"Our honoree has affected every aspect of life in Laguna," Lee Winocur Field said.
Pearson-Schneider served the community long before she was elected to the council.
"We started community service together in the North Laguna Civic Assn.," arts commissioner Nancy Beverage said.
Pearson-Schneider didn't know much about the Latino culture or language when she organized an association event after moving to Laguna from Cleveland.
"I invited everyone to attend a 'siesta,'" Pearson-Schneider said. "I've learned a lot since then."
Pearson-Schneider was involved in the association's efforts to get day job-seekers out of residential areas. In fact, she said, she almost got into a fistfight with a woman at a City Council meeting she attended to support the Laguna Canyon site.
"We argued for and against for about 20 minutes, until she finally said, 'We don't need leaf blowers in this town," Pearson-Schneider recalled.
About that time, she met former Mayor Kathleen Blackburn.
"I received a letter from her ? not your usual naysayer letter ? and I thought, I want to meet this woman," Blackburn said. "I am proud to be her friend."
Pearson-Schneider met Councilwoman Cheryl Kinsman as a member of the association, and they served together on the planning commission.
Kinsman said among the great things that were accomplished by the then-just Pearson as a commissioner was helping to form the Civic Arts District and meeting Ernie Schneider ? perhaps not under the best of circumstances.
"He was cute, but she voted against his project," Kinsman said.
And he wasn't about to forget it. Schneider dodged Pearson at events they both attended.