Karen Lloreda, who won a seat on the City Council in the June 5 election, was sworn into office Tuesday night, becoming the first member of the 18-month-old council to hail from the city’s Capistrano Beach district.
Along with Lloreda, council members Eileen Krause, who is also mayor, and Mike Eggers were sworn in for second terms before the regular council meeting.
“I’m a little nervous,” Lloreda said before the ceremony. “I’ll admit to that.”
Lloreda, a political newcomer but a longtime community activist in Capistrano Beach, was elected on a platform of renewing the Capistrano Beach business district and supporting small-business owners.
By winning a seat, Lloreda ousted incumbent Ingrid McGuire. In fact, Lloreda, who received many of the same endorsements that went to Eggers and Krause, outdistanced her opponent in neighborhoods where McGuire thought she had her strongest support.
In the Monarch Beach district and Dana Point proper, Lloreda received 1,367 and 571 votes, respectively, according to the county registrar of voters office. McGuire, who lives in Monarch Beach, got 1,227 votes there and 520 votes in Dana Point proper.
Lloreda had her strongest support in Capistrano Beach, where she has vowed to help design a redevelopment project to upgrade the aging business district along Doheny Park Road and to protect the interests of small-business owners.
As president of the Capistrano Beach Community Assn., Lloreda garnered support of many local community leaders, including the head of the Capistrano Beach Chamber of Commerce.
Lloreda said she spent the weekend and much of the morning Tuesday studying the agenda and learning the council’s protocol.
“I’ve been to a lot of council meetings, and I have watched a lot,” she said. “But it’s very different knowing that you’ll be up there.”
Besides helping to establish the redevelopment agency’s first project in Capistrano Beach by July, 1991, she is interested in heading anti-drug programs, Lloreda said.
Capistrano Beach has the highest rate of drug-related crime in the city, according to a recent Sheriff’s Department study.
But, Lloreda added, drugs can be found in all parts of the city. “We are all concerned that we have a growing drug problem, not only in Capistrano Beach. We need to take control before things get worse.
“I heard all through the campaign that the issue was the quality of life in Dana Point. That quality is not worth anything if you can’t walk down the street, and you’re worried that your kids are hanging around with drugs.”