During this campaign, I was surprised to learn that many people don’t know who Michele Hall is or what she’s done for this community. When her maiden name Oliver comes up, she then becomes more recognizable, especially with alumni. It’s not because her actions aren’t meaningful newsworthy endeavors or haven’t warranted the media’s attention or sparked personal discussion. As director of United Laguna she increased membership by 300% and was instrumental in bringing the Montage, the only six-star resort to the U.S., to Laguna by championing the entitlement process. The destination resort, which shares space with a public park, generates millions in bed-tax and has proven to be an indisputable “win-win” for the city. As president of LB GOP Michele took a stand against Village Laguna. Amongst much criticism, she held her ground for what she knew was right. Her tenacity paid off and the entrance project was ultimately defeated.
Michele is not about the singular “I”. She has always been and continues to be about the collective “we”. She is uncharacteristically humble for a candidate embroiled in a heated campaign and does not take credit where credit is actually due. Other than City Hall bureaucracy, not a lot of training is required in order for her to take a position on City Council.
She collaborates well with others, has been a director or member of a board, leads groups effectively, brings ground-breaking, multi-million dollar projects to fruition, gives back, listens well and can do a yoga bow pose with grace and fortitude. She is a tour de force who wants us all to win. She has calculable experience with things that are important to Laguna: water conservation, property rights, real estate, children, art, education, homeless, philanthropy and business. She infuses a fresh perspective of what is necessary for creating an indelible positive future.
I’ve had the pleasure of friendship with Michele since third grade when we met at Aliso Elementary and our friendship continued through Thurston Middle School and LBHS. She is godmother to my daughter Chiara, whose father died when she was 15 months old. Michele was my first and only choice to be Mom for my child should something happen to me. I trust her judgment, value her accomplishments personally and professionally, her decision making ability and unwavering love for Laguna. That’s why she’s my only vote for City Council.
Lisa (Babik) Berman, Laguna Beach
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