Huntington Beach

City council takes on a new look


OUTGOING Mayor Lynn Semeta (left) and new Mayor Kim Carr (City of Huntington Beach photo).

A new era opened Monday night for the Huntington Beach City Council, as it swore in and seated a new mayor, a new mayor pro tem and three new members of the council.

Before a chamber emptied by the state’s “Stay at Home” order, the oath of office was administered to Kim Carr, who becomes the city’s highest elected officer. The new mayor pro tem – who is line to be mayor for 2022 – is Tito Ortiz, one of the trio of new members.

Also new to the council are Dan Kalmick and Natalie Moser. Stepping down from the council are outgoing mayor Lynn Semeta, Jill Hardy and Patrick Brenden.

Sworn in for a new term were City Clerk Robin Estanislau and City Treasurer Alisa Backstrom.

Carr said, “I’m very much looking forward to working with the councilmember and our city staff.” Making reference to the bombing of Pearl Harbor on another Dec. 7, she noted that “As a nation united we can overcome great adversity.”

Speaking of the pandemic, she said, “I completely understand pandemic fatigue … But now is not the time to let our guard down. There is light at the end of the tunnel.” She added that in order to restore normality, residents should “wear your masks, wash your hands and watch your distance.”

Semeta expressed gratitude to her family and community, especially regarding how they experienced the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. “You look out for each other,” she said.  Making difficult decisions during the crisis was not easy, she added. “I felt like we were constantly threading the needle.”

During her term, she cited certain accomplishments such as balancing the budget without dipping into reserves and the establishment of a navigation center for the unsheltered.

“I think history will judge us favorably,” she said. “Hope is on the horizon.”

Also on Monday night the council approved a contract worth $300,000 with RDG Planning and Design Art Studio for the commissioning of public art for Central Park.

The next meeting of the city council is set for Dec. 21.


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