Egly chosen as new mayor

Jane Egly was unanimously named mayor Tuesday, and she lost no time in nominating Verna Rollinger as her mayor pro tem.

"I am filled with joy and happiness to be mayor of Laguna Beach," said Egly as she began her second term as mayor, a position that rotates among council members.

Her first term was in 2008.

Both women are candidates for reelection in 2012.

Egly will be running for her third term, while Rollinger wants a second bite of the apple.

As part of the traditional ceremony, Egly presented Iseman with a symbolic gavel, her third. Iseman served as mayor in 2002, 2006 and 2011.

Iseman, who is halfway through an unprecedented fourth term on the council, recapped highlights of 2011 before passing on the gavel and playing the annual game of musical chairs.

"It's been a pretty interesting year," Iseman said. "Ken Frank retired, and about a half hour after John Pietig became city manager, we had the flood.

"We had a problem with the animal shelter and the boardwalk, and we repaired both of them."

Then there was the meeting with skateboarders and proponents of limitations on city streets.

"Remember that?" Iseman asked.

"We had the Small Business Administration forum here with the Chamber of Commerce, and they were so impressed with what we had done, they stayed," she said.

Not all that happened in the last year was good news.

"We lost former Mayor Charlie Boyd, Water Commissioner Susan Trager and peace activist Jeanie Bernstein," Iseman said.

But on the bright side, outside lighting was dimmed, a breaching whale found a home in Heisler Park and art was created from World Trade Center beams.

As for the park: "We thought it was beautiful before — who knew it could better?" Iseman said.

Topping Iseman's list of accomplishments: the Marine Life Protection Act that goes into effect in January to create a no-take zone in Laguna for five years. And she said she is looking forward to the Open Space Initiative that qualified for the November 2012 ballot.

Iseman also spoke about the Open for Business Committee, which helps people who open businesses keep them open.

She also bragged about the number of ribbon cuttings in which she had participated.

"They represent the courage and vision to open a business in this economy," Iseman said. "I hope Jane gets to do as many."

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