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By Collin Breaux | Twitter: @collin_breaux
The Dec. 7 meeting of the San Juan Capistrano City Council was the last one Brian Maryott attended as a councilmember.
Maryott’s four-year term came to an end on Monday. Ahead of the meeting, Maryott told The Capistrano Dispatch he left with peace of mind, knowing he served as he had intended.
“It was my goal to be a quiet and effective leader, to inspire collaboration and compromise amongst my colleagues, and to help take the overall temperature down from where it stood a few years ago,” Maryott said. “The highly caustic environment was impeding real teamwork, hurting results, and hurting our city.”
Maryott further said he is proud city officials wound down some very difficult litigation, brought the first luxury hotel accommodations to town, exited the water and sewer business, and moved forward with some public parks while working hard to preserve others.
“We managed to keep our budget in good shape despite some tough headwinds, and we have jump-started a critical trend of developing revenue that is increasingly diversified,” Maryott said.
During remarks made at the Dec. 7 meeting, Maryott thanked other councilmembers and city staff for their “exceptional” work for the town. Councilmember Troy Bourne said the current tone of civility within city government began with Maryott’s time in office.
Maryott served as mayor in 2019, and during his time on the dais this year, he voted against a traffic study for a proposed new In-N-Out Burger location on Del Obispo Street after community outcry against the potential drive-thru restaurant. Maryott has also advocated for being mindful of the city’s fiscal conditions throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
Maryott did not run for reelection since he instead made an unsuccessful bid for Congress against 49th District incumbent Rep. Mike Levin (D-CA). Maryott campaigned on smaller government, business-based approaches to environmental issues, and opposing government-run health care.
Maryott received more votes in Orange County, though Levin ultimately won after picking up more votes in San Diego County, which makes up a larger portion of the 49th District.
Bourne recognized Maryott’s efforts in public office.
“I want to thank Brian and his family for being courageous enough to serve here in the city, and (to) stick your neck out even further on a national level and try to correct some things that need correcting, by sticking your own head out there, by being brave and subjecting yourself to the criticism and hard work that’s required to do that,” Bourne said. “We’re so proud that San Juan Capistrano is the city that keeps putting people out into the public space to serve on a national level.”
As for what’s on the horizon, Maryott said he will do some nonprofit work in the financial planning arena and enjoy spending more time with his kids and immersing himself in their activities.
There is also the “near certainty” of another run for Congress, Maryott said.
New Councilmember Howard Hart is replacing Maryott on the District 5 seat, after winning the election against rival candidate John Alpay. Maryott endorsed Hart in the council election, saying he is eased knowing Hart will fill the seat.
“Howard has had a long and distinguished career, and he has also spent some time on one of our most critical city commissions,” Maryott said. “Collectively, it makes for a great background to bring to council. I know that Howard has a deep respect for our community’s yearning for open space and our incredibly unique equestrian heritage.”
Collin Breaux covers San Juan Capistrano and other South Orange County news as the City Editor for The Capistrano Dispatch. Before moving to California, he covered Hurricane Michael, politics and education in Panama City, Florida. He can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.