As the year comes close to an end, Laurene Weste is scheduled to turn in her gavel as Santa Clarita mayor on Tuesday.
The City Council will gather prior to its regular meeting for the nominations and swearing-in for the 2019 mayor and mayor pro tem.
The tradition holds that the council gives the mayor position to the mayor pro tem in place, which is currently longtime Councilwoman Marsha McLean, and that the two leadership positions rotate among all five council members.
The title of mayor would be no new feat to McLean, who served as mayor in 2007, 2011 and 2015. She first joined the City Council in 2002 and has since centered her efforts on multiple topics like transportation, the environment and business.
While the nomination process has been the same throughout the years, there is a precedent for the council to forego the rotation, which occurred when Jo Anne Darcy served consecutively as mayor in 1999 and 2000.
For Weste, 2018 is her fifth stint as mayor, after having been appointed to the position in 2001, 2006, 2010 and 2014. She has served on the council since 1998.
When thinking about a consecutive term, Weste said Thursday she does not like to prejudge how nominations would go but said she was very proud of her and the council’s accomplishments thus far.
“I’m thrilled to have had a great year. We got so much accomplished in 2018,” she said. “The city is in good shape and I think that speaks volumes.”
Alongside four other council members, Weste led multiple groundbreakings and citywide announcements this year that marked progress on developments like the future Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station along Golden Valley Road, the 25,000-square-foot Canyon Country Community Center and the Newhall Ranch Road bridge widening project over San Francisquito Creek.
“People are enjoying all of these amenities and that is the joy that our council has worked so hard toward creating this community,” said Weste.
During this year’s City Council election forums, many brought up the appointment process, comparing it to other cities that have voters elect someone for mayor rather than having a mayor appointed from among the elected council members.
Weste said yes, the process is different but “it seems to work. Everybody gets to participate and leadership is spread across a broad spectrum of people instead of one person. We are a general law city, not run by the mayor.”