The Water Cooler – Splitting the Concord City Council Into Districts – And Should the Mayor be Elected by the Citizens?

December 7, 2017 12:00 pm · 42 comments

The “Water Cooler” is a feature on where we ask you a question or provide a topic, and you talk about it.

The “Water Cooler” will be up Monday-Friday in the noon hour.

Do you think each Concord City Councilmember should represent a certain district within the city, and do you think those who represent the districts should be elected by people only in those districts? Also, do you think Concord should have a Mayor who is elected, and not appointed?

Talk about it….

Dawg December 7, 2017 at 12:22 PM

Yes to all of the above.

Concordejet December 7, 2017 at 12:48 PM

me too I am with you:)

Concord Gal December 7, 2017 at 1:28 PM

yes on both

Laura N. December 7, 2017 at 6:09 PM

Yes, I’d like to see district based elections in Concord. BUT I want to see it happen by way of a transparent process that uses an independent committee. Those in office should be hands off.

Theyellowranger December 7, 2017 at 6:52 PM


Sick of it December 7, 2017 at 12:23 PM

It’s time for Concord to grow up and have a elected mayor. This rotation through the same group is ridiculous. Just look at the condition this city in and where it s headed too. Nothing changes when it’s the same always the same group with no new ideas but how to better promote themselves. The council should recognize all areas of concord not just districts. That will further devide this city up by doing that if they represent only there interest

NoMoreFreeRide December 7, 2017 at 12:27 PM

Yes & Yes

No way December 7, 2017 at 12:40 PM

If we further divide the City into Districts, then this may mean that Council members are mainly concerned about their own district. The City Council should be concerned with the ENTIRE City, not just “their” District.

The Mayor is still only ONE vote. Having a separate election is ridiculous. Edi finally got his way. He can stop beating this drum.

WC resident December 7, 2017 at 1:22 PM

I believe districts would be useful as there may be cities where most or possibly all of the council members are from the same area of the city.

Concord may be large enough where they could transition to a Mayor–council form of government. Keep in mind that this will add more middlemen to the payroll as an elected mayor’s office usually has a sizable staff.

Anonymous December 7, 2017 at 1:32 PM

I agree district elections will mean that people will only care about their districts & screw over the rest of the city. As for switching to a mayor/council form of government, this is also a rotten idea as it just creates even more opportunities for mischief and corruption

Michael December 7, 2017 at 3:51 PM

The federal system has been quite successful here in the US to mediate regional differences. This gives neighborhoods more clout with their representatives as their votes will mean more to their local rep than a rep willing to dump them to gain the votes of the rest of the city.

J December 7, 2017 at 12:43 PM

I live here and the longer I do the worse it gets…city council does nothing but “beautify” the monument corridor while the rest of the city suffers…Lipstick on a pig…Let’s get an elected Mayor who will do something differently…What’s the old saying… keep doing the same thing over and over expecting a different result is definition of insanity…I rest my case

Sacto Rob December 7, 2017 at 12:43 PM

District elections serve only one purpose; to empower special interests over the interests of the public at large. Then end up dividing a city into warring camps of dysfunction. It’s much better when every member of the council has to appeal to all of the city’s voters.
And if you’re going to go from the “weak mayor” to the “strong mayor” system, that’s cool, but if you do, save money and get rid of the city manager, as the Mayor will be taking on what were the CM’s responsibilities.

Lirk_Patrick December 7, 2017 at 12:44 PM

I’m all for changing the “We’ll see what other cities do” government

Michael December 7, 2017 at 3:52 PM

haha. Lots of people here arguing against the existence of states under the US government.

Evis December 7, 2017 at 12:45 PM

Yes I do! Elected, with an open-door policy, not catering to special interests nor setting plaques to commemorate them self, representing the entire population, with veto power over anything put forth by a council, also elected, districts or not, who has the betterment of the area as a priority. And, so should Clayton. What we have now seems vaguey socialist.

Concord Mike December 7, 2017 at 12:49 PM

It is hard for me to imagine cutting up Concord into 5 o4 7 districts without arguments over gerrymandering. Who draws the lines? Who decides how many Hispanics, Caucasians, or other groups need to be in each district?
How do you manage the growth of the weapons station population? For the next 30 years we will be sub-dividing and realigning the boundaries. A big waste of everyone’s time.

As far as an elected mayor is concerned, I need to know the responsibilities associated with that role before agreeing it is a good idea. Need term limits.

Concordejet December 7, 2017 at 12:53 PM

Yes, I am in for all the new change will be great and happy to have the elected mayor. great guy:)

anon December 7, 2017 at 3:47 PM

Why does the mayor have to be a great GUY?

J December 7, 2017 at 1:03 PM

@Evis…vaguely? The while star IS socialist state with elections to just appease the masses… votes anywhere in California mean NOTHING

Cellophane December 7, 2017 at 1:03 PM

It really doesn’t matter.

It costs about $100,000 to get elected to the council in this town, posters, placards and all that crap.

