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Council to consider Arts Commission recommendations for Village Entrance

By BARBARA DIAMOND

The Arts Commission has been working since January to come up with recommendations for public art, other than artist-designed benches, to enhance the Village Entrance.

An Arts Commission recommendation to be considered by the City Council tonight is a proposal to develop a bandstand style or pavilion that would become an “outdoor plaza venue” (noted in bold face type in the report), where people would gather.

“We have heard a request from the public for a gathering space,” said Cultural Arts Manager Sian Poeschl. 

Commissioners also recommended that the space should be designed in relation, and complementary to existing facilities, as opposed to a “Culture Palace” that seeks to fill all space needs.

The commission’s preferred option would provide a multi-use and flexible facility for performances and exhibitions, classrooms, studio space and the capacity for digital programming, according to Poeschl’s report.   

Also in bold face in the commission’s recommendations: “One potential is that the facility ‘points to’ and coordinates art activities in other venues and places occurring throughout the City.”   

Click on photo for a larger image

Submitted graphic

Location of possible public art, potentially south and north of the vehicular bridge in the Village Entrance plan

The commission is asking the council to invite artists Art Fornes, Arnie Quinze and Janet Echelman to submit proposals for an installation at the trail-crossing area south of the vehicular bridge in the Village Entrance plan. The bridge is located roughly in the middle of the frontage that stretches along Forest Avenue, Broadway and Canyon Road.  

Proposals for the north side of the bridge would be considered as long as the artist understands that the artwork could not obstruct the functions of the water quality treatment basin.

Regardless of location, the commission is recommending that proposals should include electrical outlets and infrastructure for future performances and events.

Public art is a requirement in the development of commercial property, including City projects. 

Developers have the choice of purchasing art or contributing to the City’s Art in Lieu Fund. 

If purchasing art, one percent of a project’s total value must be used for original work that is site-specific and approved by the council. The alternative is a 1.25 percent contribution to the City’s Art-in-lieu Fund, to be used to acquire art works designated by the City.  

The Art in Public Places allocation for the Village Entrance is $80,000. The commission is recommending an additional $100,000 be appropriated from the in-lieu fund, which has a current balance of $190,400.


City Manager’s Updates

Coffee with a Cop - Join your neighbors and personnel from the Laguna Beach Police Department for coffee, doughnuts, and conversation on Sunday, April 22 from 8 - 10:30 a.m. at Laguna Beach Cyclery (240 Thalia St.).. No agenda or speeches, just a chance to ask questions, voice concerns, and get to know the officers in your neighborhood. We hope to see you there!

Police Department Citizen’s Academy Graduates - On Thursday, April 19, Class #25, made up of 19 community members, graduated from the Laguna Beach Police Department Citizen’s Academy. We are so happy to be able to partner with our community and share the ever-changing facets of police work, and we now have life-long community partners.

Art That’s Small Exhibition Winners - The winners of this year’s competition are: First Place - Alice Gamez; second Place - Carolina Manchester; third place - Shakiba Hashemi; City Hall Choice - Jill Cooper; Honorable Mentions - Bryce Darrow, Ludo Leideritz and Gabriella Kohr. The Arts Commission would like to thank all participating artists. This program is funded by the lodging establishments and City of Laguna Beach. 

Laguna Beach Literary Festival - The first Laguna Beach Literary Festival took place on Saturday, April 14, and was a big hit! The Arts Commission would like to recognize and thank Kate Buckley for her tenure as the City of Laguna Beach’s inaugural Poet Laureate. This program is funded by the lodging establishments and City of Laguna Beach.


City Treasurer’s added duties – hotel audits – preserve retirement benefits

By BARBARA DIAMOND

The addition of hotel audits to the regular duties of City Treasurer Laura Parisi qualifies the service for retirement benefits. 

