance to appease the developers from tearing up the open space at the Weapons Station to build section eight housing and strip malls. See above.

Promoting the Mayor of Claycord , recognizing Atticus Thraxx as the greatest living blogger and

Freeing Connie Dobbs.

Golfer February 10, 2014 at 7:28 AM

Hey number #18 your current golf is one of the largest contributors to the general fund for the city of Concord and it’s self efficient when it come to water because it has it’s own water source using well water. The course is old and tired and it’s getting tougher to compete with newer courses in the area. A new course would bring even greater revenue to the city coffers, and if it was built in the correct location it could also use well water.

Dorothy Englund February 10, 2014 at 7:45 AM

I researched Pleasant Hill’s Mayoral “Elections” going back to the 1960’s and the City has consistently followed a traditional Mayoral Rotation where the Vice Mayor becomes Mayor. There were two or three blips – the most recent in 1990. But, I could tell from the minutes that members of Council understood the reasons. And, in all cases where the Vice Mayor didn’t make Mayor the following year, he or she was elected Mayor the year after that.

Tradition and precedent is important. I suggest you look back a few decades at Concord’s Mayoral Elections to see what pattern emerges. I’m betting the pattern will follow a rotation through the chairs and the Vice Mayor consistently becomes Mayor.

When Council members break an established practice and tradition, they owe it to the public to explain the reasons for their actions. The public is still waiting for Michael Harris, Ken Carlson, and Tim Flaherty to “come clean” and explain why they rejected our Vice Mayor and instead appointed Flaherty, a junior, one-year Council member, to the position.

NoMoreFreeRide February 10, 2014 at 8:55 AM

Room full of dignitaries but not constituents. There’s the first problem!

BCuzItzClaycord February 10, 2014 at 9:17 AM

#14 – totally agree. No other city in the area wants to “be” Concord or be annexed by Concord. Just reading the stuff on Claycord is enough for them to say Hell No!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And reading the mindless crap Random Tasks write is icing on that cake.
Dorothy Englund – watch Cocnord like a hawk as Ron Leone is the “Vice Mayor” which meand he is the next mayor…..He was mayor 3 years ago (rotation was Leone, Helix and now Grayson and then back to Leone????)…..hmmmmmmmmmmm……….do you think they are trying to ice Edi out. After all Edi is the only one not in the POA/Seeno/Garaventa pockets…..interesting
Everyone, take a look at the downtown plan that was just trotted out…….More freakin housing. When will the dolts that run this city learn that a middle/lower middle class entity can not survive on “bedroom” taxes. It need more business. It needs the kind of business that provides jobs that pay more than minimum wage, business that will attract workers that in the end will want live close to work and be able to do so. Popeye’s and all the other mini-market fast food places are not what is needed.

Anonymous February 10, 2014 at 9:36 AM


Thank you for your thoughts on Pleasant Hill /Concord succession of mayors.

Beside you and Toto very few care.

Antler February 10, 2014 at 9:45 AM

#26…… But you see, here in CONCORD, Ron Leone was our most recent mayor…..yet he was immediately put back into position as our current vice-mayor! That puts him right back in position to be mayor NEXT…….AGAIN!

Certain cliques on any city council are beholden to their mutual election donators. So there needs to be a definite, impartial SYSTEM established, which insures that the rotation includes ALL council members.

Rollo Tomasi February 10, 2014 at 10:22 AM

@ #25

Don’t confuse them with facts.

Dorothy Englund February 10, 2014 at 10:24 AM

Does anyone know if Edi Birsan was successful in convincing Concord City Council to formally adopt an ordinance or rules or procedures to formalize the traditional Mayoral rotation?

BCuzItzClaycord February 10, 2014 at 10:52 AM

Dorothy Englund – watch the video from city council a couple of meetings back to answer your question on #32……….I swear they were crapping their tights at the suggestion of change………..Seeno/Garaventa/POA have the control all sewn up.
Oh and any guesses as to who will be the key developer on the downtown project. And plan for uncontrolled increases in your garbage rates since the city signed a never ending contract which equals no competition EVER!!!!!!

