Message From the Mayor

William C. "Bill" Dusch
Mayor

Mayor William C. "Bill" Dusch, a Concord native, has been active in the community as a business owner and a member of City boards and non-profit organizations for 30 years. He and his wife, Debbie, have two grown children. His Council-appointed board service includes chairing Concord's Planning and Zoning Commission, Board of Adjustment, and Historic Preservation Commission. He is affiliated with many local non-profits including Concord Downtown Development Corporation, United Way, Cabarrus Arts Council, NorthEast Foundation, and Big Brothers Big Sisters. Earlier this year, he was awarded the Cabarrus Regional Chamber of Commerce Duke Energy Citizenship Award for community service.


"The citizens of Concord have given me an opportunity to be their next Mayor. I thank you all and give you my commitment to uphold our leadership tradition. Together with the City Council, I will work hard to continue moving our City forward and am excited for what we will do together over the next years."

 

A Message from the Mayor 

We have a litter problem

Concord is a beautiful city full of lovely streets, parks and wonderful neighborhoods. Our citizens, location, schools and government not to mention our great weather and rolling green hills makes us a great community that many people have decided to make their homes.


I am a runner and have logged many miles running on our streets, sidewalks and greenways for over 30 years. During these runs, I find myself picking up litter along the way. What I am seeing is that there is a growing issue with more litter showing up in nearly all areas of our city, along our highways, city streets, historic downtown, our parks, and other recreation areas. There is no area immune to this issue. On many streets, this litter is eventually washed down our storm water drains and goes into our streams, rivers and lakes. As the amount grows, it becomes an eyesore and like a building with one broken window that leads to more broken windows, a little litter draws more over time. There are many areas of our city that have had the street side litter picked up one day only to find it creeping back the next.

There are many sources of this litter. A study by Keep America Beautiful attributes 30 percent of litter and trash coming from sources such as unsecured dumpsters, container trucks, and residential waste/recycling containers. As a city, we are working with our waste haulers to address this litter source but that still leaves 70 percent of the litter coming from our motorists and pedestrians. If you see someone littering, you can report them to North Carolina Department of Transportation's Swat-A-Litterbug program, which informs and reminds offenders that littering, whether deliberate or unintentional, can end with a personal commitment to stop. Go to ncdot.gov or call 877-368-4968.

While the best result would be ending the generation of new litter, the next best option would be eliminating existing litter. Fortunately, the City of Concord has a number of programs in place for residents, businesses, organizations, and other groups to lend a hand. One of the largest efforts happens each spring and fall in concert with NCDOT, when Concord hosts litter sweeps and City coworkers join recognized neighborhood associations to remove litter from roadways. The next litter sweep is scheduled for April 13 through 27. If your recognized neighborhood association is interested, learn more at concordnc.gov/neighborhoods or call 704-920-5298. For future planning, NCDOT traditionally schedules Litter Sweep for the last two weeks of April and September.

For those that wish to make an ongoing commitment to litter-free streets, parks, and public areas, individuals and groups can join the City's Adopt-A-Street program. Participants commit to picking up litter at least once every three months (or more if necessary) along their adopted section of street. The City provides supplies (litterbags, safety vests, and gloves) to participants, and installs signs along streets that have been adopted to recognize the groups volunteering to help keep them litter-free. If you are part of a group or organization that is interested in participating in the Adopt-a-Street Program, please visit concordnc.gov/Transportation to locate available street segments and sign up. You may also call 704-920-5363. NCDOT sponsors the Adopt-A-Highway program for similar efforts on state roads. You can contact the local NCDOT maintenance office to discuss roadway availability at 704-436-9316, or visit ncdot.gov to apply online.

The City's Water Resources Department has several initiatives to help keep local waterways clean. Seventy-five percent of North Carolinians think storm water receives treatment before it is released into local bodies of water. Actually, it flows from the street, down the storm drains and directly into those bodies of water, without ever being cleaned up! You can help keep waterways clean through the Adopt-A-Stream program. It is similar to Adopt-A-Street in that it requires an ongoing commitment, and participants are provided with resources and recognized with a sign. If you or your neighborhood would like to participate, go to concordnc.gov/Streams or call 704-920-5287.

We must all come together to help resolve this issue and create awareness of the problem with all our residents. Talk with your family, friends and business associates to make them aware of this issue. Get involved with your neighborhood organizations to start the litter conversation. This is a good place for our citizens to address the problem by identifying the major litter problem areas, create a litter cleanup plan and get volunteers that will help with the cleanup. The city staff is ready to work with you and your neighborhood to help you move your plan forward. As you discuss the litter issue in our community, we will be able to make all our citizens aware of the issue and help change this behavior.

From my end, I will continue with my running and perform my daily litter pickup. I hope you will all help with this problem and make Concord even more beautiful.