A salary of $11,600 will be added henceforth in Parisi’s $86,640 a year salary and her 25-hour a week schedule will be upped by about three hours a month, approved on a 4-1 vote Tuesday, with Councilman Rob Zur Schmiede opposed. 

Parisi has performed the audit separately from her regular duties since 2000 and was paid separately. Prior to 2000, the City had hired an independent certified public accounting firm to make the audit, paying a higher price for the service than requested by Parisi.

The switch included the caveat that the audits were not part of Parisi’s duties, a position reiterated by the council in 2005.

Parisi’s “special compensation” for the audits was reported to the California Public Employees Retirement System, which manages health and pension benefits for city employees. 

In 2015, CalPERS reviewed Parisi’s “special compensation” and notified the city that the audit did not qualify.

Had the council not taken the action to add the audits to Parisi’s regular duties, the City would have been required to eliminate the special compensation status of the payment for the audits. The City would also have been obliged to refund the $3,500 Parisi had contributed to her CalPERS retirement benefits related to the compensation for the audits. 

According to the report by Director of Administrative Services Gavin Curran, the CalPERS directive would have lowered the calculation of Parisi’s retirement by about $11,600.

Former Mayor Paul Freeman, who was on the council when the audits were assigned to Parisi, testified that he never thought the work was not “pensionable.”  

Councilman Steve Dicterow said putting the audits into Parisi’s hands was always intended to qualify for contributions to her retirement contribution to CalPERS.

However, the audits are not automatically part of the job for other treasurers who may not have the same qualifications or experience as Parisi.


2018 City Council Election Update

Three City Council seats up for grabs this year

By BARBARA DIAMOND

The terms of Mayor Kelly Boyd, Mayor Pro Tem Rob Zur Schmiede and Councilwoman Toni Iseman will end this year.

Voters will have a wide choice if all the folks who have expressed interest in running for one of the three seats actually become candidates. Boyd will not be among them, although he said he will campaign for selected candidates. Iseman has indicated she won’t make a decision until later this year on whether to try for a record-shattering, sixth consecutive term in office. 

Zur Schmiede says he definitely will run, although he has yet to submit his 501 form, which confirms a candidate’s intent to run.

As of Monday, only three hopefuls have submitted the form. 

Mancuso, Kempf and Kinsman are definitely running

Judie Mancuso submitted her 501 in June of 2017. 

Mancuso is a long-time animal welfare advocate, founder of the 501(c)(4) Social Compassion in Legislation, and a candidate for the City Council in 2016.

“I have over 10 years of experience in getting big things done at the State level,” said Mancuso on Saturday. 

Sue Kempf submitted her 501 in March. Her resume includes running her own company and others. In Laguna, she was a founder and graduate of the first Community Emergency Response Team class, served on the View Equity Task Force, and co-chaired the Emergency/Disaster Preparedness Committee. She currently sits on the Planning Commission, with her term ending June 30.

Click on photo for a larger image

Photo by Mary Hurlbut

Laguna Beach City Hall

“I am running because this is a great town to live in and I want to make sure it stays that way,” said Kempf.

Cheryl Kinsman filed her 501 on Monday. 

A former City Council member, Kinsman sits on the Laguna Beach County Water District Commission. 

Kinsman was honored as the 2014 Woman of the Year by the Laguna Beach Woman’s Club for her service to the community. 

She is credited with working successfully with then-Councilwoman Jane Egly to keep a hospital with an Emergency Department in Laguna. 

Previous to her eight years on the council, Kinsman served on the Planning Commission and the city’s Parking, Traffic and Circulation Committee. Her experience as an MBA and CPA were put to use as volunteer auditor of the Laguna Beach High School PTA and treasurer of Neighborhood Watch and the North Laguna Community Assn.

Hall, Blake, Philippsen, Zeiter and Auger have yet to decide/file

The list of potential candidates who have yet to make their intent to run in writing includes Michelle Hall, who ran for the council in 2014. 

