By Allison Jarrell

The San Juan Capistrano City Council will reorganize and name the city’s next mayor at its upcoming meeting on Tuesday, Dec. 5.

The annual reorganization will mark the end of Councilwoman Kerry Ferguson’s year serving as mayor of San Juan Capistrano.

In addition to selecting the new mayor, the Council is slated to tackle a number of issues before the new year, including consideration of: a conditional use permit for a new church on Stallion Ridge, a lease agreement renewal with Mountain Pines Christmas Tree Farm, a contract award for the Capistrano Villas Pavement Rehabilitation Project, and a request to use the city parking lot for a future chili cook-off event.

Worthy of note is an agenda item that calls the Council to review its 2018 work plan and key priorities—something that was never completed in 2017.

Despite repeated requests from city staff this past year to establish project priorities, the Council ultimately failed to do so. Council members held a workshop aimed at forming a list of priorities back in January, and in previous years, that workshop has yielded a list of the city’s top priorities—from goals like approving new development, to completing capital improvement projects. City staff utilizes that list throughout the year to prioritize the work that’s done in the community.

But last year, after city staff compiled the Council’s input from the workshop, a list of priorities was never approved. Instead, attempts to have the Council name its priorities—which spanned a year’s worth of Council meetings—were often met with disagreements about certain projects that were priorities for some, but not others. These discussions often revolved around one specific item—whether making improvements to the Rancho Mission Viejo Riding Park in San Juan should be a key priority.

It remains to be seen how the new mayor and Council will work with staff on developing next year’s priorities.

The Dec. 5 meeting is open to the public and begins at 5 p.m. at City Hall, located at 32400 Paseo Adelanto.

To view the agenda or live stream the meeting online, visit or click here.

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