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Manhattan Beach Marks Leadership Transitions

Dec 16, 2020 08:52AM ● By Jeanne Fratello
Tuesday night marked a night of transitions in Manhattan Beach, with new city council and new school board members sworn in.

At the City Council meeting, re-elected incumbents Steve Napolitano and Richard Montgomery were sworn in, as well as newcomer Joe Franklin. 

The new councilmembers thanked their supporters and campaign teams, and expressed an eagerness to move beyond the divisiveness that has marked city politics throughout the pandemic. 

Napolitano also gave an emotional tribute to his father, longtime Manhattan Beach resident Anthony Napolitano, who passed away in November 2019.

The three newly sworn in members join Mayor Suzanne Hadley and Mayor Pro Tem Hildy Stern.

Councilmembers also paid tribute to departing member Nancy Hersman, who has moved to Colorado. 

Among a variety of commendations and plaques, the city presented her with a Manhattan Beach street sign that reads, "Nancy Way."

The Manhattan Beach Unified School District officially brought on two new board members at Tuesday night's meeting. Cathey Graves and Jason Boxer were joined by family members on their Zoom screens as the swearing-in took place. 

Board members also gave an extended farewell to outgoing board members Bill Fournell and Karen Komatinsky. Together, Fournell and Komatinsky have served more than 22 years on the board. 

Komatinsky left with advice for the new board members: "Be patient. Listen. There will soon be a tsunami coming at you," she said. "Plant your feet and hold on to something... Swim or paddle, and know how to be prepared for the next tsunami."

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