Most people are not that rich which means big contributors will own the council just like they do now.

Which means there will be more people like Grayson who come in, take over, mess things up and leave for higher office.

Thank you average CA voters.

Dorothy December 7, 2017 at 1:16 PM

Not in favor of district voting. Not in favor of electing mayors separate. Not in favor of giving the political cash givers more options to buy their own politicians at any level.

Keep all three barrels up December 7, 2017 at 1:25 PM

Yes to both!

concordkiwi December 7, 2017 at 1:33 PM

No to districts, but the mayor should be elected by the pople

Anonymous December 7, 2017 at 1:36 PM

Why ask us ? The POA and the garbage company will decide for us.

Nature Lover December 7, 2017 at 1:51 PM

No to both ideas….it would create more problems. If all you complainers out there would bother to vote we might have more moderates in office.

One of Many December 7, 2017 at 2:06 PM

Yes, and I believe all cities should have an elected mayor.

Strad December 7, 2017 at 2:06 PM

Yes, Yes, Long over due.

Bruce December 7, 2017 at 2:54 PM

We should not have city council districts because we are not a large and/or diverse enough an area. All council member should represent ALL Concord residents (read no special interests). Not that it makes any difference to the City, but city council districts will increase the cost of county elections because city districts will require more ballots to be printed. Each city council district would require its own ballot. Higher mandatory county expenses only drive higher county taxes (read property taxes).

I don’t think that we should have an elected mayer either because we’re not a large enough city and I think it would cost more. Election costs would increase due to another ballot race. City staff costs would increase due to a mayor’s staff and entourage.

To the person above who wants to see more change, don’t vote for incumbent council members, and tell all your friends not to either. I doubt that an elected mayor will effect more change.

Well Folks December 8, 2017 at 4:53 PM

Bruce – Concords population is 130,000+ and growing. It is big enough for a directly elected Mayor and should have one. There are cities in the area like Martinez that have around 36,000 people and they have a directly elected Mayor. Picking the mayor via the “buddy” system is sooo Mickey Mouse and small time. Concords governing body needs to grow up to match the size of the population

The Mamba December 7, 2017 at 3:04 PM

Yes, and the city council should be sent on a mission to Mars.

BagsFlyFree December 7, 2017 at 3:16 PM

@ Bruce, I agree 100% with your last point.

Ryan December 7, 2017 at 4:20 PM

Yes, the people should vote on who is going to be mayor. I grew up in a large city where the mayor was always voted on, so it seems odd that there is just a council that rotates who the mayor is.

Laura N. December 7, 2017 at 4:26 PM

The city of Concord is large and diverse. Concord is the largest city in Contra Costa County. District-based elections are about accountability, accessibility and empowerment of the voters. District-based elections are more relational between the office holder and their constituents.

Regarding costs of elections: more qualified candidates might be able to run in their district if they don’t have to canvass the entire city (very costly).

The Concord City Council need to proceed immediately and transparently, using an independent committee to implement district-based elections.

We need to think little “d” demoncracy and make this about the people and for the people.

Michael December 8, 2017 at 12:00 AM

well said.

RANDOM TASK December 7, 2017 at 4:56 PM

uhhhh they are all corrupt so dividing it will only help them grind us down faster ….wow can not believe you all like to be over taxed have a police force 3 sizes to small ….bums legally panhandling where ever they want …crime out of control …so much so now the victims are being shamed and blamed because they should not have been there or should not have left a grocery bag in their vehicle or should move to texas…..for shame you preach beauty and friendship then slam down victims as you pass laws to harbor and cater to criminals and illegal activity ….so much so to even create your own laws to harbor illegals …..then yeah you should be a slave to a official who covers you neighborhood and have to grovel for repairs or even police to show up in your neighborhood …like little godfathers with complete control over your street and your home ….WOW YOU ARE TO FAR GONE TO BE ACTUALLY TAKEN SERIOUS

RANDOM TASK December 7, 2017 at 5:00 PM


Randy December 7, 2017 at 5:21 PM

Why an elected Mayor?. Cities are run by the city manager appointed by the council. Not doing a good job fire him. Do you want an inexperienced politician running a multi million dollar business ? It makes no sense.

Julio December 7, 2017 at 6:35 PM

No on districts. Yes on elected Mayor. We need a consistent person as mayor for 4 years because it allows the city to be better represented in the county and state.

Recall 'Em All December 7, 2017 at 6:54 PM

I would like to see districts established and I think every representative should care about the City as a whole, but I’d prefer having someone who understands my area and represents the causes that are special to my neighborhood. Traffic? Homeless? Blight? Some of us are impacted more than others. Elected Mayor is a different way to govern. We are run by our City Manager, so our structure would have to change.

D.V. Guy December 8, 2017 at 7:11 AM

@Laura N,

Yep! and it’s about time……

It's Me December 8, 2017 at 11:16 AM

No to districts. Yes to mayor.

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