“I believe it is time for a change,” said Hall, a past president of Laguna Beach Republicans. “We need someone like me. I have lived here all my life and I understand the community.”

Not committed to running yet, and that is a big YET: Gallery owner Peter Blake, a longtime Laguna Beach resident and businessman, unashamedly passionate about Laguna and concerned for its future.

“I am waiting and hoping to see a candidate who thinks the way I do,” Blake said last week. “The city is not broken, but it has been eroding for the past 25 years, for which I blame Village Laguna – it did wonderful things in the past, but it is out-of-step with the times.”

The list of uncommitted possible candidates includes Karyn Philippsen, a founding member and former president of the Laguna Beach Visitors Bureau (now called Visit Laguna) and a founder of the Sister Cities Assn of Laguna Beach. Philippsen said this week that she is “considering her options.”

Attorney Jennifer Zeiter also said she is considering running for the council. Zeiter is founder of Stop Taxing Our Property, a group opposed to funding undergrounding with a bond or sales tax increase, and a past president of Laguna Beach Taxpayers Assn.

Lorene Auger, who styles herself as Lorene Laguna, has said she will file her 501 when she fills out her election committee.

Goldstein will support like-minded candidate

Sam Goldstein, owner of the Heisler Building, a former Design Review Board member and integral to the establishment of the Business Improvement District that funds art projects, art groups and artists, will not be running for office, but he will be seriously involved in the election. 

He has established Liberate Laguna to financially support favored candidates and has contacted some of the hopefuls to determine how their positions align with his. 

The election campaign officially begins July 16, the first day that candidates can pick up nominating papers and collect signatures.


City Manager’s Updates

Testing of the Long Range Warning System - The City of Laguna Beach will be testing the newly installed Downtown Outdoor Warning System on Friday, May 4 at 12 p.m. Those who are in the coverage area will hear a recorded message clearly indicating that it is a test only. In the event of a real emergency, this system can be activated to provide life-saving instructions to residents and visitors in the downtown area. The system may be utilized for all hazards or disasters where immediate action from the public is necessary. Laguna Beach’s Downtown Outdoor Warning System differs from others within Orange County as it provides verbal instructions along with a siren as opposed to just a siren. Specific emergency announcements can be broadcast over any one (or more) of the three speakers, which are located at City Hall, Main Beach, and Heisler Park. The Cities of Huntington Beach and Newport Beach will also be testing their independent Outdoor Warning Systems at the same time.

New Fire Chief - Michael Garcia will start as the new Fire Chief on Monday, April 30. Chief Garcia has over 32 years of experience in the fire service, including 28 years with the City of Long Beach. An event for employees and the public to meet Chief Garcia will be held on May 3 at Fire Station One from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m.

Access to Free Offers on the Trolley Tracker -You can nowride Laguna Beach Transit and use the Trolley Tracker app to gain access to exclusive offers from restaurants, retailers and attractions all over town! To unlock these offers, simply ride the trolley, and click on Special Offers on the Trolley Tracker app. To redeem, show the offer on your phone to the participating business. The Trolley Tracker is available on the Visit Laguna Beach app and in the Apple and Google Play Stores.

Caltrans – Coast Hwy Traffic Signals Replacement -Beginning Monday, April 30, Caltrans will mobilize to replace the traffic and pedestrian signal heads located at seven intersections between Cress Street and Ocean Avenue on Coast Highway. Work will be conducted on weekdays between 9 p.m. and 5 a.m. Intermittent lane closures and flashing red signal lights can be expected through May 24. One northbound and southbound lane will be maintained for travel during this period. For more detailed project information, please contact Moussa Essayli, Caltrans Resident Engineer, at (949) 279-8816.

Heritage Month - Celebrate Heritage Month this May and enjoy the many scheduled activities and events. Activities and tours are scheduled throughout the entire month of May. A calendar of all the events can be found on the city website at http://lagunabeachcity.net/cityhall/cd/preserve/heritage_commitee.htm.

