What do these three people have in common?
– Edward Lorr (1970-1974)
– Bill Wilcoxen (1981-1982)
– Peter Blake (2018-2022)
Answer: These are the only Laguna Beach councilmembers during the past 52 years who never served as either Mayor or Mayor Pro Tempore during their 1st terms.
Being voted as Mayor or Mayor Pro Tempore is sometimes viewed as a procedural or collegial matter. But being nominated to either role is also an acknowledgment by one’s colleagues of respect and leadership capabilities. It’s therefore notable that so few councilmembers of the dozens that have served, have failed to be elevated to either position during the past half century plus.
During their first terms: Kelly Boyd, Ann Christoph, Steve Dicterow, Toni Iseman, Verna Rollinger, Bob Whalen, Rob Zur Schmiede, and Sue Kempf had all either been honored with the Mayorship or Pro Tempore position. Indeed during Iseman’s 24 years on council, she has spent a third of the time as either Mayor or Pro Tem. Whalen’s record is even more impressive, in that he’s spent 60% of his time in one or the other role (with two years to go!).
We can’t be completely certain what prevented the three oddballs from obtaining either position. Wilcoxen was appointed to fill a vacant seat and only served nine months on council. Edward Lorr’s term was slightly less than four years because he was recalled in a special election shortly before the end of his term (the recall petition accused him of misconduct). But in the case of Blake it’s a good bet that his colleagues never felt he could live up to either position. That’s even more startling given that during his first two years on Council there was a four-one split with Blake being in the majority. Did his colleagues see then, what many Laguna voters see now?
Michael Morris, Laguna BeachView Our User Comment Policy