It was a historic and emotional evening at City Hall last night as the community welcomed a new City Council and said goodbye to many very familiar faces. Tears were shed by many of the outgoing members, including Mayor Scotto, as they recalled their many years of service to the community and thanked many of those in attendance who had supported them along the way.
Torrance might never again have so many years of accumulated service all leaving the chambers at the same time. The combined years spent leading our city by Mayor Scotto, Councilmembers Brewer and Sutherland, as well as City Clerk Sue Herbers exceeds well over 50. Their volunteerism goes far beyond that as each of them served in various capacities prior to assuming city leadership roles. I couldn’t help but marvel at the time each of these dedicated community servants has spent in support of our community. As evidenced by the standing ovations each one of them received, it’s clear their service has had a lasting effect and that their legacy will live on among many in the community.
The community also had the opportunity to welcome and hear from the new council. Mayor Furey took the opportunity to outline his three initial priorities as he assumes office. Those priorities are as follows:
1) Conduct a Public Works Workshop: Furey tasked the Public Works Department to provide a report showing the 5 year infrastructure plan, current funding status, and planned Measure R projects. The report will be presented to Council in the near future.
2) Redesign of City Website: This initiative will explore a redesign that will create visually attractive pages, adopt a user centric approach, and create search optimization and site usability.
3) View Impairment (Tree) Ordinance: City Staff to research the issue utilizing models from neighboring cities and present a plan to council within 60 days.
During the meeting, Furey also took what appeared to be a veiled shot at Nick Green and the Daily Breeze. Speaking with regard to what he termed as “gossip” in the community about the upcoming council appointment, Furey cautioned residents “to consider the source” claiming that the source in question was “generally incorrect.” He then concluded by stating, “so don’t always believe everything you read.”
Former Police Officer and Planning Commissioner and now Councilmember Geoff Rizzo offered his sincere thanks to many in the community that had supported him and helped him get elected and promised to give it his best.
Tim Goodrich, the youngest councilmember by far, also offered thanks to many in the community. He concluded his remarks by making a comparison to himself and the recently passed, local legend, Louis Zamperini. He noted that they both had lived in Western New York, both ran track, went to USC, served in the Air Force, and made Torrance their home. Goodrich then offered that he would be honored and consider his work done if, during his time on the council, he could live up to be half the man that Zamperini was.
It should be interesting to see what course these new leaders will follow as they take the torch from those experienced leaders that Torrance was forced to say goodbye to last night.