Westlake Village Mayor Mark Rutherford announced last week that voters won’t see his name on the ballot this November.
Rutherford is the longest-serving member of the City Council—he took office in 1997 and has been reelected every four years since then.
“Everything seems to be good with the city, and I just think it’s a good time to step down,” Rutherford told The Acorn. “I still work, but my wife and I are hoping to enjoy more traveling without having to be back every two weeks.”
Rutherford said that looking back over his time in office, there are many accomplishments of which he and the Westlake Village City Council can be proud.
A mediation and arbitration attorney, Rutherford attended last Saturday’s official opening of the city’s new $1-million dog park, perhaps his final public act.
Westlake Village—an upscale, master-planned community with a mix of residential, office and commercial development—has thrived financially during Rutherford’s time in office. Incorporated 35 years ago, Westlake is home to a variety of businesses that provide more than 11,000 jobs.
Four Seasons, Costco and the Shoppes at Westlake are three of the main economic drivers in the city. Rutherford helped usher in the Shoppes (Target center) and the Four Seasons.
He was selected earlier this year to serve as the city’s mayor, his fifth time holding the office.
Councilmember Kelly Honig has only served with Rutherford since 2015 but said she learned much by working with him.
“I’ll really miss his guidance and steadiness on the council. He has enormous historical and institutional knowledge of what’s been happening in the city for the last 20 years,” Honig said. “That’s irreplaceable. He’s been an integral part of shaping our city and I’d like to thank him for his service,” she said.
Three seats on the Westlake City Council will be up for election this November.
Incumbents Susan McSweeney and Brad Halpern have already pulled their papers and are gathering the required signatures that will place their names on the ballot.
Two other residents have thrown their names into the ring as well. Ray Pearl is the executive director of the California Housing Consortium in Agoura Hills, a nonprofit organization that works to increase affordable housing. Pearl has run for office previously: In 2013 he ran for a seat on the board of the Las Virgenes Unified School District but lost.
Also in the race is Theodore Corwin, a plastic surgeon who has operated a medical practice in the Conejo Valley for 30 years. Corwin ran unsuccessfully for a seat on the Westlake Village City Council in 2007. The candidate filing period ends Aug. 10.