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NEWS
November 4, 2010
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.
NEWS
By Bryce Alderton | March 5, 2013
Residents were not shy in asking Laguna Beach City Manager John Pietig questions following his version of a state of the city address Monday night inside Tivoli Terrace at the Festival of the Arts. The Laguna Canyon Conservancy hosted the dinner with Pietig, who was candid in his responses to questions that cut to the heart of important issues facing the city this year. About 100 residents attended the dinner. One attendee asked if reclaimed water could be used in irrigating the city's parks.
NEWS
Barbara Diamond | June 11, 2010
B ob Murray got an earful Wednesday night. Murray is president of the company selected by the City Council to recruit a successor to City Manager Ken Frank , who will retire at the end of November. He hosted a public meeting at City Hall to hear what the community thinks would make an ideal successor, attended by about 30 folks, disappointing to some. "We are here because we love this community," said Village Laguna founder and longtime resident Arnold Hano . "The people who are not here are not here because they love this community."
NEWS
By Barbara Diamond, coastlinepilot@latimes.com | March 10, 2011
City Manger John Pietig is allowing the Police Department to fill a position he had originally frozen because the police chief had already offered it by letter. Other positions will not be affected by the reversal. "The officer was given the letter about the same time I had indicated a freeze in the position," Pietig said. "When I learned about the letter, I felt the appropriate thing to do was to follow through with the offer. However, we will hold other positions vacant as we evaluate the [2011-12]
NEWS
By Kelly Parker | August 22, 2012
The California City Management Foundation released its latest video in a series that features city managers from across California.  In its 12th video, John Pietig, city manager of Laguna Beach, is in the spotlight.  "These videos feature candid interviews with city managers from across California talking about the council-manager relationship, their favorite accomplishments as managers and their love for the profession," according to the...
NEWS
By Barbara Diamond, coastlinepilot@latimes.com | January 13, 2011
Since his 66th birthday when Ken Frank announced his retirement as city manager, he has been the talk of the town. Who would replace him? Who could replace him? How would he be replaced? His contributions to the city were lauded. His flaws — he was known to lose his temper occasionally, and he was sometimes abrupt with staff — were dissected; his skills applauded. An intensely private man, Frank spent almost half of his life in a very visible job. For 31 years, he maneuvered the city — and some said the City Council — through good times and bad. And there were some really bad times: the county bankruptcy, landslides, fire, the dreadful loss of lives to AIDS, state raids on local revenue to balance its own budget, and near mutinies in the police, fire and marine safety departments.
NEWS
By Barbara Diamond | January 5, 2012
On-the-job training counted when it came to choosing a successor to Ken Frank, Laguna's longtime city manager who retired in 2010. John Pietig was selected from a field of more than 100 applicants, none of whom could match his record of achievement on behalf of Laguna Beach. He had spent almost 10 years as Frank's chief assistant when Frank announced his retirement. That experience was a determining factor in the council's decision to hire him, despite rumblings from some quarters that a complete change was in order.
NEWS
January 17, 2003
WHAT HAPPENED: The council approved to send a project at 1685 Del Mar Ave. back to the Design Review Board. WHAT IT MEANS: City staff discovered that the project included 2,200 more square feet than what had been approved by the Design Review Board. WHAT HAPPENED: The council approved recommendations for Treasure Island. WHAT IT MEANS: The city manager will begin planning an opening ceremony for Treasure Island Park for Feb. 22; the city will install parking meters along South Coast Highway between Aliso Circle and Blue Lagoon; on-site public parking spaces will allow a maximum time of three hours; the city manager will apply for a Caltrans permit to allow on-street public parking on the inland side of South Coast Highway north of Montage Drive; and the hours of operation for the on-site public parking spaces will be from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. The council also directed staff to perform a study of the ventilation system for the underground parking garage at the hotel and to return with a plan that will protect residential parking.
NEWS
By Barbara Diamond, coastlinepilot@latimes.com | November 4, 2010
John Pietig, top assistant to City Manager Ken Frank for more than 9 years, has been appointed to succeed his boss. Pietig was selected from more than 100 applicants. The appointment was announced Thursday in a news release from Mayor Elizabeth Pearson, with the contract to be on the Nov. 16 council agenda. "I am very thankful for this opportunity," Pietig said Thursday morning. "I am excited and so are my wife [Peggy] and children. "When I first came here, it was a lateral career move, but it was to a special community and that was what we wanted.
