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Farewell Remarks from Councilman Paul Rosenstein

I am sorry that I will be out of town next week on a work assignment for the changing of the guard. I've prepared a few thoughts as my way of saying "good-bye."

When I participated in the founding meeting of Mid-City Neighbors, 17 years ago, I never dreamed of what lay ahead: President of MCN, the Board of Electrical Appeals, the Board of the PRC (Pier Restoration Corporation), three years on the Planning Commission and eight years on the City Council (including two as your Mayor). Oh yes -- there was also 10 years in the leadership of SMRR.

My tenure has included perhaps 250 Council meeting, hundreds of Board and Commission meetings and countless, countless community events.

The challenges facing the City today are far different than they were 8 years ago. Then, we were in a deep recession requiring budget cuts, we had a civil war in the community over our treatment of homeless people and then the devastating earthquake hit.

Today, the economic boom and vacancy decontrol have accelerated gentrification, parking and traffic problems. A basic dilemma we are faced with is that the more successful we are in improving the quality of life, the more people want to live here and visit here.

As I see it, our main challenge today is whether Santa Monica will strangle on its successes?

Looking at the big picture, we strive to be a livable community, a sustainable community, a community that cares about people. It is fitting that tonight, for my last meeting, the three main items on the Agenda relate to each of these goals.

I will always remember these years. Santa Monica is unique with its so many community activists. We have the best city staff any town could ask for -- true public servants. Our Councils have been filled with people that passionately work, as each of us see it, for a better city.

A final word of thanks to those who have encouraged me over the years. I'll only mention three by name. I owe much to my parents Millie and Herman Rosenstein who gave me a conscience that has been my anchor. I have always tried to look at an issue in terms of what would be best for the community as a whole. (Herman would be wearing a proud smile if he were here today).

Ada Hollie, my wife, has through patience, strength and wisdom given me critical support to carry on. While Ada and I have demanding and challenging jobs, we both feel as though we will be starting a long vacation after tonight's meeting.

Many of you have said that you will miss me sitting here -- I will miss me too!

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