Council names Laurene Weste mayor for 2018

FILE PHOTO: Surrounded by loved ones, longtime council member Laurene Weste smiles after being sworn in as mayor for 2018 on Dec. 12, 2017. Gina Ender/ The Signal
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Surrounded by loved ones and city dignitaries, Laurene Weste took the oath of office as Santa Clarita’s mayor for 2018 at Tuesday’s City Council meeting.

This will be Weste’s fifth stint as mayor, having been on the council since 1998, and previously holding the gavel in 2001, 2006, 2010 and 2014.

“I am so honored to represent you and the council’s policy and goals,” Mayor Laurene Weste said in her acceptance speech. “Thank you so much, Santa Clarita. It is so awesome to serve you.”

Weste reflected on the city’s growth over the past 30 years and looked forward to the projects that Santa Clarita’s 31st year will hold.

“We are still a small town, charming, with a large-city sophistication,” she said. “This is a very unusual city. It will stay a wonderful and unusual city as long as we love it. I am committed to doing that job with you.”

After being sworn in, Mayor Laurene Weste hugs city clerk Mary Cusick on Dec. 12, 2017. Gina Ender/ The Signal

Councilman Cameron Smyth said he had no doubt that Weste was equipped to serve as mayor.

“I look forward to following your lead,” Smyth said.

Councilwoman Marsha McLean, who has served on the council since 2002, was appointed as mayor pro tem.

Weste, McLean and Councilman Bill Miranda will all be up for re-election in 2018.

Thanking Cameron Smyth

As Weste took her place back in the center seat, the community and council thanked Cameron Smyth for his year of service and sense of humor while serving as mayor. Smyth in turn thanked his fellow council members for their collegiality and friendship.

“Cameron, you have such a commitment to the community you were born and raised in,” Weste said.

Assemblyman Dante Acosta, Homes 4 Families Board Chair Hunt Braly and Ed Masterson with Valley Industry Association all commended Smyth on his leadership.

City Manager Ken Striplin expressed his appreciation for Smyth on behalf of the city and noted that his father Clyde Smyth served as mayor in another benchmark year when Santa Clarita turned 10 years old.

“It’s certainly been my honor and pleasure to serve as mayor this year,” Smyth said. “Thank you so much for giving me this time to serve. It is not something I take for granted. There’s never been a question about the council’s desire other than what is best for the city.”

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