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State of the City: Life is good in Laguna

Mayor Jane Egly, City Manager John Pietig, Police Chief Paul Workman and others discuss the health of city, public safety and capital improvement projects underway.

May 23, 2012

Despite a sluggish national economy — not to mention the state's budget woes — Laguna Beach seems to be in good shape, according to speeches given at the State of the City last week.

The event, put on by the Chamber of Commerce May 18 at Montage Laguna, brought out several attendees and sponsors who enjoyed a lunch, entertainment by student musicians at the high school and an entertaining video narrated by chamber President Michael Kinsman that captured Mayor Jane Egly trolling the city and making her way to the State of the City event.

"A few Fridays ago I enjoyed a Lagunan evening at Heisler Park for Sunset Serenade," Egly began her speech. "There was music at Heisler Park, art all around, the sparkly clean ocean, a full moon rising; it was magical."

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She credited the city and the Business District for their work on the success of the Sunset Serenade.

"This coming year, we have almost $5 million for capital projects, including the lifeguard headquarters at Main Beach, and the Laguna Channel Capacity Improvement project, which will get water out of town more quickly."

She noted that it costs over $1 million every year to make sure the sewers are functioning, all 95 miles of them. "We want no spills," she said.

Egly also snuck in Laguna being named one of the best small coastal cities in the country by Coastal Living magazine, adding that they just didn't know it, but Laguna "is the best small coastal city."

The mayor highlighted other capital improvements in her State of the City address, such as the lights at Sawdust Festival. She also made mention of the city's good fortune in nabbing a state-of-the-art medical facility, Mission Hospital.

Egly reminded attendees not to grumble the next time they see a sidewalk repair or other infrastructure maintenance because it "keeps the city wonderful."

She credited Councilwoman Verna Rollinger with putting together a committee of experts to improve the city's reaction to disasters such as the recent flooding and mud storm in December.

"It was days before Christmas," Egly said about the most recent storm, and how it could have affected retailers who needed the business most.

"It appeared we would be under mud and water forever, but not so," Egly continued. "Immediately, city and business owners and — and Councilman Kelly Boyd too — and residents got to work and had the mess cleaned up within hours. And to help, we bagged the parking meters in the downtown to encourage people to come shop.

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