Maurer keeps ear open to the public

Calabasas election 2013

Mary Sue Maurer

Mary Sue Maurer

If reelected, Mayor Mary Sue Maurer said she will continue the work she started to meet the practical, social and recreational needs of all residents in Calabasas.

The No. 1 responsibility of a council member is listening to the residents, said the 53-yearold Maurer who is one of four candidates vying for three open seats in the March 2013 municipal election.

“You can’t get things done without an exchange of ideas. I want to make sure that different perspectives of residents are heard and that city staff responds in a timely and fair manner to residents’ concerns or complaints,” she said.

A U.S. government and world cultures teacher at Westmark School in Encino and the mother of three sons who attended local schools, Maurer said she is committed to continuing the city’s partnership with Las Virgenes schools to support high-quality public education in Calabasas.

Before joining the council in 2005, Maurer was a member of the Calabasas Education Commission and worked with Las Virgenes Unified School District to address the school nurse shortage and build A.C. Stelle Middle School.

An advocate of the environment and open space, Maurer worked in government affairs and public education for the Santa Monica Bay Restoration Commission. She was a field deputy for Assemblymember Fran Pavley, serving as representative on the boards of the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy and the Santa Monica Bay Restoration Commission.

“There is an untapped natural synergy between our city and national and state parkland,” said Maurer, who believes partnerships with park agencies benefit local residents and businesses.

Maurer supported a secondhand smoke ordinance and bans on disposable plastic bags and polystyrene packaging. She initiated programs to assist low-income residents and opposed local amendments to the building code that she says can hurt residents with limited means.

The incumbent said her business background working for Blue Shield of California and the Walt Disney Company taught her to develop budgets and strategic plans and to collaborate with people.

“I want to see if the city can help local businesses rebound by promoting them,” said Maurer, whose other priorities include public health and safety.

Last year she spearheaded the conversion of a police interview area at the Lost Hills station into a comfortable space for victims of crime and for children waiting to be put into protective custody. In the coming term, Maurer hopes to expand volunteer programs that will help the city prepare for a potential disaster.

As mayor in 2012, Maurer initiated a senior task force to help establish a Calabasas senior center and to enhance programs for older citizens.

“I’ve always had a huge spot in my heart for seniors. Ever since I can remember I was looking out and caring for older relatives and neighbors,” said Maurer, who wants to help seniors set up a network where they can help each other with minor repairs, shopping and other activities.

Savvy Senior Task Force member Carol Davis said Maurer is a forward-thinking leader who will use her experience on the council to get things done in a timely and diplomatic fashion.

“If it wasn’t for Mary Sue we wouldn’t have a task force,” Davis said, adding that plans to build a dedicated senior center in Calabasas have been on the back burner since 2004.

According to Davis, about 7,800 residents, or 38 percent of people age 20 and older in Calabasas, are 50 years old and over.

A former board officer for the Greater Mulwood Homeowners Association, Maurer moved to Calabasas in 1995.

“I never imagined that I would stay in one place for as long as I have. But I love Calabasas,” said the candidate.

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