The seating arrangement on the dais in the City Council chambers may have changed but the faces haven't.
Incumbents Toni Iseman, Kelly Boyd and Elizabeth Pearson were re-installed Tuesday, winners of the 2010 City Council election, bucking a national trend that saw highly regarded elected officials sidelined. Iseman was named mayor, succeeding Pearson. Councilwoman Jane Egly was chosen as mayor pro tem.
"I now have the opportunity to say what an amazing job Elizabeth has done as mayor," said Iseman, who was elected to the council for an unprecedented fourth term. "That's what it says on this paper, but it is easy for me to say. She has always been the right person at the right time.
"Elizabeth's career has been littered with natural disasters, but she knows how to get people to volunteer willingly and to make them comfortable."
Iseman presented Pearson with the ceremonial gavel as a memento of her most recent term as mayor.
The Nov. 2 election, in which the three incumbents were returned to office, was certified by county Registrar of Voters Neal Kelley on Nov. 22.
As expected by local political pundits, Boyd came in first with 7,190 ticks on the ballots, 30.3% of the total votes cast. Pearson came in second with 6,669 votes, 28.1% of the total, followed by Iseman with 6,023.
Slightly more than 16% of local voters picked challenger Emanuel Patrascu for one of their maximum of three votes.
Laguna Beach has 18,873 registered voters, 61.26% of whom voted in the November election, 30.44% by mail-in ballot, according to Kelley's office. Registered Democrats outnumber Republicans 7,179 to 6,680, but 4,038 Laguna voters decline to state an affiliation.
Local tallies in national elections
Political outsider Carly Fiorina did better in Laguna against her Democratic rival for U.S. senator than Republican gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman did against Democrat Jerry Brown, but she was still outvoted by Barbara Boxer supporters, losing 5,272 to 5,615.
Democrat Beth Krom, with the strong support of Iseman, beat Republican incumbent John Campbell for the 48th District seat in the House of Representatives, 5,398 to 5,200 in town, but Campbell won districtwide.
It was a Democratic sweep in Laguna, with only a couple of exceptions.
Democrat Brown defeated Republican Whitman in Laguna by less than 500 votes: 5,707 votes to 5,259. Green party candidate Laura Wells picked up 110 votes.
Gavin Newsom did even better than his fellow Democrat, with 5,796 votes cast in his favor over Republican Abel Maldonado. Libertarian Pamela J. Brown came in third with 755 votes.
Longtime Los Angeles County Dist. Atty. Steve Cooley was the only Republican to come out ahead in Laguna Beach. Cooley, who preaches non-partisanship in his office, beat San Francisco District Attorney, Democrat Kamala Harris in Laguna by 588 votes, 5,364 to 4,776, but lost in the statewide election.
Secretary of State Debra Bowen was the winner in Laguna, beating Republican candidate Damon Dunn, 5,388 votes to 4,685, and reelected.
Incumbent state Controller John Chiang, a Democrat, was approved by a 5,301 to 4,666 vote over Republican Tony Strickland.
Democrat Bill Lockyer beat Mimi Walters for state treasurer by a whopping 1,020 votes in Laguna.
Fellow Democrat Dave Jones did almost as well, defeating Republican Mike Villines for insurance commissioner, 5,272 to 4,283.
Judge Tani Cantil-Sakauye, recently sworn in as the second woman to be elected Chief Justice of the California Supreme Court, received 3,177 more yes votes than no votes in Laguna.
Republican Donald P. Powers was defeated by Democrat Melissa Fox to represent the 70th State Assembly District, 4,866 to 5,286.
Sharl Fridenrich, who was endorsed by city Treasurer Laura Parisi, was the winner in Laguna for county tax collector-treasurer.
Larry Aceves edged out Tom Torlakson by a mere 95 votes in Laguna for county Supt. of Public Instruction, 3,966 to 3,871.
Tom Pendergast, Nancy Psadberg and Marcia Michiker were elected trustees of the South Orange County Community College District.
Lagunans voted to allow local governments to control and tax the production, distribution and sale of pot for personal use and to legalize marijuana. Locals cast 6,925 yes votes to 4,374 no votes, but Proposition 19 lost statewide.
Laguna voters also approved Proposition 20, which took redistricting of congressional districts out of the hands of the state legislature. Prop. 20 got more votes than any proposition on the ballot or for any elected official. It was approved statewide.
Proposition 27, which was at cross purposes with Prop. 20, was defeated. It would have eliminated the Citizen Redistricting Commission, which replaces legislative control.
Votes on Proposition 21, which tacked a surcharge onto vehicle license fees to help fund state parks, were pretty evenly split here, 5,755 to 5,396. It lost statewide
Locals voted to prohibit the state from borrowing or taking funds used for transportation. Proposition 22 was approved statewide.
Proposition 24, which would have repealed legislation that lowered business taxes, did not appeal to Laguna voters, with 6,677 opposed, 3,996 in favor.
Voters in Laguna and statewide approved Proposition 25 that lowered the requirement from two-thirds approval to a simple majority vote to pass the state budget and budget-related legislation. But the voters also approved Proposition 26, which requires that a two-thirds majority is needed to pass certain state and local fees that formerly needed only a majority vote.
A complete rundown of county votes, including the election of insurance commissioner, state Board of Equalization member and associate justices for the state Supreme Court and the 4th District Court of Appeals, is posted on the county Registrar of Voters website. Be advised, the Orange County Statement of Votes covers 898,205 votes in 2,630 pages.