Stepping into the role of mayor for 1996, Councilman David Sullivan vowed Monday to strive to make Huntington Beach an excellent place to live for generations to come.
"We must be sure that the qualities that created Huntington Beach as a great place to live and work, including our schools, our parks and beaches and our public services, are not stretched so thin that our dream becomes a nightmare," he said.
Sullivan, 58, an orthodontist elected to the council in 1992, became the city's 46th mayor at Monday's City Council meeting. He succeeds Victor Leipzig in the largely ceremonial post.
Criticized for his views on such issues as how city employee retirement benefits are calculated, Sullivan said he welcomes "eyes watching, questioning and debating the role of government."
"But along with public participation comes the responsibility to keep the debate on a higher level--to debate issues and not personalities," he said.
In the coming year, Sullivan said, the city will continue to face financial challenges, and everyone will feel the pinch.
During his term as mayor, Sullivan said, he will continue working to enhance the climate for business and tourism. He said he also plans to establish a Public Works Commission to oversee expenditures and projects.