“He’s really a man of the people,” said master of ceremonies Bree Burgess Rosen, addressing well-wishers at the Woman’s Club on Friday for a friendly roast of City Council member Kelly Boyd, Laguna Beach’s previous mayor who passed on those responsibilities in December.
Then, abandoning the typical platitudes, Burgess Rosen segued into an explanation for Boyd’s shining scalp. “We’re not dead yet!” she exclaimed, referring to the connection she and Boyd share as cancer survivors and claiming her right to riff on that topic.
“He was on my cheer team and then I was on his cheer team,” she said, later joking that despite his recent recovery, he’s “not quite 100 percent yet,” suggesting that political connivers should not to lose the opportunity to try to push something past him.
Boyd certainly seemed pretty close to 100 percent when he addressed the crowd himself, noting some of his achievements as mayor, including initiating a revision of the city’s view ordinance, which was to be debated by the City Council this past week, and paving the way for artists’ work/live accommodations to be built, with just such a project coming before the City Council on April 1.
Even so, despite undergoing cancer treatment, he’s not resting on any laurels and expects to be running for re-election in November, he said.
Taking the podium for an impromptu speech, City Manager John Pietig reminded the audience of Boyd’s visit to Scotland and Ireland last year, where he met with the deputy lord provost of Edinburgh and the leader of Dublin, Lord Mayor Quinn. At the time, Council member Elizabeth Pearson asked, “you don’t want us to call you Lord Mayor?” To which Boyd immediately replied, “Absolutely!”
Making good on the jest, Pietig presented Boyd with a ribbon-threaded medallion, similar to one sported by his Dublin counterpart, engraved with “Lord Mayor Kelly Boyd” on the front and a list of his years of service to Laguna Beach on the back.
Former Council member and past mayor Jane Egly praised Boyd for his equanimity and good sportsmanship. Meeting him for the first time in 2006 she discovered “what a nice, good guy Kelly is.” And that impression stuck.
Despite being “mad as hell” when the Council endorsed passage of the Marine Life Protection Act, which prohibits fishing in local waters, Boyd, with the only dissenting vote, didn’t hold a grudge. And he brought some much-appreciated levity to a special meeting on the village entrance last fall when almost palpably antagonistic Council members Elizabeth Pearson and Toni Iseman presented divergent proposals. Boyd showed a “flash of brilliance,” recalled Egly, when he arrived clad in a referee’s shirt, and a ripple of laughter cut the tension.
Former city manager and fellow golfer Ken Frank, who had a tee time scheduled with Boyd after the lunch, highlighted his quiet championing of open spaces from the time the city purchased their first open space parcel, Sycamore Hills, back in 1978.
Frank said that Boyd “never tires of telling us about his family’s homestead, off the side of the third fairway at Aliso Creek,” adding that Boyd “really has an appreciation and love for the canyons and hillsides” and hopes to preserve them the way his family knew them.
Per Boyd’s request, proceeds from the event and silent auction will benefit the Laguna Beach High School’s girls and boys golf team.