Review Proposal for a Wayfinding Signage Pilot Project - The City of Laguna Beach will bring forward a proposal for a Wayfinding Signage Pilot Project on Wednesday, May 2 during the Planning Commission’s regularly scheduled meeting at 6 p.m. in the Council Chambers at City Hall (505 Forest Avenue). The purpose of the wayfinding signage is to inform and direct visitors and residents to their desired destinations, amenities and features, and enhance the visitor and resident experience. Prior to the meeting, a prototype of the pedestrian directional sign will be installed within the existing planter at the southeast corner of Forest Avenue and South Coast Highway. After review and upon recommendation by the Planning Commission, the project will be reviewed by the City Council at its meeting on May 22. The City’s goal is to conduct the pilot project for pedestrian wayfinding signs in summer 2018. 

Summer Camp and Summer Recreation Activities Registration - Registration for summer 2018 recreation activities for all ages, adult softball and youth summer camps opens on Monday, April 30. To register and see the list of programs available please visit: https://secure.rec1.com/CA/city-of-laguna-beach/catalog/index.

Call to Artists: Council Chambers Banners - The Arts Commission is inviting artists to submit designs to replace the banners in the Council Chambers. The competition is open to Laguna Beach residents ages 18 and older. Entries must be submitted to the reception desk at Susi Q Community Center, 380 Third Street, by May 14 at 5 p.m. This program is funded by the lodging establishments and City of Laguna Beach. For more information, email Arts Program Coordinator Michael McGregor at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

City Hall Exhibition -The Artist Fund at Festival of Arts is currently exhibiting their annual Board of Directors Show at City Hall, 505 Forest Avenue. See work by local artists Geraldine Crosper, Anne England, Roger Folk, Rick Graves, Elizabeth McGhee and Wendy Wirth. The exhibition can be viewed through May 22.

Sunset Serenades - Held on Friday evenings in May and June at 6:30 p.m. at the Heisler Park Amphitheater, Cliff Drive, enjoy the free concert series featuring:

5/4: Jackie Menter Trio – Classical

5/11: Jack Benny – Eclectic/Acoustic Pop trio

5/18: The Phil Gough/Alan Deremo Project

5/25: Maestro Lazaro Galarraga and Friends – Afro Cuban

6/1: Gamelan X with Mayang Sunda – Indonesian

6/8: L’Esprit D’ Afrique – African

This program is funded by the lodging establishments and City of Laguna Beach.


Council to make appointments to two commissions, two committees

By BARBARA DIAMOND

The City Council will interview applicants for two commissions and two committees, starting at 5 p.m. on Tuesday.

All appointments are for two years, starting July 1.

Three applicants have applied for the three open seats on the Housing and Human Affairs Committee.

Incumbent Marc Bruderer has been a member of the committee since 2012. He lists his occupation as a consultant and graduate student. 

Gail Duncan, also an incumbent, is seeking a fifth appointment to the committee. She wants to expand collaboration with other agencies.

Marisa Peasley has been a resident in Laguna for 23 years. She plans to start a foundation for the homeless.

Planning Commission

Five applications were filed for the three seats on the Planning Commission.

Applicants Anne Johnson, Ken Sadler and Sue Kempf are incumbents. 

The incumbents will be challenged by Ernest Hackmon, and J. Walker Reed.

A business development consultant, Hackmon is a graduate of the city’s Community Emergency Response Team class of 2017, of Leadership Laguna in 2016 and the Citizens Academy in 2014. He chaired the Parking, Traffic and Circulation committee from 2009 to 2017.

Johnson has served on the Planning Commission since 2000. During that time she also served on the boards of the Laguna Beach Woman’s Club and the Laguna Beach Community Clinic, as a member of Senior Housing Task Force and city representative for Leadership Laguna. 

