Laguna Beach City Manager Announces Retirement
After 20 years of service to the City of Laguna Beach, City Manager John Pietig is announcing he will retire in June. The advance notice is intended to provide the City with time to prepare for an orderly transition of City administration to the next City Manager.
Mr. Pietig’s career in local government has spanned 32 years. He has served the City of Laguna Beach for twenty years - first as Assistant City Manager for 10 years, then as City Manager for the last 10 years.
“The City of Laguna Beach is an extraordinary place,” Pietig said. “Our community is involved, aware and very engaged. Together, with the City Council and the City team, we have worked hard to preserve what makes this City so special while also moving forward and acting fiscally responsible in both good and challenging times. It is truly an honor and privilege to serve this special community!”
During two decades of public service to Laguna Beach, Mr. Pietig has managed the City through the COVID-19 pandemic, wildfires, various floods and landslides.
During his tenure, the City achieved historically low crime rates, addressed homelessness, and navigated recessions, while maintaining the City in sound financial condition.
Mr. Pietig is particularly proud of the City’s current management team. “This team is performing cutting-edge work in pandemic response, wildfire prevention, crime reduction, transit and parking management, land use planning, virtual City meetings, Leadership Laguna programs, and community dialogue,” Pietig said. “Our City team has exhibited an incredible commitment to serving the public on the front lines of the pandemic. Serving alongside these dedicated public employees has been a highlight of my career.”
“All of these challenges could not have been addressed without support from past and present City Council members willing to take the actions necessary to overcome them, along with numerous members of the community who donated their time to serve on boards, commissions, committees and other volunteer programs,” Pietig said, and noted that he is especially appreciative of Mayor Whalen’s collaboration over the last couple of years to address the challenges facing the community.
“Laguna Beach has benefitted tremendously from John’s years of experience, his technical expertise, his work ethic, his understanding of our community and his steady hand in challenging times,” said Laguna Beach Mayor Bob Whalen. “John also is an excellent judge of talent. While he will be missed greatly, he will leave behind a motivated and experienced group of professionals who will keep us moving forward.”
Mr. Pietig started his career with the City of Riverside for 10 years, followed by two years with the City of Alhambra, before accepting a position with the City of Laguna Beach. Pietig will retire at a date to be determined in June 2021.
Laguna Beach Business Assistance Webinar Today at 3:30 p.m.!
The City Council has created the Laguna Beach Small Business Assistance Service and hired Townsend Public Affairs to provide FREE assistance to local businesses and non-profits as they access available resources offered by the county, state, and federal governments.
Now that a second stimulus package has been signed into law, the Laguna Beach Business Assistance Services officially launched this week.
TODAY - Thursday, January 7, 2021, at 3:30 p.m., the City and Townsend Public Affairs will host a FREE webinar to provide more information about the new funding and highlight the help offered by the Laguna Beach Business Assistance Services.
COVID-19 Community Relief Fund Established for Those Living or Working in Laguna Beach
As part of the City's $1.4 million in economic assistance for restaurants, bars, retail & community, the Laguna Beach City Council set aside $300,000 as a matching grant for the Laguna Covid-19 Relief Fund to provide assistance to residents and employees working in Laguna Beach.
Applications for relief will be reviewed and grants of up to $1,000 will be awarded to support those most affected and in need.
A new helicopter water refilling tank was installed along the Fire Road, implemented a new outdoor warning system, and completed an Evacuation Time Study for neighborhoods.
Annual fuel modification was completed with the help of the largest City goat herd in 20 years. $1 Million in state grant funds were secured for fuel modification in South Laguna.
For the second year in a row, overall crime in Laguna Beach decreased (2019 stats reported in 2020).
The Police Department issued over 2,236 Loud Noise/Speeding Enforcement Citations in response to community concerns.
The City and LBUSD added a second school resource police officer to the District.
Police partnership with “Ring” grants potential access to homeowners’ camera footage to assist police investigators and protect homes from criminals, intruders and thieves.
Marine Safety Department
A new motorized beach wheelchair was purchased by donated funds and is available during operational hours at the lifeguard headquarters.
S.A.L.T. Program, Ocean Lifeguard Academy & Recurrent Training converted to virtual formats to follow the Center for Disease Control’s guidelines while maintaining regional and national training standards.
The California Coastal Commission certified a Short-Term Lodging Ordinance prohibiting STLs in the residential districts & restricting them in commercial districts. Updates were made to the Downtown Specific Plan, Historic Preservation Program and the City's Parking Ordinance.
Village Entrance Project Completed
Utility Undergrounding Program Progresses
Repaired and Resealed 28 Streets in Woods Cove
Temple Hills Pedestrian Improvement Project Completed
Coast Highway Intersection Improvement Project
Rehabilitated the Beach Stairs and Access at Pearl Street
Improvements Over Laguna Canyon Creek at the Animal Shelter
Laguna Canyon Channel Improvements
Completed Sewer Odor Improvements at the Bluebird SOCWA Lift Station
Transit & Parking
The City worked to enhance the Laguna Beach Trolley App to more accurately predict arrivals, schedules, and tracking of vehicles.
The Laguna Beach Parking App had more than 25,000 downloads and 600 additional parking guidance sensors were installed throughout the City.
The City Council approved a new multi-year/phase parking rate structure and the City secured $35,000 in Senior Mobility Program funding to help support senior transportation through Sally's Fund.