At Soka University of America on Oct. 26, Aliso Viejo celebrated its 10th anniversary.
Mayor Carmen Cave addressed an audience of around 400 people, comprised of residents and local business owners, and called the 10-year mark a "renaissance" for the city.
"Renaissance means rebirth, and this perfectly describes what I see in our city," Cave said. "The first Renaissance … was a time in history when new ideas, new vision and dynamic changes were occurring in Europe."
Cave said that the young city has become a model for other cities in the country through its politics, structure and culture.
"Much like the first Renaissance, we have developed a strong local government that gives us control over our own needs, wants and determinations," she said. "This kind of control was part of our original plan 10 years ago."
The mayor went on to praise the city's financial state. The city has enough operating funds to cover the city for 1.5 years in case of an emergency.
She pointed out the city's reliance on business and housing, with 30% of the general fund revenues derived from sales and use taxes, and 44% from property taxes.
"Because of our supportive business community and all of the active and involved citizens, Aliso Viejo is coming of age, moving into its own renaissance," she said. "And it's not just about business and politics. We believe, as they did in the Renaissance, that the arts must thrive in order to have a fully realized community of citizens."
She cited Soka University as an example and its new state-of-the-art Performing Arts Center, which opened Sept. 17.