Prior to her appointment to the commission, Johnson was a member of the City’s Recreation Committee and the Vision Laguna 2030 Steering Committee.

Kempf was first appointed to the Planning Commission in 2014, coming off 17 months and eight hearings of the View Equity Committee, which crafted the revisions to the newly-named View Preservation and Restoration Ordinance. 

She is also a candidate for City Council and if elected would be required to resign from the commission.

Sadler was appointed to the commission in 2012, to replace Bob Whalen, who had been elected to the City Council. Prior to the appointment, Sadler, an engineer, had served six years on the Design Review Board. 

Reed is a real estate broker and financial advisor. He has been a resident of Laguna Beach for 42 years, is a graduate of Laguna Beach High School and founder of the Alumni Assn. He has previously served on the Parking, Traffic and Circulation Committee and spearheaded the city’s first utility undergrounding project in the El Mirador neighborhood.

Arts Commission

Six applicants are vying for the four open seats on the Arts Commission. Four commission members must be active participants in the arts. Five of the applicants qualify.

Incumbents Donna Ballard, Suzi Chavel, Karen Wood and Michael Stice are seeking reappointment to the Arts Commission. 

Ballard is an architect, just completing her third term. She served as vice-chair of the commission for one year and chair for two years. She is member of the LOCA board of directors.

Chavel is an artist, designer, documentary filmmaker and fine arts photographer. After a hiatus, she was re-appointed to the commission in 2007. She has been a judge of the Festival of Arts Recycled Fashion Show and the Patriots Day Parade.

Karen Wood came to Laguna 10 years ago. She is General Manager of the Irvine Barclay Theater. She has been twice nominated for an Art Star Award for Leadership while Managing Director of the Laguna Playhouse.

Stice has been the alternate commissioner since 2016, stepping in when one of the commissioners is absent.

He teaches at Laguna College of Art and Design and was named communications manager in 2012. He previously worked at Laguna Art Museum for 20 years.

Karen Philippsen was a founding director of the Laguna Beach Hospitality Assn, now called Visit Laguna Beach. She also was a founder of the Sister Cities Assn of Laguna Beach and founding chair of the group’s Fete de la Musique. More recently, she served as chair of the 90th Anniversary celebration of Laguna Playhouse.

Kathe Madrigal is a painter with four public art projects to her credit. Her work is exhibited at the Festival of Arts.   

Emergency/Disaster Preparedness Committee

Robert Elster, Ernest Hackmon, Christine Lins and incumbents Matt Lawson and Tim Templeton have applied for the four available seats. 

Elster served from 1972 to 1998 a in the U.S Navy Bureau of Medicine and Surgery. He retired with the rank of Commander. He was subsequently employed as a medical facility planner.

Hackmon has also applied for appointment to the Planning Commission and if appointed could not serve on EDPC. See his qualifications above.

Lawson has served as chair of the committee since 2015. He was also appointed to the Measure LL Audit-Oversight Committee and chaired the Design Review Task Force. Lawson completed the Citizen Academy classes and CERT training.

Lins recently received her certification of completion of the Leadership Laguna program. She retired in January after 34 years of nursing and 10 years of teaching.

Templeton is a marketing advisor and former member of the city’s TechComm Committee. He is interested in pursuing how technology can benefit the city in emergency situations. 

The hearing will begin at 5 p.m. in the City Hall chambers.

More in-depth information about the applicants is available on the city’s website www.lagunabeachcity.net.


City welcomes new Fire Chief Michael Garcia

The City of Laguna Beach is pleased to welcome Michael Garcia as the City’s new Fire Chief. Garcia brings over 32 years of fire experience to the position, and began his service to the City as of yesterday, April 30.

Garcia’s experience includes 28 years with the Long Beach Fire Department.  He has 20 years of supervisory and management experience, with over eight years as a member of the Long Beach Fire Department Command Staff, holding positions of Assistant Fire Chief, Deputy Fire Chief, and for a period as the Acting Fire Chief.  

