Elected officials and representatives from nearly every level of government joined the Lake Forest City Council on Tuesday to celebrate the City’s 30th anniversary of incorporation.
Early City leaders, including those who led the incorporation effort in 1991, also attended. Residents approved becoming a City by a nearly 2-to-1 margin to gain local control from the Board of Supervisors and because they felt too much tax money was leaving the area to fund projects elsewhere. The City celebrated with residents on December 4 with a family-themed event that culminated with the Lake Forest’s first tree-lighting ceremony.
On Tuesday, Orange County Tax Collector Shari Freidenrich, Supervisor Lisa Bartlett, Laguna Hills Mayor Pro Tem Janine Heft, and Laguna Woods Mayor Carol Moore presented the City with resolutions of commendation. Irvine Ranch Water District board member John Withers and El Toro Water District General Manager Dennis P. Cafferty also presented resolutions. IRWD board member Peer Swan also attended the event, as did the entire El Toro Water District Board of Directors. A representative from state Senator Dave Min’s office also made a presentation. Orange County Fire Authority Division Chief Mike Contreras also presented the City with a plaque.
Attendees and Council members remarked on how much the City has changed in 30 years. A City project transformed El Toro Road from one of the most congested thoroughfares in Orange County to a shopping and dining destination. The City also joined others in staving off plans to build an international airport at the former Marine Corps Air Station El Toro. Tuesday’s meeting was held at the Lake Forest Civic Center, which opened in 1991 as the capstone to a 20-year plan that financed the Civic Center, Sports Park and Recreation Center and other amenities primarily with developer fees, not tax dollars.
That, and other early decisions such as contracting for public safety and other services, allows Lake Forest to be one of the largest debt-free cities in the country. Helen Wilson, the first Mayor of Lake Forest, was at Tuesday’s meeting, as were early Council members Peter Herzog and Andrew Hamilton.
The current Council – Doug Cirbo, Neeki Moatazedi, Robert Pequeno, Mark Tettemer, and Scott Voigts – also saw a changing of the guard Tuesday. Voigts made his outgoing remarks as Mayor, a largely ceremonial position rotated among the Council, and passed the gavel to Pequeno. Cirbo will assume the Mayor Pro Tem duties.
Also on Tuesday, the Council honored Scout George Tirado of Troop 818 for reaching the Eagle rank.
See more about the City’s first 30 years at https://www.lakeforestca.gov/30th-Anniversary