CITY COUNCIL MEETING RECAP — 8/22/2023
Staff Reports Available
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Since it is going to be over a month before our next City Council meeting on Sept 26, I am going to deviate from my usual organization and cover some recent community events and a Special City Council meeting first. I will then provide a recap of the August 22 council meeting which included the following items: the story of a newly minted Eagle Scout; funding for S. Laguna Community Garden Park; Village Entrance Parking Structure; Expansion of Pickle Ball Courts at Alta Laguna Park; and, the Communications Plan Overview and Enhancements. I will conclude this recap with some Upcoming Community Events, which will occur before the next Council Meeting, that might be of interest to you.
Special City Council Meeting Sept. 5, 2023: At a Special City Council Meeting held on Tuesday, Sept 5th, the Laguna Beach City Council unanimously voted to appoint Sean Joyce to serve as Interim Laguna Beach City Manager. Mr. Joyce has over 35 years of municipal government experience, including as City Manager for South Pasadena, Sierra Madre, and Irvine (where our recently retired City Manager, Shohreh Dupuis, worked for him). After 13 years as Irvine’s City Manager, he retired in February 2018, and has been the Interim City Manager for South Pasadena, Huntington Beach and San Clemente. Mr. Joyce started his new assignment with Laguna on September 7th.
The Council is looking forward to working with someone with his broad city management experience while we begin the process of finding a permanent City Manager over the next six months. Mayor Whalen has confirmed that there will be opportunities for input from residents on the selection criteria for the important city management position.
Labor Day Firefighters Annual Pancake Breakfast Sept. 4, 2023:
As they have every year, our great Laguna Beach Fire Department donated their free time to wrangling pancakes, sausages, oj, and coffee for our community and visitors at Heisler Park. Much of the money donations collected will be used this year for the Maui Strong fire relief funds. Thanks to our fire department for their generous service as well as all of you who showed up to make this a successful event.
South Laguna Compost Give Away for Their Neighborhood Sept. 9, 2023:
Ever since I learned that our Orange County Waste & Recycling Authority produces free compost for OC residents to pick up, I’ve wanted to find a way to get this to our community neighborhoods. Enter South Laguna Civic Association and the South Laguna Community Garden Park who joined with me to fund hiring the trucks to move the compost to an empty South Laguna lot generously provided by South Laguna resident, Lee Blevins. Residents showed up with their containers, bags, and shovels to get that rich compost for their fall plantings. Thanks to Mr. Blevins, Laguna Civic Association and the South Community Garden Park for making this event happen. Let me know if we can do something similar in your neighborhood.
AUGUST 22, 2023 — CITY COUNCIL MEETING
Proclamation Recognizing Local Boy Scout of America, Mason Bruderer, on Achieving the rank of Eagle Scout.
GW: We haven’t seen enough teens go through the difficult process of becoming an Eagle Scout. For Mason Bruderer, his last milestone was achieved on his own by building a park bench to be used at the dog park at Moulton Meadows. The bench will be installed once the Moulton Meadows Dog Park is completed.
Congratulations to Mason for this outstanding achievement!
South Laguna Community Garden Park Annual Celebration
CONSENT ITEM #12:
Appropriate $500,000 for the S. Laguna Community Garden Park and fulfill City Council’s funding pledge.
GW: It has been almost ten years since the creation of the South Laguna Community Garden Park (SLCGP). For most of that time their Board of Directors has been trying to purchase the property, and the City Council has consistently voted to commit $500,000 to support the purchase if SLCGP could raise the rest.
The owner, an overseas businessman, had originally set an asking price of $5M but recently he reduced the price to $2M. However, there is still a shortfall of $800,000 that needs to be raised to complete the purchase. If you, too, would like to help, please go to this website: ept 18, Environmental Groups Networking Meeting, 6-8:30 p.m., Guild Hall St. Mark’s Episcopal Church: Meet with the Laguna Canyon Conservancy, Laguna Greenbelt, Laguna Bluebelt, Laguna Canyon Foundation, and C.A.N.D.O. and representatives from the Natural Communities Coalition to explore forming a larger group to access funding for restoration projects, etc. More information and to register for the event at: Sept 19, Wildland Fire Preparedness Meeting, 5-8 p.m. City Council Chambers: A townhall meeting on steps being taken to mitigate fire risks, actions to take in case of a fire, and evacuation routes.
Sept 22, Pacific Opera Project performing 5:30-7:00 p.m. at Heisler Park:
The innovative opera company that delighted us with their performance of Pirates of Penzance at Bluebird Park earlier this year is returning to Laguna with a different performance for our Sunset Serenades.
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