Residents who attended Tuesday night's Newport Beach City Council meeting got a sneak peek into the newly built council chambers and also had a front row seat to the swearing in of the city's next mayor and new councilman.
The Newport Beach City Council voted unanimously to elect Mayor Pro Tem Keith Curry as mayor for 2013-2014. City officials also swore in reelected Councilman Ed Selich and newly elected Councilman Tony Petros. Petros replaces Councilman Steve Rosanksy, who stepped down Tuesday. Councilman Rush Hill was elected mayor pro tem.
"There is no better job in America than to serve as the mayor of Newport Beach," Curry told the audience. "Thank you for letting me do this again.”
Curry takes the gavel from Councilwoman Nancy Gardner, who served as the city’s mayor for the last year. Gardner said she is thankful to work alongside her colleagues during her time as mayor.
“I look at other cities, and I feel how fortunate that I have been able to serve with the people I have, such a putting aside of egos and putting the city first," Gardner said. "We disagree and we put it behind us and we have an excellent staff, and they don't get the credit they deserve.”
Curry thanked Gardner for her service in the mayor's role, which included tackling issues such as harbor fees and labor agreements. She also highlighted her participation in more light-hearted events like a dunk tank and a community paddleboarding session.
"You are the embodiment of Newport Beach, and you led with great skill and leadership in 2012,” Curry said. "Congratulations on a great tenure."
Selich, who has served on the City Council for more than seven years and two terms as mayor, said he is delighted to serve another four years and plans to work on getting Sunset Ridge Park completed and to embark on a comprehensive bike safety plan for the city.
“I want to try and make the most of those four years,” he said. “We have had many accomplishments over the last six to 9 years but there is more to be done.”
Petros is the new face on the City Council, moving into the spot vacated by Rosansky. Petros, who ran unopposed, said he is excited to take the reigns.
"I know I am here because of your confidence and your vote for me," Petros said. "Politics is a contact sport and I am ready for that challenge."
But for Rosansky the night was bittersweet.
“I want to thank the residents of Newport Beach, for allowing me to serve them," Rosansky said fighting back tears. "Serving is not a privilege, but a right. By electing me twice to the city council you've allowed me to do something very important to me, to lead a life of significance."