“ Our Town , Our Paper ” lagunabeachindy . com APRIL 12 , 2024 | Volume XXI , Issue 14

Laguna Beach City Council Selects Dave Kiff as City Manager

By Clara Beard | LB Indy
Laguna Beach City Council tapped former Newport Beach City Manager Dave Kiff as its new city manager during its Tuesday , April 9 meeting .
After an extensive final round interview process with eight city manager candidates , council unanimously Kiff ’ s employment agreement this week , with his official start date slated for May 6 . His contract duration is three years with two , 1-year extensions .
“ I ’ m really honored to be here tonight and to receive the support for the contract . I ’ m really looking forward to it ,” Kiff said at the
From left to right :
Laguna Beach
Bob Whalen ,
Alex Rounaghi , new city manager
Dave Kiff , mayor
Sue Kempf , and councilmembers
Mark Orgill and
George Weiss at Tuesday ’ s city council meeting .
Photo courtesy of City of Laguna
council meeting . “ Laguna is a very special place , and a place I ’ ve always felt embraced and comfortable and part of the community . I think it ’ s so terrific , at this point in my life , to be able to work here for the first time . I ’ m really looking forward to it , and I ’ ll see you on May 6 .”
Kiff has worked with California legislature , as well as several cities and counties . He spent 20 years working for the City of Newport Beach , with service for nine of those years as the city manager . At that time , Kiff managed a $ 300 million budget , staff of
more than 700 , and a range of city services for Newport Beach .
After an early retirement from Newport
Beach and following a relocation to be near family , Kiff spent several years in Sonoma
County , where he has served as the Director of the County ’ s Homelessness Services Division .
Kiff earned a bachelor ’ s degree in business administration from the California State
University , Sacramento and a master ’ s degree
in government administration from the Fels
Institute at the University of Pennsylvania .
Along with receiving standard city employee benefits , Kiff ’ s annual salary will be $ 315,000 per year , with a monthly housing assistance stipend of $ 1,000 , a vehicle allowance of $ 500 per month and a wellness stipend not to exceed
$ 1,000 per year .
“ Over the past six months , we ’ ve learned

The Festival of Arts Foundation Laguna Beach : Nurturing Local Talent , Realizing Dreams

By Rachelle Cano , Special to the Independent
Native Laguna Beach artist , writer , curator and graphic designer Vanessa Françoise Rothe and her European family moved to Laguna shortly after she was born . The vibrant Southern California artist retreat provided the ideal backdrop for her to cultivate her artistic sensibilities and creativity , a natural path for someone born into a creative family . Everything she needed to grow and bloom surrounded her .
In her cozy cottage gallery on Ocean Avenue in the heart of the village , Rothe opens up to me in early April about her artistic journey , reminiscing about her childhood , flooded by vivid memories of her family ’ s traditional Craftsman home with lush gardens , avocado trees and the city ’ s inspiring landscapes and ocean views . In a Proustian fashion of evoking memory through nature , she reveals how these early impressions of life in Laguna deeply influenced her throughout her life , guiding her to the main genre she paints today , landscapes , having been an observer in Laguna ’ s paradise of endless natural beauty .
The proverb , “ The apple does not fall far from the tree ,” describes Rothe ’ s life as the daughter of legendary fashion designer Detlev Peter Rothe . Rothe praises her father ’ s brilliance in making one-of-a-kind , handmade leather bags and custom-painted silk clothing pieces that attracted rock star musicians , Hollywood costume designers ,

Local Radio Station Ushers in New Leadership

By Clara Beard | LB Indy
KXFM announced today that Billy Fried , Cindy Obrand and Jonathan Tufano , well-known Laguna residents and long-time program hosts , have been appointed to the radio station ’ s board of directors .
The trio will replace station founder Tyler Russell McCusker and Chapman University Dean Jerry Price , also an original member .
Fried , Obrand and Tufano will begin their leadership roles at the not-for-profit radio station , which Billy Fried will now chair , effective May 1 .
KXFM was founded in 2012 by then 22-year-old Tyler Russell ( McCusker ), a 2011 Chapman multimedia graduate and Palm Springs-based radio personality . Tyler and the McCusker family took over a dormant radio signal in Laguna Niguel , moved the FM to Laguna Beach , and introduced an eclectic format known as generational alt rock that is still broadcasting today .
Originally staffed by professionals during the day and community volunteers at night and on weekends , the station has become a Laguna Beach icon , with more than 60 volunteers now representing all styles of music and talk , with a charter to serve the city of Laguna Beach with local news , sports , weather , culture ,



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Compass is a real estate broker licensed by the State of California and abides by Equal Housing Opportunity laws . License Number 01991628 . All material presented herein is intended for informational purposes only and is compiled from sources deemed reliable but has not been verified . Changes in price , condition , sale or withdrawal may be made without notice . No statement is made as to accuracy of any description . All measurements and square footages are approximate .