It's a big week of change in Laguna Beach, but ironically, not because of the elections. All three incumbents, Kelly Body, Toni Iseman and Elizabeth Pearson, sailed to victory as the lone challenger, Emanuel Patrascu, failed to convince voters that the "change" mantra sweeping the country was needed in Laguna.
Congratulations to the re-elected councilmembers who can pick up where they left off on many issues of importance in the city, including marine protection, skateboarding, the village entrance, and the vital issue of helping businesses weather the seemingly endless economic mailaise. The Laguna Beach Board of Education also remains intact, having not even gone to the ballot box since no one filed to run against the incumbents.
The big news this week is the appointment of a new city manager. Not unexpectedly, John Pietig, the assistant city manager, has been promoted to fill the very big shoes of 30-year manager Ken Frank. Frank is surely one of the leading city managers in the state, having put the city in the enviable position of not having to curtail services or lay off employees despite some very major challenges over the past few years, not the least of which was a very expensive restoration of Bluebird Canyon. He deserves a gold medal for that feat alone.