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EDITORIAL: City greener because of Iseman

Laguna Beach has a new mayor. Jane Egly will be wielding the gavel at City Council meetings, representing the city and officiating at many events throughout the year, assisted by newly elected Mayor Pro Tem Cheryl Kinsman. We welcome them to their new posts and wish them well in leading the city in 2008.

We should take the opportunity to thank outgoing Mayor Toni Iseman, who may not have had a landslide to deal with, as did Councilwoman Elizabeth Schneider during her turn as mayor in 2005, but served the city well.

Iseman is not a speechifier and prefers to work in low-key ways, but we believe her mayorship will be seen in the future as a watershed.

It was under her leadership and emphasis on “greening” the city that the council signed on unanimously to the U.S. Mayor’s Climate Change Protection Agreement and set the city on a constructive course of action to work locally in helping to ameliorate the effects of global climate change.

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Laguna Beach has many reasons to be concerned about the possible effects of global warming, even if the concept of global warming and its causes are still a subject of debate in many circles.

A number of environmental initiatives have taken hold during her tenure, including the recent ban on Styrofoam in fast-food outlets.

Even the perennial problem of trash-strewn beaches seems to have abated as groups new and old have stepped forward to continue their efforts or begin new cleanup campaigns.

We can’t help but think that Mayor Iseman’s emphasis on environmentalism energized these citywide efforts.

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The city’s Environmental Committee has really taken off and a working group has been meeting regularly over the past year to nurture ideas to bring to the council in the future.

Iseman won’t be mayor when these ideas come forth, but she will be sitting on the council for three more years and will have ample opportunity to continue to shepherd them into fruition. While the title of mayor in this city is more ceremonial than executive, the mayor sets the tone and is able to influence policy direction for the city, and Iseman’s contributions to a “greener” and more environmentally aware city will be seen for years to come.



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