A wave of admiration and respect set the tone of Tuesday’s City Council meeting, as members of the Laguna Niguel Military Support Committee honored one of its own.
Sgt. Anthony Pinegar, who attended the meeting with his wife and baby daughter, was more than humble about being presented with a plaque inscribed with the following: “In praise of a grateful city, please know, that we, the protected…recognize full well, that you have honorably and faithfully followed the call of duty…”
After accepting the plaque from Mayor Paul Glaab, Pinegar extended his heartfelt thanks to the Military Support Committee, not forgetting to thank his fallen brothers and sisters.
“I want to extend my thank you to everybody here in the city of Laguna Niguel,” Pinegar said. “You guys have been great to me, you’ve been great to my family and I really want you guys to take a moment and recognize those that didn’t come back.”
High schooler Katie Gafford was also presented with a certificate of congratulations for her 4 years of volunteer service with Rancho Niguel Little League’s Challenger Program. Dr. Darell Burnett, commissioner of the Challenger Program for special needs children, commended Gafford for her patience, unconditional acceptance and consistency.
Quoting from a letter from Rancho Niguel Little League, Burnett read: “100 years from now, it will not matter what my bank account was, the sort of house I lived in, or the car I drove. But the world may be different because I was important in the life of a child.”
Glaab expressed his appreciation as well: “You are really making a huge difference,” he said of Gaffard. “You are a true reflection of our community and one of the best of the best.”
In Other City Council News:
- Council member Robert Ming recommended that the Investment Committee continue to think of ways to diversify and make us safe in the event of a government crisis, since California does not permit the city to buy gold. It is considered a commodity.
- Members of the council approved plans for additions to a trail in Chapparosa Park, including benches and new viewing spots.
- The lease agreement with the Xerox Corp. was tabled in favor of further research.
- The City Council approved plans to pay for polo shirts for future members of the Laguna Niguel Military Support Committee, with an amendment. Those who already have one can use the funds to receive a similar item of clothing.
- The city is partnering with schools to underwrite the cost of crossing guards. The City Council approved 12,240 hours of service with a budget of $171,000 to keep children safe while crossing the streets.
- The 2011-2012 Orange County Grand Jury Report found that Laguna Niguel needs provide clearer access of employee compensation on its website. It was ranked a "B" for ease of access.
- The Orange County Transit Authority increased Metrolink service, including providing O.C. Fair Express at many stations, which provide shuttle access to the Orange County Fair, as well as a discounted ticket.
- Upcoming events include: The National Night Out Event on Aug. 7 at Crown Valley Park with a petting zoo, pony rides, and booths from local restaurants. In September, look out for the “Guns and Hoses Ride on Harleys,” to honor fallen firefighters and police officers, as well as their families and a country western dance at Sea Country Senior and Community Center, to honor wounded warriors.
Glaab adjourned the evening in memory of Private First Class Steven P. Stevens and Diane Boston Parks. The 23-year-old Stevens of First Combat Engineer Battalion, First Marine Division and First Marine Expeditionary Force at Camp Pendleton died at Helmand Province in Afghanistan, while conducting combat operations. Stevens was the recipient of numerous awards including the Purple Heart Medal. He left behind a family in Detroit and girlfriend Meghan Curran, a Laguna Niguel staff member.
Parks lost a courageous battle with cancer and was the sister of Laguna Niguel staff member Margo Ludwig.
May they both rest in peace as Glaab said.