Dennis Norton voted Capitola mayor

By Jondi Gumz, Santa Cruz Sentinel

Dennis Norton
Dennis Norton

CAPITOLA>> Councilman Dennis Norton was chosen mayor and Councilman Ed Bottorff vice mayor Thursday night after council members bid farewell to Sam Storey, departing after eight years of service.

Jacques Bertrand, newly elected to the City Council, was sworn in, along with Stephanie Harlan and Michael Termini, both of whom won re-election.

County supervisor Zach Friend proclaimed Thursday as Sam Storey Day in Santa Cruz County as Storey’s wife Helen Ewen-Storey and daughter Ruby looked on.

“You address not just the financial needs but the emotional needs,” Friend said.

A resolution from Assemblyman Mark Stone noted Storey played a vital role in improving the city’s relationship with the Soquel Union Elementary School District.

“He’s polite, he’s conscientious, he ran a very structured meeting, but was very cordial to everyone,” said Norton, who presented Storey with a commemorative tile of the city by artist Karen Nevis.

“I’m not going to give this up easily,” said Storey. “I said the pledge of allegiance 288 times. It never got old for me.”

He thanked current and past council members and said the city staff “made the council look good.”

Storey listed some of the major accomplishments over the past eight years: Resolving the mobile home rent control controversy, putting the Rispin property on track to become a park, readying the McGregor Drive property as a dog park, skate park and a pump track, weathering the worst recession since the Great Depression, surviving a major flood, a successful resolution to flood insurance litigation, a temporary parking lot at Pacific Cove that will someday become a park, and completing the general plan blueprint for future development.

He encouraged everyone to get involved in Capitola government, leaving the dais to a standing ovation.

Ed Bottorff
Ed Bottorff

“I am feeling a sense of loss,” said Termini, noting Storey’s grace, poise and measured responses.

“What drove you was what’s best for the citizens of Capitola,” said Bottorff.

Harlan thanked Storey’s family “for being so supportive.”

Bertrand thanked Harlan and Storey for appointing him to committees where he learned more about the city.

“I totally believe in civic engagement,” he said.

Norton presented an ambitious “to do” list: Redoing the Stockton Avenue-Esplanade intersection, completing McGregor Park by February or March, paving city streets, engaging the public in plans for the Rispin Park and path and deciding on the viability of a Bay Avenue-Capitola Avenue roundabout, updating the zoning ordinance, the housing plan and a climate action plan, discussing a historic preservation ordinance, Capitola Mall revitalization and city employee retirement and researching city acceptance of credit cards.

Termini said a parcel tax to fund a new Capitola branch library could be on a June ballot.

Sgt. Matt Eller, who is retiring from the police department, was applauded for his 24 years of service.

Link to original article: http://www.santacruzsentinel.com/government-and-politics/20141211/dennis-norton-voted-capitola-mayor

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