There was a celebratory mood Tuesday night at the Temecula City Council meeting as thanks and congratulations were offered in good measure to various groups in attendance.
The council’s chambers was packed and overflowing with residents who’d come out to watch the city clerk certify the November election results that saw the re-election of council members Mike Naggar and Chuck Washington.
And it was a full house — many donning the orange shirts of those with the anti-quarry movement — that cheered the council’s official proclamation that Nov. 15, 2012 — and every Nov. 15 thereafter — was officially Pechanga Pu’eska Mountain Day.
The decree was made in honor of the Pechanga Band of Luiseno Indian’s stunning announcement on Nov. 15 it had purchased the Liberty Quarry land, effectively putting an end to the years-long battle to repel the proposed construction site from Temecula.
Expressing relief that the battle was over, Tribal Chairman Mark Macarro, joined by other Pechanga tribe members and representatives, accepted the thanks of the council.
“All of us that live here in the valley are special. Our histories are intertwined,” Macarro said.
Councilwoman Maryann Edwards added: “We occupy the same space, we breath the same air. We are one community.”
Edwards noted the tribe’s commitment to the region by “setting a radius” that could not be breached in its deal with Granite Construction.
Riverside County Supervisor Jeff Stone presented the tribal leaders with a token of his own thanks — a bronzed statue of an eagle — saying: “I wish I could tell you that we saw a shining example of democracy (in the battle against the quarry). Thanks to Pechanga for giving democracy a little kick in the pants.”
Also among those honored was the Great Oak High School Girls Cross Country team. The team, led by Coach Doug Soles, earned the title of CIF State Champions last month.
Other agenda items included:
–City council voted unanimously to install Mike Naggar as Mayor and councilwoman Maryann Edwards as Mayor Pro-Tem for 2013.
–City attorney Peter Thorson noted that after a unanimous vote in closed session, former Community Services Director Aaron Adams’ title of acting City Manager would transfer to interim City Manager.
For updated agenda items, visit www.cityoftemecula.org.