By Chris Hamm
I am grateful to have been reelected to serve San Clemente for another four years. It is my goal to ensure San Clemente gets better all the time and that everyone has an opportunity to provide input and share in our progress.
As we look to 2017, we have much to be thankful for in our town, including the friendly people, world-renowned surf, beaches and climate. San Clemente is truly one of the most desirable places to live and work in California.
Further, San Clemente’s financial management practices are prudent and focus on ensuring a balanced budget is adopted every year on time. Our city consistently receives an AAA credit rating from Standard & Poor’s (the highest rating) due to its rigorous standards and attention to solvency. We plan to continue this track record while ensuring our residents receive the highest quality public services.
As a native of San Clemente, one thing I love most about the city is its rich history. I am proud of our city’s dedication to maintaining our town’s history, most notably in the downtown district centered along El Camino Real and Avenida Del Mar. San Clemente’s Spanish tile rooftops and white stucco walls are subtle expressions of the town’s historic roots. The city’s founder Ole Hanson designated that all buildings must be approved by an architectural review board in order to retain control over development and building style. To this day, the city prides itself on maintaining its historic feel featuring original Ole Hanson cottages, the Ole Hanson Beach Club and the original home of the city’s founder, which has been transformed into the Casa Romantica Cultural Center & Gardens.
There’s still one more landmark in need of restoration and that is the Miramar Theater in beautiful North Beach. Though the building, built in 1938 and closed for two decades, is privately owned, the city must still be involved in the permitting and planning approval process. The city will ensure the historic significance of the building is preserved. Due to its proximity to the beach, the California Coastal Commission will also have a say in the project. Currently, a plan has been submitted by the private owners of the Miramar. The owner’s plan is to revive the property as a performing arts center and transform the space that long ago housed a bowling alley into a collection of small specialty restaurants in a courtyard setting. There are also plans by the North Beach Community Association to apply with the city to host a farmers market and arts and crafts fair, much like we see on Sundays along Avenida Del Mar, which have proven to be a great way to bring the community together.
I wish you a very happy and healthy holiday season! I hope to see you downtown for the city’s annual Santa’s Village by the Sea event, the Downtown Business Association’s “Puttin’ on the Glitz” and “Christmas at the Casa,” all planned for Saturday, Dec. 3. For details, visit www.san-clemente.org
Chris Hamm is a City Councilman who was first elected to City Council in 2012 and served as mayor in 2015. Although the election results are still coming in, he leads the polls by a margin of votes more than what the Orange County Registrar of Voters said is left for San Clemente.