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
The Year of the Master Plan
The next twelve months will be a year full of activity for City staff, City Council, and residents of Concord. With the growth of our community comes the need to constantly plan for the future. These are exciting times as we prepare not only for the services and lifestyle of a very active baby boomer generation, but also for members of younger generations who are staying and raising families in their hometown community, and for newcomers moving here to enjoy the quality of life.
Over the past few months our Planning and Neighborhood Development Department has been coordinating an update to the City’s Downtown Master Plan. This started with a comprehensive parking study, followed by a market analysis focused on the great potential that exists for continued development in the areas of residential, retail, dining, and office uses. In March, contracted experts worked with our staff to solicit stakeholder input on future design aspects of downtown, building on the information from the parking study and the market analysis. The goal was to generate ideas for how we can make Concord’s downtown even more appealing to people that would like to live, work, and play in an urban environment. These ideas will be formally presented to City Council later this year so they can prioritize elements of the plan.
After that is completed, staff will be following-up quickly to engage help from a consultant to facilitate the updating of the City’s Land Use Plan. City Council has adopted this as one of its goals for fiscal year 2016-17. Land Use Plans present a vision for the future, with long-range goals and objectives for all development activities. This includes guidance on how to make decisions on public and private land development proposals. In other words, it provides an outline of how we want the community to grow and look in future years. Like the Downtown Master Plan, there will be many opportunities for stakeholder input throughout the process.
As the community grows, so does the demand for services and facilities. Another FY 2016-17 Council goal is the updating of the Parks and Recreation Master Plan. Obviously, more facilities are needed to meet the demands of Concord's growing population. What is not obvious is what type of facilities and how to prioritize meeting demands. At the same time we must plan for the needs of an active aging population and the needs of kids and younger adults looking for more opportunities for recreation. This is another process where an important component will be feedback from residents. Look for those opportunities in the coming months.
We also continue to plan for our infrastructure and core services. A good example is in our Water Resources Department. A growing population and greater emphasis on environmental concerns requires us to focus on how we maintain and improve our water and wastewater infrastructure. Together with our partners in Kannapolis, we have taken a major step in bringing in more water via the completed Albemarle water line. At the same time, we continue to evaluate the condition of and plan for improvements to our existing water plants and distribution system. The equal focus on new and existing infrastructure helps us protect public investment, meet higher environmental standards, and prepare for future needs. Staff is coordinating an update to our Water Master Plan and will do the same for the Waste Water Plan with the coming of the new fiscal year.
Planning is essential for the future of Concord. Input from stakeholders in the community is a critical part of our planning processes, so we can understand and implement your vision for the future. We hope you will take advantage the many opportunities to provide us with feedback over the coming months.