“Chief Garcia brings an impressive amount of fire experience to the City of Laguna Beach,” said City Manager John Pietig. “I look forward to his leadership as we assess the department and develop plans for the future.”

Click on photo for a larger image

Submitted photo

New Fire Chief Michael Garcia

Garcia’s background includes expertise in the areas of fire operations, administration, fire prevention, emergency preparedness, staff training, and community relations. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Vocational Education from California State University, Long Beach. Mike lives with his wife and their three children, and says he has always enjoyed Laguna Beach.

“There is just something special about this town, the people here and the intense sense of community,” Garcia said. “I am honored and humbled to serve and protect that community as Fire Chief for the City of Laguna Beach.” 

Garcia took over duties as Chief from Acting Fire Chief Tom Christopher yesterday, April 30. Garcia is the City’s 19th Fire Chief, and will have a salary of $192,000 per year.

The public is invited to meet Chief Garcia on Thursday, May 3 at Fire Station One (located at 501 Forest Avenue, next to City Hall) from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m.


Council, Planning Commission to meet jointly tonight

By BARBARA DIAMOND

The Planning Commission has a list of suggested items to discuss with the City Council at the joint meeting scheduled for 6:30 p.m. tonight, Tuesday, May 1.

Parking studies and traffic demand on potential large projects tops the list.

Three hotel projects along Coast Highway and a mixed-use project on Laguna Canyon Road are in the planning stages and traffic and parking are public issues, according to the commission. The commissioners want to know what, if any, thoughts the council has on how the demand may be accommodated when the projects come before the commission.

“The joint meeting is a good chance for us to get together with the council, which the Brown Act prohibits except under these conditions,” said Anne Johnson, a commissioner since 2000, whose application for another term will be reviewed at the council’s 5 p.m. interview and appointment hearing. 

Round-up of topics proposed by the Commission

--Citizen participation in and sub-committees for major projects.

The commission opined that public and commission workshops would be helpful held sooner rather than later in the approval process – the rigorous public debate on the California Environmental Quality Act vis a vis revisions to the Historic Preservation Ordinance comes to mind. 

--The increased parking on some Laguna Canyon properties. 

The commission is concerned that excessive, unpermitted parking is cluttering up the visual experience of driving along Laguna Canyon Road and wants to know if the city can control it.

--Should a limit be set on the time new projects on the agenda can be heard?

--Better communication between council and commission.

--Council priority projects.

A public comment period is scheduled for the end of the meeting.

The agenda for the meeting is available on the city’s website at www.lagunabeachcity.net.


City Manager’s Updates

City Council Review of Draft Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) Ordinance - The City Council will review Planning Commission and staff recommendations for a draft ordinance amendment to Chapter 25.17 of the Laguna Beach Municipal Code and an amendment to the City’s Local Coastal Program relating to Accessory Dwelling Units, also referred to as the Second Residential Unit Ordinance. 

The City Council meeting will be held on Tuesday, May 8 at 6 p.m. in the City Council Chambers located at 505 Forest Ave. To view a copy of the staff report for this item, please refer to the agenda posted on the City’s website at www.lagunabeachcity.net.

City Council Review of Draft Tree Removal Permit Ordinance - The City Council will review staff recommendations for a draft ordinance to amend the Laguna Beach Municipal Code and establish a Tree Removal Permit process for Heritage trees, design review approved trees and privately maintained trees in the public right-of-way. Fines and penalties for removal of these trees without first obtaining a permit are included in the draft ordinance, Chapter 12.06. The City Council meeting will be held on Tuesday, May 8, at 6 p.m. in the City Council Chambers located at 505 Forest Ave. To view a copy of the staff report for this item, please refer to the agenda posted on the City’s website at www.lagunabeachcity.net.

