A total of 21 candidates appeared before the Laguna Niguel City Council Wednesday in hopes of filling a vacancy. The eclectic cast included an aerospace engineer and a Beatles impersonator who founded “The Magical Mystery Tour.”
In the end, the council selected Foster “Gene” Johns as its newest member. Johns is a former deputy sheriff with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. He worked for LASD for over three decades before retiring in Laguna Niguel.
Johns is the current Vice Chair of the city’s Traffic and Transportation Commission. He cites public safety and fiscal responsibility as his top priorities. You can view his application here on page 78.
The open council seat was created in May when former mayor Sandy Rains abruptly stepped down. Her resignation – the second in roughly a month – reflected ongoing turmoil on the dais.
At the time, Rains said she was leaving to ensure “the safety and protection of my family.” She criticized colleagues who pushed for her ouster after she called for a debate on terminating the city manager.
“An environment that is not safe to disagree in is an environment that is not focused on growth- it is an environment that is focused on control,” Rains said. “I no longer feel I can effectively serve our community in this hostile environment.”