Calabasas ‘special,’ says mayor in state of city address

AWARDS—Mayor Mary Sue Maurer, middle, presents Sue Somberg, left, and Carol Davis with Citizens of the Year honors for their work in the Calabasas senior community.

AWARDS—Mayor Mary Sue Maurer, middle, presents Sue Somberg, left, and Carol Davis with Citizens of the Year honors for their work in the Calabasas senior community.

The City of Calabasas is a thriving community of children, adults and seniors. And the success of the city would not be possible without the selfless contributions of volunteers and the hard work of city officials and employees, said Mayor Mary Sue Maurer during the 15th annual Calabasas State of the City address.

About 200 people attended the event co-hosted by the Calabasas Chamber of Commerce in the library Founders Hall on Jan. 24.

State Sen. Fran Pavley introduced Maurer and praised city leaders for their commitment to residents, schools and the environment.

A retired teacher and former mayor of Agoura Hills who joined the state Legislature in 2000, Pavley called Maurer a dedicated civil servant.

“ A mom, a teacher and a mayor—well, I can relate and understand those roles,” Pavley said, adding that Maurer previously represented her at community events and meetings of local organizations such as the Malibu Creek Watershed Committee and Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy.

Maurer said Calabasas has evolved into a multi-generational community where city leaders and volunteers work together to create and provide an array of social and recreational opportunities for people of all ages.

People who grew up in the city are returning to Calabasas as adults to raise their families, the average cost for homes remains high. Those who have raised families here also choose to retire in the community.

“That says a lot about how special the city is. We offer a lot of attractive benefits for all our residents,” Maurer said.

In addition to recognizing volunteers who serve on city commissions and individuals who contribute their time to local schools, community organizations and youth sports, the mayor paid special tribute to a group of senior citizens who became a major force in Calabasas during the past year.

The Savvy Senior Task Force worked with the city to develop more than 70 new programs and activities for people over the age of 50. More recently, the group lobbied for a dedicated senior center in Calabasas. The project is now in development.

“This important addition to our Civic Center will increase the well-being of our baby boomers by providing a sense of purpose and belonging along with improved nutrition, education and activities. This is certainly one of the most exciting endeavors in our city’s history,” said Maurer, who gave the 2013 Calabasas Citizens of the Year awards to Savvy Senior founding members Carol Davis and Sue Somberg.

“These are people who don’t wait for the future to happen; they take an active role in creating it,” Maurer said, adding that Davis and Somberg had a vision and worked hard to establish the Savvy Senior programs.

Other items on Maurer’s list of the top 10 best things about the city include public safety and emergency preparedness, outstanding local schools, promoting coexistence between residents and wildlife, vigorous protection of the environment and open spaces, and municipal leadership.

“Our city prides itself in being innovative and problem solving,” said Maurer who credited city staff for a job well done.

About fiscal responsibility, the mayor said the city’s “transparency, wisdom and forward-thinking leadership” allowed Calabasas to weather economic storms without cutting programs that benefit residents.

According to Maurer, the city experienced a retail renaissance in 2012 with a number of new restaurants and retail businesses opening in the city.

“Much of this activity is thanks to the hard work of the Calabasas Chamber of Commerce,” she said.



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