Rush Hill named Newport mayor

The last meeting of the Newport Beach City Council for 2013 ended festively with the election of new leadership and reflections on the successes of the year past.

By a nomination of the council, Mayor pro tem Rush Hill replaced Keith Curry as the city's new mayor, and councilman Ed Selich succeeded Hill as Mayor pro tem.

"I would like to thank the council to have the faith in electing me," said Hill, who was elected to the council in 2010. "It truly is an honor and a pleasure to serve as mayor to this incredible city."

Remarks followed a slight shuffling of seats — the "dance of chairs," as Hill put it — on the dais where members conduct their business. Hill replaced Curry at the center, Selich moved to his left, and the rest chose spots in succession from most senior council member to least.

Both Hill and Curry took time to praise the financial strength, low crime rates and hardworking staff in Newport Beach.

Curry referred to the year as a "transformational" one. With a dedicated and collaborative council, the city has transformed the airport area, repealed unnecessary laws and inaugurated a new civic center, he said.

"So we're in great shape," Curry said. "I've been so pleased and honored and humbled to be the mayor this year."

The incoming and outgoing mayors were further honored and given time for remarks at a reception and volunteer awards dinner sponsored by the Newport Beach Chamber of Commerce directly following the meeting.

There, as those present looked on with wine glasses in hand, Hill said the city level of government is the best place to have a positive influence on people's lives.

"We're on the right path. We're doing the right thing," he said.

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