Antler February 10, 2014 at 11:13 AM

**** correction to my post at #30….. Should have read that Leone was ONE OF our most recent mayors…. sorry, need coffee.

Anonymous February 10, 2014 at 11:17 AM

Listen peasants:

The garbage company owns this city and we will thank you to keep that in mind.

The Politicians

Antler February 10, 2014 at 11:19 AM

As I recall….and perhaps he will post to this subject….. Councilman Birsan’s motion was merely to get a staff study and report on the possible ways to ensure a fair rotation. Not a single council member would even second the motion for THAT much.

Idiocracy February 10, 2014 at 11:39 AM

So did we actually elect any of these ppl? If not fleece em, I say a good ol fashion Tar n feathering would rattle these democratic demons. Real Talk Randoms got a point CA has been run into the ground by handout bandits aka Democrates/ libtards for 40 years. I see chaos as our population grows and the middle class finally snaps after being over taxed to pay for lazy citizens and illegals. But hey we are so focused as a nation its so great! Just read MSN today and Michelle Obama is proud of a gay football player! Lets not focus on the Olympics or a raging war in Syria or our National Debt or our crumbling infrastructure and our failing schools or our terrible media that causes more problems rather than report the facts. Its so great to live here in the land of the free where nothing is really free

@Golfer #25 Using well water for a golf course still uses aquifer water February 10, 2014 at 12:02 PM

Why spend millions to build a NEW golf course when that money could be better spent improving existing courses? The Naval Weapons property should be used for housing and revenue producing businesses, with open space surrounding. Golf courses are wasteful uses of land, and, with their excesses of fertilizer and pesticide use, polluters of our water systems as well. One might also consider the extra traffic generated, especially if a golf course were to become famous. Again, spend the money to improve the EXISTING COURSES, and generate the revenue there, do not build more.

Dorothy Englund February 10, 2014 at 12:31 PM

@Anonymous #29
That’s where you’re wrong. The typical Pleasant Hill resident (and there are many) find what Harris, Carlson, and Flaherty did to be an abuse of office and a disgrace. It’s too bad they don’t represent most Pleasant Hill residents.

Some cities, like Pittsburg, went through a similar debacle at one time or another and changed their ordinances as a result. Now, Pittsburg’s codes specify that the Vice Mayor will become Mayor. And, Pittsburg still holds a ceremonial election even though the outcome is known. Pleasant Hill should do the same or the citizens will likely continue to be subjected to the same kind of tyranny that Harris and Flaherty demonstrated on December 2, 2013 (and their unwitting “Co Partner in Crime” Ken Carlson.

And, obviously, Edi Birsan cares or he wouldn’t have brought the issue before the Concord City Council.

I always find it amusing when a few Claycordians post unsubstantiated comments (like you did).

Dorothy Englund February 10, 2014 at 12:35 PM

@Antler #30
You may be on to something there. A few longtime Concord City Council members finally retired. It could be the City is still following the traditional, ceremonial rotation, and Leone was bumped up in the order due to the retirement of other Council members.

Dorothy Englund February 10, 2014 at 12:36 PM

@Marissa #33
No, you are incorrect. Jack Weir has far more experience leading than Tim Flaherty has. And, he doesn’t start to nod off during Council meetings.

Dorothy Englund February 10, 2014 at 12:38 PM

Thanks BCuzItzClaycord #34-
I will take a look at the video. And, I may have to make an appearance at a future Concord City Council meeting to let your Council know how our Council members disgraced our City and I hope they will formalize the traditional rotation so Concord doesn’t make the same mistake.

Dorothy Englund February 10, 2014 at 12:42 PM

@Antler #37
I’ve already done some research and I could save staff some time. They should look at Pittsburg if they want to see a codified rotation. And, they should look at Moraga’s Rules and Procedures if they want to look at capturing the intent that all Council members will have a chance to serve as Mayor without locking themselves in if circumstances warrant a deviation from tradition (which Harris, Carlson, and Flaherty have not managed to prove in the case of Pleasant Hill’s most recent Mayoral “election”).

