The LBHS Alumni torch of leadership in our hometown is being passed to Michele (Oliver) Hall, Class of 1985. Michele has been active in community affairs, charity endeavors and civic politics for over a decade and is the first of her generation to run for Laguna Beach City Council. Not surprisingly, local alumni want to know more about her ideas, political platform, as well as her notable community works that make us proud of our LBHS heritage.
Since the campaign went into high gear with the end of summer, Michele has emerged as a credible and formidable candidate. At several candidate forums and debates, those who thought she was just a pretty face or were not familiar with her vision on Laguna’s future have come away both impressed by her knowledge of issues and excited about the principles for new and fresh leadership she upholds. Michele’s “Mandate for Renewal” is a non-partisan collaborative proclamation calling for reform of City Hall practices and programs to make our local government more user-friendly and reduce its’ regulatory footprint.
She is a 1991 UC Berkeley graduate with a degree in conservation and resource studies with an emphasis on water conservation. Being an art advocate, she also studied at the University of Paris, Sorbonne. Michele is fiscally conservative and wants to make sure the city spends our tax dollars prudently, giving priority to public safety, improving parking and traffic circulation, focusing on our youth (adding a skatepark is at the top of her list) and preserving and enhancing what makes Laguna so special.
Michele was instrumental in the development of the Montage Resort, which now generates revenues that enable the city to improve parks and provide services important to seniors, youth, the disadvantaged and the arts. In 2012, she was a successful leader of the opposition to a property tax increase. In 2013, she participated in a nonpartisan coalition of Republicans, Democrats and independents that halted a City Council approved plan to use 90% of the city’s borrowing capacity to borrow $30 million and debt finance a five story village entrance project.
It’s important as alumni, we stay involved and aware about other’s endeavors, especially someone who truly understands the beauty and uniqueness of our beloved Laguna Beach and who will take a “stand” for what matters to you in City Council. Michele Hall has my Vote!
Wendy Potter, Laguna Beach
The author is president LBHS Alumni Association.