Morro Bay, Peters not parting ways

Morro Bay Mayor Janice Peters has officially retired.

She fell in love with Morro Rock during one holiday pass-through and immediately moved and got involved.

“I moved here January 1, 1989, without knowing anyone,” Peters said. “I applied for the Cable Television Franchise Board and the Planning Commission to get to know people. Today, I greet most people by name.”

She recalled that in December 2005 when newly-elected Mayor Cathy Novak nominated her to fill her council seat. Her dad was there. It was standing room only.

“When the council approved my nomination, we heard the audience buzz, ‘Who’s that? What’s she ever done?’ I had served on the Planning Commission since 1996, but it was Neil Farrell’s Sun Bulletin article that mentioned my interest in flamingos that saved the day. Someone said, ‘She’s the flamingo lady.’ And that made it OK — with most.”

Her proudest accomplishment was the roundabout at Highway 1 and Morro Bay Boulevard.

“I shepherded the project as a concept with Caltrans and (San Luis Obispo Council of Governments) funding. I witnessed (that) they worked in England and drove one in Santa Barbara with a camera in my car and found it easy. Today, I love to sit at Morro Bay Coffee and just watch people drive it.”

She’s pleased the Harbor Walk was completed on her watch. She hopes it will continue as planned to go from Tidelands Park to Cayucos.

She created May’s annual Mermaid and Pirates Parade to celebrate the Harbor Walk.

“I wanted a children’s event in Morro Bay. It was based on a Coney Island parade, and now parents tell me their children can’t wait and are getting them to dress up as well.”

She thanks Mark and Bonnie Tognazzini for embracing and totally supporting the event.

Besides writing more, championing the fishing industry and directing the Winter Bird Festival, she plans to stay actively involved in the children’s parade, the Senior Center and February’s Morro Bay Fundraiser Follies, which she and friend Nancy Castle created.

“Morro Bay struggles providing services for nonprofits producing events like the Harbor Festival and car show. I’d been involved in Phyllis Madonna’s follies for years and thought a Morro Bay follies would be fun to show off our community talent and raise funds for the city to offset the cost of tourism events.”

Peters was well known for her respectful approach while conducting meetings.

“Anyone who has the nerve to get before the council deserves my respect,” she said. “I’ll miss it. Our staff has good people. I hope the new council will continue the feeling of mutual respect and cooperation among themselves, staff and community. It will help them weather today’s financial times.”