ARTICLES BY DATE
NEWS
By Barbara Diamond | May 30, 2013
City officials were more than happy to renew the Business Improvement District, the financial program initiated by local hotels to fund art projects and organizations that bring tourists to town. The BID has bumped up the city budget by millions since it was founded in 2001. In the current fiscal year, the BID is contributing $1.67 million, a 10% increase over estimates. The money is generated by a 2% levy skimmed off the top of the city's regulated bed taxes and must be renewed annually by the hotels, motels and the city.
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NEWS
By Bryce Alderton | March 5, 2013
Residents were not shy in asking Laguna Beach City Manager John Pietig questions following his version of a state of the city address Monday night inside Tivoli Terrace at the Festival of the Arts. The Laguna Canyon Conservancy hosted the dinner with Pietig, who was candid in his responses to questions that cut to the heart of important issues facing the city this year. About 100 residents attended the dinner. One attendee asked if reclaimed water could be used in irrigating the city's parks.
NEWS
By Barbara Diamond and By Barbara Diamond | November 1, 2012
The cast and crew of "Schlock and Awe" seemed to have as much fun as the audience at the gala performance Sunday of "Lagunatics," which celebrated its 20th anniversary this year. A beaming "Lagunatics" founder and director Bree Burgess Rosen had culled 25 numbers from all the shows since 1992. What was still so funny after all these years? "In the Nude," said Chris Quilter , who wrote or co-wrote with Burgess 19 of the parodies in the show. "It was among my happiest writing experiences.
NEWS
By Barbara Diamond | September 21, 2012
South Laguna residents asked the City Council Tuesday to seed fundraising for the purchase of the community garden parcel that is on the market. The request for funding from the sale of a different parcel the city acquired by quitclaim from the county and agreed to sell for $251,251.87 was not on the agenda. The city attorney and city manager advised the council to discontinue public testimony on the proposal, despite some grousing, until the requested allocation was agendized. "It will be on the Oct. 2 agenda," said City Manager John Pietig.
NEWS
By Kelly Parker | August 22, 2012
The California City Management Foundation released its latest video in a series that features city managers from across California.  In its 12th video, John Pietig, city manager of Laguna Beach, is in the spotlight.  "These videos feature candid interviews with city managers from across California talking about the council-manager relationship, their favorite accomplishments as managers and their love for the profession," according to the...
NEWS
By Barbara Diamond | June 7, 2012
A proposed traffic signal has pitted Emerald Bay residents against one another, with supporters intending to pursue the installation, regardless of opposition from their neighbors. Supporters of the signal say it is the cornerstone of the proposal packaged by the Emerald Bay Special Services District and Emerald Bay Community Assn. boards as a safety project. Opponents say they would support other elements of the proposed project, which include landscaping, relocating the gate house further back on Emerald Bay property, adding an ingress lane to Shamrock Road, and extending turning and merging lanes on the highway.
NEWS
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.
NEWS
By Barbara Diamond | May 10, 2012
The city's economic outlook and a draft budget prepared by City Manager John Pietig will be reviewed by the council and open to public comment at a 3 p.m. workshop Tuesday at City Council chambers, 505 Forest Ave. "Laguna is experiencing some economic recovery," Pietig wrote in his conservative summation of the city's economy for fiscal year 2011-12 and projections for 2012-13. Pietig cautioned that the projected percentage of increases in sales, bed and property tax revenue for the current fiscal year are not expected to continue.
NEWS
By Barbara Diamond | January 26, 2012
The city has more money to spend and bank than expected this fiscal year. City Manager John Pietig reported on Tuesday good news and not-so-good news in the annual mid-year budget update to the City Council, but the bottom line was a $3-million windfall. "Fortunately, during this past year, the (economic) recovery brought higher-than-expected revenue in property taxes, sales taxes, bed taxes and community-development fees," Pietig said. The council wasted little time in spending the funds on one-time purchases and allocations, while saving some and barely deviating from Pietig's recommendations.
NEWS
By Barbara Diamond | January 5, 2012
On-the-job training counted when it came to choosing a successor to Ken Frank, Laguna's longtime city manager who retired in 2010. John Pietig was selected from a field of more than 100 applicants, none of whom could match his record of achievement on behalf of Laguna Beach. He had spent almost 10 years as Frank's chief assistant when Frank announced his retirement. That experience was a determining factor in the council's decision to hire him, despite rumblings from some quarters that a complete change was in order.
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