Two new and two returning members of the City Council were sworn in at the December 14 Special Meeting of the Grover Beach City Council. Mayor Jeff Lee, who was re-elected, also appointed Council Member Mariam Shah to a one-year term as Mayor Pro Tem.
The Grover Beach City Council previously adopted a Resolution certifying the results of the November 3, 2020 election, confirming the Official Certificate of Results from the San Luis Obispo County Registrar of Voters. The Resolution confirmed:
• Jeff Lee was re-elected as Mayor for a two-year term.
• Anna Miller and incumbent Karen Bright were elected as Council Members for four-year terms.
• Robert Robert was elected to the office of Council Member for the remaining two-year term of the vacant seat.
• Measure F-20 (1% sales tax measure) passed by a majority of Grover Beach voters.
“It is my honor to be returning with Council Member Karen Bright to serve Grover Beach, as well as welcome incoming Council Members Anna Miller and Robert Robert to the Council,” said Mayor Lee. “I look forward to working with the Council on the many exciting things on the horizon to further demonstrate that we are a ‘city of action.’ I also want to thank our City Clerk and staff for helping facilitate a smooth democratic process.”
Mayor Lee has been an active volunteer in Grover Beach for many years. His service to the City began on the Grover Beach Parks, Recreation and Beautification Commission before being elected to the Council in 2012 where he served until he was elected Mayor in 2018. A licensed civil engineer, Lee has been a strong advocate for improving city streets and was a member of the Measure K-14 citizens committee that advocated for the 2014 bond measure to generate dedicated funds to repair and rehabilitate streets in Grover Beach.
Council Member Karen Bright was first elected to the City Council in 2008, elected again in 2012 and served until 2016, and was later appointed in 2019 to fill a vacancy on the Council. In addition to the Council, she served on the Planning Commission along with the Lucia Mar Unified School District Bond Oversight Committee and Beach Cities Little League Board. Bright has championed supporting local businesses and encouraging public/private partnerships, while ensuring the City operates in a financially sustainable way.
Newly elected Council Member Anna Miller has worked in both the public and non-profit sector for over two decades. She has also served on multiple non-profit boards, including the Grover Beach Community Library, and regularly volunteers at a nearby food bank and assists with local environmental conservation efforts. Miller is looking forward to working with the Council and staff to continue efforts to improve city infrastructure and provide better access to affordable housing.
Council Member Robert Robert is an electrical contractor and owner of local business Dr. Electric. He has been involved in the Grover Beach community and working on environmental issues for many years. Robert is looking forward to dedicating his time to working with the Council and staff to encourage the positive growth of the City while maintaining a safe residential and strong business community.
Council and City staff also took time during Monday’s meeting to express its collective gratitude to outgoing Council Members Barbara Nicolls and Desi Lance. First elected in 2014 and serving until stepping down earlier this year, Nicolls was a steadfast supporter of public safety and parks and recreation programs among other community improvements. Her passion for public art was the impetus behind the City’s new utility box art program. In recognition of her contribution to beautifying Grover Beach, the City virtually presented Nicolls with framed photos of the first three completed works of art on Grover Beach utility boxes.
“I am so pleased with the Grover Beach community and this group that has made it what is today,” said Nicolls. “It is bittersweet to leave. I love every one of you and hold you all in the highest esteem.”
Council Member Lance was appointed in 2019 to fill a vacant position on the Council and quickly demonstrated her ability to balance varying community interests when making policy decisions. Lance was pivotal in advocating for supporting child care programs with the COVID-19 pandemic to help local families. Inspired by her walks throughout the city with her son, Lance was presented with her own “Lance Lane” street sign as a memento of her service and a reminder to the community of the City’s new street signs which will be rolled out in 2021.
“This experience has permitted me to get involved in the Grover Beach community and plant roots here. As a council member I have been fortunate to meet and get to know so many neighbors and businesses,” said Lance. “While I am looking forward to spending more time with family, it has truly been an honor to serve.”
The first regular meeting of the new City Council will be held on January 11, 2021 at 6:00 p.m. Council meetings will continue to be held virtually for the time being given the COVID-19 pandemic and more information on how to watch and participate in the meetings can be found at www.groverbeach.org.