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Hastings Takes Over as Mayor After Forsythe

Marilyn Bruce Hastings will complete her City Council term as mayor, succeeding popular three-time Mayor Gwen Forsythe.

Councilman George Brown will be mayor pro tem for the coming year.

The title of mayor is largely ceremonial and is generally rotated among council members from year to year. However, because Forsythe, 42, has personally mediated negotiations on several controversial development projects in this self-described “slow-growth” coastal city, she has been more visible.

Earlier this year, Forsythe announced her resignation after she received a bullet in the mail. Police determined that the threat was linked to development issues. Investigations are still underway.

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After an outpouring of community support, which included an all-night candlelight vigil in March, Forsythe rescinded her decision. Her second term on the City Council ends next year.

Hastings, 67, has been mayor before, having preceded Forsythe in the post. She is a slow-growth proponent who represents the city’s Old Town area.

In the year ahead, she said, resolving conflicts over the developments proposed at both Hellman Ranch and Bixby Ranch remains a high priority.

“I’m looking forward to some resolution that everyone will be happy with,” Hastings said, adding that she will count on Forsythe’s mediation skills to reach that goal.

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