At last night's city council meeting, by a unanimous vote, the council selected the current mayor pro tem, Paul Glaab, to serve as the new mayor and councilman Joe Brown as mayor pro tem.
"I am honored and humbled by the confidence demonstrated by my fellow city council members," Glaab says. "I look forward to serving the city as mayor and moving the city to new heights as we move forward into 2012."
This will be Glaab's second term as Laguna Niguel mayor, having served also in 2008, the same year he was up for re-election to the council.
Glaab also noted that next year will be his last year on the council as members cannot serve more than two consecutive terms. But Glaab has a light heart about the upcoming end of his tenure.
"I'm going to try to get as much done as I can this year so that next year, when I'm sitting back in my easy chair, I can reflect on a job well done."
Mayor Capata, who will be stepping down for his replacement on Dec. 6, reflected back on his year as mayor and wished Glaab luck for the upcoming year.
“It was truly an honor and a privilege to serve as Mayor this past year and I thank my council colleagues for providing me the opportunity. It was a great experience. I thoroughly enjoyed representing our community in this leadership role and wish my colleague, mayor pro tem Glaab, the very best of luck and success as he assumes the role of mayor,” Capata said.
Among the council's achievements for the year, Capata says he is most proud of the construction of the new city hall.
“I cannot tell you how proud I am of our new facility,” Capata said.
“22 years in the making, our new City Hall is not just another government building. It truly is a first class facility – a focal point of the community for all residents to enjoy. The best part is, that with consistent, prudent and conservative financial planning over the past 22 years, we were able to complete the project on an all cash-no debt basis.”
Capata stressed that the city will be saving $600,000 in annual rent payments that can be used for other city services and programs and encourged the residents to take a tour of the new facility if they haven't yet.
Looking forward, both Capata and Glaab are buzzing about the new , which was on the agenda last night.
"The Eastern Gateway is a tremendous opportunity for the city and we look forward to bringing it up to the standard that has been demonstrated in the rest of our community. With all of the new Metrolink rail service, growth here will establish Laguna Niguel as a transit-oriented development," Glaab said.
The Gateway Specific Plan was adopted by the council with only two minor changes in their motions for approval:
- Councilmember Lindholm suggested the addition that no overnight, on-street vehicle parking should be allowed on Camino Capistrano, particularly south of the intersection with Avery Pkwy. The council agreed.
- The council clarified in section 4.3.4 of the plan that the Development Entitlement Management System (DEMS), applies to all development projects--not just when an exchange of land uses is proposed between districts. This addition is meant to give the city the power to examine every new property development application with the same expectations. If said applicant could possibly generate excess traffic that could cause gridlock in the area, then mitigation plans for the excess traffic will be required as part of the application.
Before closing the subject, the council also directed the staff to meet with the Gateway area business owners to discuss their ideas and concerns and report back to the council with their findings.
The City Council meets on the first and third Tuesday of each month at 7 p.m. at the at City Hall, 30111 Crown Valley Pkwy.