Your Ideas Matter!
A New Way to Engage with Your Local Government
Your Ideas Matter! is an initiative to gather community input and feedback on programs and solutions you would like to share with the City of Laguna Niguel. This new program recognizes that traditional public engagement usually involves attending a public meeting or providing written submissions to the City Council. Your Ideas Matter! allows residents to provide their ideas on issues that are important to you anytime.
To help facilitate the exchange of ideas, the City of Laguna Niguel wants to provide you with an opportunity to learn what we do, day in and day out, to provide the high-quality lifestyle expected in Laguna Niguel.
How Laguna Niguel Operates
Laguna Niguel operates under the council-manager form of government. It is one of the several ways in which municipalities and counties can organize, and is the most popular government structure in the United States among municipalities with populations of 2,500 or more. Under the council-manager form, residents elect a City Council tasked with adopting and setting goals and policy objectives. The City Council then hires a professional City Manager to carry out those policies and oversee the City’s day-to-day operations.
Key Roles in Council Manager Government
Mayor: The Mayor is a voting member of the City Council selected annually by and from the City Council. The Mayor is the spokesperson of the City Council, who presides at meetings, and represents the City Council on regional committees and at public events.
City Council: The five member City Council is the legislative body and the community's policymakers. The City Council establishes the goals, approves the budget and adopts the local laws and regulations. The City Council focuses on the community's big-picture goals outlined in the City's Strategic Plan. The City Manager and City Attorney are the only two City employees that report directly to the City Council.
City Manager: The City Manager is responsible for running the City's day-to-day operations. The City Manager is tasked with
- Preparing a budget for the City Council’s consideration
- Recruits, hires, supervises, and determines the organizational structure
- Serves as the City Council’s chief advisor by providing complete and objective information about local operations, discussion options, offering an assessment of the long-term consequences of decisions, and making policy recommendations
- Carries out the policies established by the governing body
- All City employees report to the City Manger with the exception of the City Attorney
Residents: Residents guide their community by serving on commissions and committees, participating in visioning and strategic planning sessions, and communicating with City staff and the City Council. Residents are the cornerstone of every City, and your interests are always at the forefront of the City's operations.
The City of Laguna Niguel has several departments tasked with carrying out the policies, goals, and strategic plan of the City Council. From roads and park maintenance to building permits and the Summer Concerts Series, the City staff is hard at work, making Laguna Niguel a great place to call home. One of the many things that make Laguna Niguel so special is that it is primarily a contract City. A contract City provides most municipal services through contracts with county agencies, regional service providers, and private industries. This is the most effective use of taxpayer dollars for a City the size of Laguna Niguel.
Some examples of the services Laguna Niguel has a contract for include: trash collection and street sweeping, traffic signal maintenance, tree trimming, and public safety. By contracting, the City can get the best service possible to residents at the most cost-effective price. This allows the City to stay committed to its vision of financial responsibility.
The Administration Department includes the City Manager’s Office and City Clerk’s Office. The City Manager is the Chief Administrative Officer of the City responsible for the proper administration of all City business and directly reports to the City Council. The City Manager provides executive leadership, direction, review and coordination of all City department functions and operations.
The City Clerk’s Office is responsible for coordinating and preparing City Council agendas and minutes; records management; Municipal Code maintenance; election administration; administering local reporting requirements under the Political Reform Act, and reporting to the Fair Political Practices Commission or the Secretary of State.
The City Attorney's Office provides legal support and advice to the City Council, Commissions, Committees, and City staff. The City Attorney's functions generally fall into the categories of general counsel, prosecution, and litigation. The City contracts for its legal services.
The Finance Department is responsible for all aspects of the City's accounting process, prepares the City's budget, administers payroll, manages investments according to the City's adopted investment policy, and oversees purchasing.
The Community Development Department guides and facilitates development in the City. This is accomplished in a spirit of creativity and with a commitment to provide the highest standard of development to preserve the health, safety, general welfare, and quality of life for all people who live, work, and visit Laguna Niguel. This department is also responsible for planning and building activity within the City.
The City partners with the Orange County Fire Authority (OCFA) for fire and emergency medical services. OCFA provides comprehensive emergency services to residents through a regional approach.
PARKS and RECREATION
The Parks and Recreation Department is responsible for planning and administrating all City recreation programs and activities. Including participating in the evaluation of facility needs, cooperating in the planning and scheduling of the City's Capital Improvement Program; Administering recreation program registration, City facilities, and supporting the Parks and Recreation Commission, Senior Citizens Committee, and Youth Committee. This includes renting City facilities and scheduling sports fields.
Police Services are provided by contract with the Orange County Sheriff's Department (OCSD). The Sheriff's Department protects the citizens, enforces the laws, and encourages crime prevention. Law enforcement services include patrol, traffic enforcement, accident analysis and investigation, parking enforcement, and general and special investigations. In addition the Emergency Preparedness Coordinator is a member of Laguna Niguel City staff and works closely with Police Services.
Public Works is responsible for maintaining and improving all publicly-owned streets, storm drains, traffic signals, traffic control devices, parks, median islands, City-owned slopes, and facilities. The department also manages the solid waste and recycling programs as well as the Storm Water Program.
How can You Make a Difference in Your Community?
- Become active in your neighborhood associations or neighborhood watch.
- Bring your ideas and questions to the attention of your City Council Members. If the matter is outside of the jurisdiction of the City of Laguna Niguel, we will assist you in referring the idea to the right place.
- Attend public meetings to learn about and provide input concerning the issues and topics in the community that concern you the most.
- Volunteer to serve on City committees, or commissions to make recommendations to the City Council on various policy matters.
- Register to vote and exercise your right to vote!
The Laguna Niguel City Council wants your feedback! Share your ideas!