New Calabasas Councilmembers – Real Estate Calabasas
New Calabasas Councilmembers
By Annemarie Donkin
Members of the public, residents, family, friends and politicians packed the chambers full to bursting for its official city council reorganization meeting and swearing-in ceremony on Wednesday, March 23, at the Calabasas City Hall.
Sup. Zev Yaroslavsky swore in newly elected councilmember Lucy Martin and The Honorable Robert M. Hertzberg, speaker emeritus of the California State Assembly, swore in newly elected councilmember Fred Gaines.
Yaroslavsky made an unusual endorsement on behalf of Lucy Martin because he felt the stakes were too high for Calabasas and local communities, including Topanga.
“In this election, Lucy had her pulse on the frustrations and aspirations of the people of Calabasas, and the voters responded in kind,” Yaroslavsky said. “She is committed to preserving our greatest asset in western L.A. County – its mountains, valleys and streams.”
Martin and Gaines will replace Mayor Barry Groveman and Mayor Pro Tem Dennis Washburn, neither of whom ran for re-election in March.
PHOTO BY ANNEMARIE DONKIN
Members of the Calabasas City Council for 2011-2012 are from left, Lucy Martin, Jonathon Wolfson, Mayor James R. Bozajian, Mayor Pro Tem Mary Sue Maurer and Fred Gaines.
Councilmember James R. Bozajian was unanimously elected as mayor and Mary Sue Maurer was elected as Mayor Pro Tem for the upcoming year.
In his last act as a councilmember, outgoing councilmember Dennis Washburn swore in Bozajian and Maurer to their new terms.
Outgoing Mayor Barry Groveman remarked that this is the first time in its 20-year history that a founding member of Calabasas does not sit on the city council.
As a result, residents will watch closely to see how the new council alliances play out, given that Bozajian and Mary Sue Maurer usually voted in opposition to the solid voting block of Groveman, Washburn and councilmember Jonathon Wolfson.
In his first remarks as mayor, Bozajian promised to heal the “serious deep divide” among the residents as a result of what he called the most “contentious” election.
“I will make it a top priority to restore confidence within all segments of our constituency,” he said. “One of the continuing challenges will be to continue the slow growth policies to preserve our unique quality of life that sets us apart from most other cities in the L.A. metropolis.”
In his first remarks as councilmember, Gaines said he would work to maintain and improve the quality of local life, including improving the environment, public safety and the library.
“I am humbled, energized and so appreciative, so thank you,” he said, and thanked his family, friends, and his “hot” wife, Jill Gaines, who is the president of the Las Virgenes School board.
Martin also gave some brief comments after being sworn in: “The residents of Calabasas really climbed the hill with me,” she said. “I have a lot of work to do. I have an office upstairs and my door will always be open; it’s probably where you will find me most of the time.”
Yaroslavsky referred to Calabasas as the “capital city” of the Las Virgenes area and recognized the role of the Council as key to the health of communities in the Santa Monica Mountains.
“Lucy was outspent and outgunned in this election, but she wasn’t outvoted,” Yaroslavsky said. “Voters usually get elections right, especially in small cities; …as people got to know Lucy and what she stood for, they liked what they heard. She exudes honesty, integrity and transparency, and she fundamentally believes in and respects the people of Calabasas. I am happy for Lucy and for the people of Calabasas. They have made a great choice.”
On March 23rd, new Calabasas council members were sworn into office. Calabasas is a special community and it is important for our politicians to help preserve the quality of life in our community .