Today I want to give you a medley of miscellaneous issues currently on my mind. In a sense, they do not adhere to a single theme, but they are all related. They deal with my job as mayor and staying totally focused on what is best for Concord. This month that involves many different topics. I hope you will find them to be of interest.

  • Topping the list is the financial security of our city. The Fiscal Sustainability Ordinance, which received a unanimous affirmative vote of the City Council, deals directly with the problem.

    It directs that one-time funds and surplus revenues be applied to high-priority areas as identified by the council. We have no higher priority item than our unfunded liabilities.

    In addition, as mayor I have created an ad hoc committee to investigate the financial impact of current health benefits for council members and to make recommendations concerning the modification of these benefits.

  • We all know that a vibrant economy is the key to securing sound fiscal sustainability. One way to achieve this goal is the wise management of our existing assets. A case in point is our recent contract renewal with Live Nation to restore the importance of the Concord Pavilion.

    Live Nation responded favorably to the challenge and invested $4 million upfront, earnest money to renovate our facility.

    The new color scheme is designed to echo the harmony resonating from the stage; it is creating an energy buzz from the front gate to the state-of-the-art dressing rooms.

    Moreover, this upgrading means a doubling of high-level shows that will produce more sellout crowds than we have seen for years. Because of these improvements I expect bonus revenues for the city.

  • At the beginning of this year our staff commenced a one-year selection process to identify a master developer for Phase I implementation of the Concord Reuse Project Area Plan.

    The process has three distinct phases, the first being a qualification review of interested parties. A Request for Qualifications (RFQ) was issued by the council, serving as the Local Reuse Authority (LRA).

    More than 100 individuals, representing 22 different development companies and provisional service firms attended a mandatory presubmittal conference this January.

    We received eight qualification packages. Each submittal was independently reviewed by a highly qualified eight-person review panel.

    The panel reached a consensus on the top four firms, and concluded that there were significant differences in the qualifications between the four firms being recommended to proceed to the next level and the four firms not selected.

    The City Council, in a closed session, was apprised of the panel's recommendations, but technically, at this writing, I am not permitted to disclose the findings because that information will not be public until tomorrow, after this article has been submitted for publication. You'll read about it in the Contra Costa Times and the Transcript.

    The next step in the process will narrow the field down to two firms competing for the title of master developer. By the middle of 2015, the LRA -- acting for the city of Concord -- and the master developer should be able to finalize the terms for the land transfer. We are very hopeful we will see the first transfer of land by the end of 2015.

  • New item: Last week the Concord Police Department had a ceremony where we welcomed eight new sworn officers to our police ranks. Family, friends, and a majority of the City Council welcomed these new officers. We also promoted several deserving officers to the rank of sergeant, a position of significant responsibility in our department.

    Multiple officers were awarded the Life Saving Medal. Officer Sam Figeroa was recognized for his achievement as Contra Costa County Juvenile Delinquency Officer of the Year.

    Our Police Department brings a holistic approach to their mission of keeping the city safe.

  • But it's not all work and no play in Concord! We know how to entertain with the best. The farmers market lines the boundaries of Todos Santos Plaza every Tuesday afternoon and Thursday evening.

    Free concerts attract large, diverse crowds on Thursday evenings; Tuesdays in July will swing with the blues. Intermingled are great activities that include the upcoming Corvette Show and our Fourth of July Festival.

    Concord truly has become a great destination. Entertainment and the arts are found throughout the city.

    Neighborhoods depict the uniqueness that comes from a diversity of cultures. Streets and parks are safe. Schools are improving daily with the addition of academies and the restoration of School Resource Officers. Our future is very bright.

    Tim Grayson is the mayor of Concord. Contact him at citycouncil@ci.concord.ca.us.