Homeless Fund established
Former county nurse, Mari Hill Merryman, who tended the homeless in Laguna, announced the formation of Michael's Fund, which will provide first and last month utility deposits for people leaving the homeless shelter to establish living quarters for themselves.
The fund is named for her late husband, Michael Merryman. Contributions to the fund came from doctors who were his classmates and wanted to donate something in his honor, Merryman said.
Merryman told the council that the city's generosity and kindness to its homeless impressed her and her husband, so her first thought was to buy coats for Laguna's homeless population. However, she recalled the adage that it is better to teach people to fish than give them a fish and she decided to set up the trust fund to help out folks leaving the shelter.
Grants will be restricted to the Laguna Beach homeless population and will be administered by Merryman.
Brooks Street art issue settled
Bruce Hopping urged the council to approve a sculpture to be installed at the Brooks Street beach access.
Asked for a response, Arts Commission Chairwoman Mary Ferguson said that when the sculpture approved for the site was withdrawn by the artists, funding went back into the Art in Public Places account.
Commissioner Pat Kollenda said the commission felt that the stair risers done by ceramist Marlo Bartels were art and the view is so spectacular that no other art was needed.
Praise for flood responders
Councilman Kelly Boyd commended City Manager John Pietig for his quick action during the flood in the flood and expressed appreciation to City Project Manager Wade Brown, Deputy Fire Chief Jeff LaTendresse, police Capt. Mike Hall, Community Development Director John Montgomery, Marine Safety Chief Kevin Snow, Director of Public Works Steve May, Fire Chief Kris Head and Police Chief Paul Workman.