It’s the time of year for the city council to vote for a new mayor. In addition this year, there’s a new councilmember and a retiring councilmember. As covered in earlier Westlake Revelations articles, every two years the residents elect alternating sets of city councilmembers for four year terms. The city council, in turn, once a year elects a Mayor and Mayor Pro Tem. Tonight, each of these positions were selected as well as a retirement ceremony for councilmember Bob Slavin, and the swearing in of new councilmember Brad Halpern.

After recognizing service, a retirement ceremony for outgoing councilmember Bob Slavin, and the swearing in of the councilmembers who won the recent election, the Council voted Mark Rutherford as the new Mayor, and Ned Davis as the new Mayor Pro Tem, to serve for the next year. Mayor Rutherford pledged to keep going in the same direction, and the same way as it has been going.

Election Efforts

The City recognized staff members Beth Schott and Patti Thompson for their work on the election — which the City conducts itself. City Manager Ray Taylor explained that this not only saves the City and brings the process closer to constituents, but it also saved the Las Virgenes Unified School District between $30,000-35,000 that the school district would normally have to pay Los Angeles County to run the elections in the City’s portion of the school district.

Retirement of councilmember Slavin

After 12 years on the City Council, Bob Slavin is retiring from the council and tonight was his last meeting. Representatives from the LA County Sheriff, LA County Fire Dept., State Senator Fran Pavley’s office, Chamber of Commerce, LVUSD, Assemblyman Jeff Gorell’s office, City of Calabasas, City of Malibu, City of Agoura Hills, LVMWD, Hidden Hills and from Congresswoman Brownley’s office. In addition, Slavin’s sons took a moment to say some kind words to their father. The Westlake Village City Council followed with a special presentation of a reproduction of an incredible pen and ink drawing of the original concept of Westlake Village before it was created. The fellow councilmembers and City staff followed with comments of appreciation and respect to Bob.

Bob made a series of comments starting with thanking his wife Laurie, sons and other family members. He reflected on all the accomplishments being a team effort by staff and fellow councilmembers. Bob spoke about the “Westlake Way” — where Westlake Village has proceeded “incrementally”, deliberately, methodically, looking to work with people, and solve problems. Slavin feels that the Westlake Way is something that others can learn from, and hopes that the council will continue in the way that it has to date. Bob concluded with comments to each of his fellow councilmembers, and special words for City Manager Ray Taylor.

Changing of the Guard

The council honored Mayor Klessig for her service as mayor during the past year. A number of dignitaries from variety of organizations including the state representative Pavley’s office, local Chamber, Las Virgenes Unified School District, Las Virgenes Municipal Water District and the Conejo Recreation and Park District each recognized and presented thank you’s for Mrs. Klessig’s service as mayor. The City followed with its own thank you’s and recognitions, presented by Mayor Pro Tem Bob Slavin.

The outgoing mayor, Philippa Klessig, made a number of comments wrapping up her year as mayor reviewing the accomplishments for the year, thanking staff, her fellow councilmembers, her family and so many others for their support. Each of the councilmembers offered, each in their own way, their appreciation for Mrs. Klessig’s service.

Next, the council certified the results of the recent (November 5th) election, re-electing Mark Rutherford and Sue McSweeney as councilmembers, and newly elected councilmember Brad Halpern.

After saying goodbye to Mr. Slavin, the three councilmembers-elect that recently won, were sworn in by Judge Jay Ford, and each took their seats on the dais — including for the first time, councilmember Brad Halpern. Councilmembers Halpern, McSweeney, and Rutherford each made comments as they start their new term.

The council elected Mark Rutherford as the new Mayor, and Ned Davis as the Mayor Pro Tem. This is Mayor Rutheford’s fourth term as mayor and his fifth term as a councilmember. Mayor Pro Tem Ned Davis has served in this role previously as well.