Cress Street Beach Access Stairs Repair - Beginning Monday, May 7, the Public Works Department will perform repairs to the lower half of the Cress Street beach access. Repairs include patching chipped, cracked and broken concrete. The repairs will be followed by coating the lower staircase with a polymer sealer and coating system leaving a surface with the appearance of newly placed concrete. The work will be done in phases and the City does not anticipate any closure of the stairs during the project. The City expects to complete the work by Friday, May 18. For more information, please contact Deputy Director of Public Works Dale Schuck at (949) 497-0735.

Coast Highway Lane Closure - On Tuesday, May 8 between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m., the Laguna Beach County Water District will be closing the northbound number 2 lane of Coast Highway, between Oak Street and Cress Street, to replace a meter cover. For questions, please contact the Water District at (949) 464-1041.

Southern California Edison Pole Replacement - On Monday, May 7 between 7:30 a.m. and 6 p.m., Southern California Edison (SCE) will be replacing an Edison Pole at the Monterey Drive/Poplar Street intersection. Portions of Poplar Street and Monterey Drive near the intersection will be closed during the work. For questions or concerns, please contact SCE representative Erik Hall at (949) 308-8763.

Annual Composting Classes - The City’s solid waste hauler, Waste Management, will offer the second of four free composting classes planned for 2018 on Saturday, May 5 from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. at Lang Park, located at 21540 Wesley Drive. Compost and worm bins will be available for purchase during the class at a discounted price.  

For more information, please visit the city’s website at www.lagunabeachcity.net/recycling, or contact the Waste Management class instructor, Lisa Ryder, at (310) 874-2499.

City Photo Contest - The City’s 2018 Photo Contest is now open. The City is looking for your perspective on our City’s vibrancy, vitality, and livability fitting the theme “Daily Life in Laguna Beach.” Photographs may be entered in three categories: Sunsets, Daily Life, and Environmental. The First Prize photo will receive $500, and additional winners will receive $100 each. Entries must be submitted online by June 6. For rules and information about how to enter, visit www.lagunabeachcity.net/photocontest.

Summer Camp and Summer Recreation Activities Registration - Registration for summer 2018 recreation activities for all ages, adult softball and youth summer camps opened on Monday, April 30. To register and see the list of programs available please visit https://secure.rec1.com/CA/city-of-laguna-beach/catalog/index.


Council reappoints incumbents to two commissions, two committees

By BARBARA DIAMOND

All incumbent applicants for two city commissions and two committees were reappointed by the City Council at a special meeting on Tuesday.

Appointments are for two years, starting July 1.

Mayor Pro Tem Rob Zur Schmiede chaired the hearing in the absence of Mayor Kelly Boyd. 

He told the applicants that when a committee or commission is doing a good job, it is difficult for the council to replace incumbents and he urged all un-appointed applicants to apply again at the next opportunity. 

The three open seats on the Housing and Human Affairs Committee were filled by incumbents Marc Bruderer and Gail Duncan and 23-year resident Marisa Peasley, who also plans to start a foundation for the homeless.

Five applications were filed for the three seats on the Planning Commission.

Incumbents Anne Johnson, Ken Saddler and Sue Kempf were reappointed. Kempf is also a candidate for City Council and if elected would be required to resign from the commission.

Six applicants were interviewed for the four open seats on the Arts Commission, which were filled by incumbents Donna Ballard, Suzi Chavel, Karen Wood and Michael Stice, who will serve as an alternate. All four are active participants in the arts, fulfilling a commission requirement.

Applicants were asked by Councilman Steve Dicterow if Laguna still qualified as an art colony. All four appointees gave an unqualified yes. 

Emergency/Disaster Preparedness Committee incumbents Robert Elster, Matt Lawson and Tim Templeton were reappointed for another term. They will be joined by Ernest Hackmon, who had not been selected for the Planning Commission. 

More in-depth information about the applicants is available on the city’s website www.lagunabeachcity.net.

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