Changes For SH City CouncilMarch 24, 2017
As the City of Signal Hill says good bye to a long time city leader, Micheal Noll, new city councilmembers are sworn in. Additionally, Mayor Lori Woods was acknowledged and thanked for the completion of her first term as Mayor. Edward Wilson was appointed as the new Mayor and Tina Hansen will remain Vice Mayor for the second consecutive year.
Below is the Signal Tribune’s article explaining the changing dynamics of the Signal Hill City Council. The article has statements from David Slater, Executive VP and COO for SHP, about Mayor Woods’ term as Mayor. (See section in bold)
City council reorganization
At its March 21 meeting, the Signal Hill City Council voted unanimously for Councilmember Edward Wilson to serve as mayor, replacing Lori Woods, whose one-year term as mayor has ended. There were no other nominations.
Tina Hansen will continue as vice mayor for another one-year term after a unanimous council vote and no other nominations.
Hansen expressed her wish to defer becoming mayor until next year, though she was up for that position having served as vice mayor for a year.
“Everyone knows that my passion is the [new Signal Hill public] library, and I want to be assured that I will be mayor when the library opens,” she explained. She further expressed appreciation that Wilson agreed to bypass a year of being vice mayor before accepting the nomination for mayor.
Woods will remain on the council as a member, having won a new four-year term in the March 7 municipal election, as did Wilson and former City Clerk Robert Copeland. Larry Forester is continuing in his term as a fifth council member.
The three newly elected members of the council were sworn in by Deputy City Clerk Kimberly Boles amid public applause. Copeland made a few remarks as the newest member, indicating his excitement about serving on the city council.
“I’m looking forward to helping to influence the direction of the city and to talk to the residents about what they’re looking for in the city and figure out how we can satisfy those wants,” Copeland said.
The overall mood during the formalities was light-hearted among the members and the public audience alike, with council chamber at nearly full capacity. During the mayor’s initial roll call, outgoing Councilmember Michael Noll embellished his response. “Still here for a little while,” he said, eliciting chuckles all around.
In one of her final acts as mayor, Woods presented a proclamation to Noll, who has served on the council for 25 years, including five terms as mayor.
“Michael’s vision and leadership helped transform Signal Hill from a rustic oil town to a vibrant community,” she said. Woods further listed his accomplishments for the city, citing his fiscal responsibility and commending his efforts to foster an inclusive community.
Noll’s subsequent remarks included affirming the commitment of the entire council.
“We don’t always agree. Sometimes we disagree,” he said. “But after the vote, we all get on board and make it happen.”
After taking his seat as mayor, Wilson further acknowledged Noll’s service instead of making a formal speech.
“It is really important that we recognize him for all he’s done for this city,” Wilson said. “It look a lot of time, a lot of dedication […] and you have to be committed to the betterment of your community to […] serve that long, and so I want to personally commend Mike for all he’s done.”
Wilson presented Woods with a City proclamation, emphasizing her dedication.
“Because [Signal Hill has] been very successful, it really looks easy, but there is a lot of work that goes on, and you have to dedicate yourself to learning not only about the city but everything that’s going on around you,” he said, referring to LA County and the state as a whole.
Wilson then read from the proclamation.
“Lori Woods has served this office with distinction and has earned respect and admiration for her integrity and for her personal and professional dedication as mayor,” he read.
The proclamation especially focused on Woods’s prioritizing of emergency preparedness for the city, among her other accomplishments. Wilson led the audience in chanting “Go, Signal Hill” three times, referring to the mobile app that Woods spearheaded to connect the City with its residents and visitors.
Not insignificantly, Wilson read from the proclamation that under Woods’s mayorship, the City adopted a balanced budget with sound reserve measures.
Woods was also given formal presentations for her work and service by: representatives from Signal Hill Petroleum; the Signal Hill Chamber of Commerce; and the offices of U.S. Rep. Alan Lowenthal, State Sen. Ricardo Lara and Los Angeles County Supervisor Janice Hahn.
Representing Signal Hill Petroleum and the Signal Hill Police Foundation, David Slater thanked Woods for her accomplishments.
“Your leadership has been characterized by your compassion, dedication to learning, strategic thinking and […] tireless efforts to improve the quality of life for […] residents and businesses alike,” he said. “The time and energy you’ve given to this city is remarkable.”
He further chronicled a list of Woods’s specific successes. “Lori, you’re a class act,” he said.
For her part, Woods acknowledged the dedication of City staff members and asked them to stand. “We have a highly professional staff here at Signal Hill,” she said. “The staff makes us look really good.”
Before its reorganization, the council had voted 5-0 to adopt a resolution prepared by City Manager Charlie Honeycutt certifying the results of the March 7 municipal election, including the failure of Measure F, the medical-marijuana tax measure.
Later, as part of new business, Forester and Wilson both thanked the residents and businesses of Signal Hill for their participation in the election, reaffirming the importance of voting, noting the relatively high voter turnout compared to recent years.
“One of the […] most important things in government is for people to vote,” Wilson said. “When people are participating, we (the council) can do things a lot better. As people fall out of the fold, then we don’t get as much feedback from all the different sectors of our community.”
After the meeting was adjourned, council members, staff and meeting attendees reconvened for the annual mayor’s reception, this year held at the Alpert Jewish Community Center in Long Beach.
During the reception, Hansen announced that because election results are sometimes delayed until soon before they are finalized, as was the case this year, the function of the mayoral reception would be expanded beginning that night to not only welcome the new mayor, vice mayor and any newly elected council members, but also to mark the accomplishments of the outgoing mayor and retiring council members.
“So, tonight we gather to celebrate the accomplishments of outgoing Mayor Lori Woods,” she said.
Woods then made closing remarks about her accomplishments as mayor, especially regarding city-wide emergency preparedness. She also looked to the future, listing several projects that are in development, including the new library, the former Fresh & Easy site being developed into a Mother’s Market and resident gathering center, a dog park, new housing at Gundry Avenue and Hill Street opening in June or July, plus 24 new three-story homes near the Food 4 Less on Willow Street.
She concluded by encouraging the public to attend the annual City budgeting council meeting held in late May or early June.
“If you could only attend one council meeting a year, the budget workshop would be the one I’d choose,” she said. “It is the ‘State of the City’ update of the year. You should plan to attend.”