W. Brian Hiatt has served as Concord's City Manager since 1998. He came to Concord from Hickory where he served as Assistant City Manager for over 10 years. Brian holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in History and Government Service from Appalachian State University where he was a summa cum laude graduate, and a Master of Public Administration from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He has been recognized as a Credentialed City Manager by ICMA.
Active in the community, Brian is a Past President of the Academic Learning Center and continues to serve on that Board. He is on the Board of Directors for the Cabarrus Economic Development Corporation and the Water and Sewer Authority of Cabarrus County. Brian has served as the Chair of the Cabarrus County United Way Board three times since 1999, most recently in 2015, and was Chair of the United Way Campaign in Cabarrus County in 2002. He is a Past-President of the Concord Rotary Club, where he was named Rotarian of the Year in 2012, and the Lake Hickory Rotary Club. He is also a former board member of Hospice of Cabarrus County. He is a Past President of the North Carolina City and County Management Association, having served as President in 2012-13, and has served on several committees supporting the International City and County Management Association. Brian was a member of the Board of Directors of the NC League of Municipalities from 2004 through 2008. Brian is married to Julie, and they have two grown children, Andrew and Erin.
by Brian Hiatt
Ever travel down the street and get annoyed by flimsy signs stuck in the ground with two wires or nailed to a utility pole that are advertising something that has nothing to do with the property it is sitting on or in front of? These signs may advertise businesses that claim to buy houses, junk cars, sell prescription drugs or are trying to hire temporary employees. Other times it might be a business located elsewhere trying to use the road right-of-way as a free location for a cheap – and often unsightly- sign.
These signs generally violate City of Concord ordinances, though there are different rules immediately before elections. Illegal signs clutter the roadside and often can be a distraction to drivers. If adjacent to a business, these temporary signs can also distract from the permanent signs that are properly permitted by the business owner. Attaching any advertising or other temporary sign to a utility pole is prohibited. City Code Enforcement personnel are constantly battling those responsible for these signs. Many are out-of-City companies that only operate with an 800 number and can be difficult to trace and be served with violation notices. In those cases the only alternative is just to remove the signs. Code Enforcement collects hundreds of these signs every year.
Owners of adjacent properties can help by simply removing these signs as soon as they appear. If the signs are removed quickly, the incentive to pay someone to put them up will go away. It also reduces the workload on enforcement personnel, so they can focus on the other parts of their job in keeping the City safe and clean.
In November, City Council approved an updated version of the sign ordinance, which aims to assist businesses while keeping our community attractive. Click here for more information.