The fact no Concord councilmember wouldn't second Birsan's motion is a shame February 10, 2014 at 12:57 PM

What most folks don’t understand, is to second a motion merely puts that topic(motion) on the table so it can be discussed. Once it has been discussed, there will usually be a motion to amend, to send the motion to a committee for further study, or it can be voted on to end discussion. But apparently our gutless council members were afraid to even discuss Birsan’s idea. What a sham. And I do mean SHAM, not a misspelling of shame.

Antler February 10, 2014 at 2:12 PM

Dorothy Englund:
Please rest assured that the City of Concord staff is outstanding and it’s members are cognizant of what the procedures are in many other cities….nearby and around the state, but they will not proceed with a formalized study and documented report (with protection against any change of “due process”) UNLESS and UNTIL cleared by the Council to do so.

My opinion is that it would not be of help for a non-Concord resident to use up public comment time in Concord’s meetings! No matter what your good intentions, the end result would likely be antagonism from Concord meeting attendees, staff, and council. Sending letters giving your credentials and contact information might be a better way to go, as you are kind to offer.

You see, standing out as blatant “Unfinished Business” is that the Pleasant Hill debacle has already been well documented and publicized and seemingly still needs your full attention! 🙂

anon February 10, 2014 at 2:19 PM


old concord February 10, 2014 at 5:11 PM

We need new people to stop this stupid agenda the council has going . Treating marijuana like a crime rather than a personal health issue is wrong . We the people need safe access to our medicine now . We the people need to be more important than the businesses and corporate dollars in this city . I worry what the council will do with our weapons station . It will be gone before we even get it .

old concord February 10, 2014 at 5:16 PM

I am not big on a stadium in Concord even if Grayson construction does some how win the contract .

Dorothy Englund February 10, 2014 at 6:33 PM

@Antler #47
Thank you for your advice. We have had several Concord residents participate in public comment in Pleasant Hill (during the firearms ordinance hearings among other things). They were always politely received by Pleasant Hill residents, staff and council. So, I’m sure I can expect the same reception in Concord.

I don’t think the Pleasant Hill debacle needs “my full attention,” but I am always pleased to volunteer as much time as necessary to keep local government honest.

I hope the Mayor will obtain and share a copy of the video from last Friday’s “Mayor’s Breakfast” in Pleasant Hill. I am hearing back from several attendees that Mr. Flaherty’s speech was very embarrassing (to himself and others). Reportedly, he introduced Vice Mayor Ken Carlson as his “Partner in Crime….”

I think posters like Marissa #33 can benefit from viewing the video. I’m really curious to see if it’s as bad as people are making it out to be.

BCuzItzClaycord February 10, 2014 at 9:04 PM

Old Concord – this city need business that bring in decent paying jobs…jobs that pay more than minimum wage. What it doesn’t need is more potheads like you. There is more a need for jobs in this community, not dope.
Personally I don’t give a flying rats butt if people smoke dope….what I get tired of is people claiming it is “medicinal” when it is not. Face it most smoke for “pleasure” and not ” necessity”.

EdiBirsan February 11, 2014 at 7:24 AM

@32 Dorothy Englund
The City Council rejected (4-1) the idea of looking at the defined rotation for selection of Mayor.

As info: we know have a TWO year term for the appointed Mayor which means that Mayor Grayson will serve till December 2015

We only have a ONE year term for Vice Mayor, which means that Vice Mayor Leone will expire on December 2014 and there will be a new vote for Vice Mayor at the end of this year.

Dorothy Englund February 11, 2014 at 8:21 AM

@EdiBirsan #53
Thank you for your comments. I am surprised Concord switched to a two-year term for Mayor. Based on my research, most cities prefer a one-year term and a predictable rotation from Vice Mayor to Mayor.

Before Concord’s switch to a two-year term, Antioch was the only City in Contra Costa County with a two-year term – with Council electing the Mayor in even years. It would be interesting to do a little more research and see how Antioch’s two-year term for Mayor impacts the rotation.

Best wishes for continued success in public office. I couldn’t vote for you, but I was cheering for you behind the scenes. You seem to represent the residents rather than special interests and that’s the kind of public servant the people deserve.

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