Local governments are tasked with the lion’s share of work when it comes to our quality of life and pursuit of happiness. You’ve elected and entrusted me as your mayor. You’ve elected council members Robert Clarke, Chris Djernaes and Karen Waite to work with me to oversee the City manager and his staff to perform this work. The people have spoken, and we are ready, willing and excited to do so. This is a role that I am deeply committed to and I appreciate and want to thank everyone for all their support.

I want to extend sincere thanks to Jim Richardson for 18 years of dedicated service to this community. This is difficult, time-consuming work and he’s deserving of our appreciation for his commitment. Even though he will be stepping down from his official role, he will always be my colleague and I look forward to many more policy conversations over coffee in the years to come.

Transitions can be tricky, but I trust the outgoing Council members will engage in the smooth and dignified transition our residents expect and deserve.

I am so happy to see how many Solvang residents stepped up to run for office and get involved in local governance. I hope this remains the case. This is after all a government of the people, by the people, and for the people. Government relies on new ideas, new energy, and participation by all.

The policies set by our City Council, carried out by the office of the Mayor through the City’s departments, will be driven by a vision to protect our cultural heritage, balance the needs of residents with business-friendly growth while finding low cost solutions to water, sewer and all infrastructure challenges.

I eagerly embrace the challenges and responsibilities ahead and hope to have our community’s continued engagement. I am honored to have earned your vote and will work tirelessly to make this the best small city in California. There is much work to be done, and I look forward to getting started with the new City Council that the people of Solvang have chosen.

Ryan Toussaint