Mayor of Calabasas talks about the strategic plan and the environment in his annual address
CALABASAS, Calif. — In her farewell State of the City address Thursday, Calabasas Mayor Mary Sue Maurer discussed the city’s ongoing environmental initiatives, strategic planning and city improvements.
Thursday marked the city’s 25th annual State of the Town address and Maurer’s last after deciding not to run for office in November. Maurer was elected to the Calabasas City Council in 2005 and has since served four years as mayor.
“When I first walked into City Hall 17 years ago, Calabasas was a different place – City Hall and the library weren’t even there. Neither was the senior center. There was no second-hand smoke ordinance, polystyrene ban, gun control measures and I’m so proud of everything that’s happened over the years – and I can’t can’t tell you how excited I am about what the future holds for our great city,” Maurer said.
Resident of the Year
Maurer named local business owner, parent and Iranian rights advocate Negin Ghaffari Citizen of the Year.
Ghaffari is the founder of Montessori of Malibu Canyon, a local preschool. She is the CEO of an educational services company and serves on the city’s Parks, Recreation and Education Commission.
“To live, work and raise my family here is a true privilege. I am honored to serve our community in any way possible and am deeply touched and grateful for our city’s solidarity in support of the Iranian people in their #Revolution for #Liberty!” Ghaffari said in an Instagram post.
The city distributed paperback versions of the United States Constitution and Bill or Rights to remind members of the public of what people like Ghaffari stand for, Maurer said.
“With this award, the people of Negin remind us that we can never take our own form of American democracy for granted,” Maurer said.
The city launched its first-ever strategic plan this year, which will eventually be revised every two years to keep the city on track for a number of goals, Maurer said. Calabasas’ strategic plan will seek to “preserve both its character and its natural resources, and will address critical environmental, social, health, safety and economic issues that impact” the city.
For its first strategic plan, the city has identified five key priorities which include environmental leadership, financial resilience, public safety and emergency preparedness, recreation services and development, and infrastructure. These priorities are then divided into 12 more specific objectives such as, for example, increasing the use of water from local sources in the context of worsening drought conditions.
Climate and sustainability
The city has been working on its Climate Action and Adaptation Plan, which will help reduce local greenhouse gas emissions and mitigate the local effects of global warming.
Additionally, Maurer noted that 98.2% of Calabasas energy customers have transitioned to 100% clean energy, which Maurer celebrated as a major step forward in sustainability.
“This means that in the past year alone, Calabasas has reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 35,000 metric tons, which is equivalent to taking 7,500 cars off the road or planting 570,000 trees,” said Maurer said.
The city has also made progress toward capturing and cleaning up runoff with its Citywide Green Street project, which reduces pollutants headed to storm drains that will eventually reach streams and the ocean, Maurer said.
Local authorities also worked to help the Las Virgenes region become more self-sufficient during persistent drought conditions with a drinking water facility, which could eventually supply 15% of the region’s drinking water. At present, the region is entirely dependent on dwindling imported water sources.
Other projects and retrospective
Maurer touched on a number of other important local projects, including work on the Agoura Hills/Calabasas Community Center, which is set to reopen in June.
The city has also recently benefited from a number of emergency programs, such as a new digital evacuation tool, cameras to support the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department’s emergency response, and COVID awareness campaigns. and fentanyl.
Recreation services in the city have flourished over the past year, including library programming, pickle ball, holiday celebrations and more, Maurer said.
Maurer praised his colleagues for creating such a positive and civil work environment and applauded the November City Council candidates for their campaigns.
“Thank you for the years of camaraderie and collaboration. We’ve accomplished so much together, and you each have my sincere gratitude,” Maurer said. “My 17 years of service have been incredible, and I thank you all for your support and best wishes. I have had the privilege of playing a small role in our democratic system.”