The City of Cypress happily introduced and welcomed Cameron Harding as the new Director of Recreation and Community Services at the regular meeting of the Cypress City Council on November 26, 2018.
Director Harding’s appointment came after a months-long, nation-wide recruitment process following the retirement of former Recreation Director June Liu earlier in the year. A total of 63 candidates applied for the position, most of whom had served as Directors or Assistant Directors for recreation services in other cities. During the hunt for a new Recreation Director, Janeen Laudenback held the position on an interim basis.
Cameron Harding attended Western Washington University and later earned a Master’s degree from Cal State Long Beach. Prior to joining Cypress Recreation and Community Services, he served as a recreation director for six years, so he comes to the city with a fair measure of experience.
Cypress City Manager Pete Grant described Mr. Harding having the “ability to innovate and take smart risks.” Mr. Grant also jokingly pointed out that Director Harding had the “fortune/misfortune” to have a City Council meeting (with recreation-related new business on the agenda) and a workshop session on his first day at work.
“I’m very excited to be here, and I’m looking forward to the opportunity and challenges,” Director Harding said during the Council meeting.
Later in the meeting, former Interim Director Janeen Laudenback addressed the Council regarding the current position of the annual Fourth of July celebration.
The Fourth of July Fireworks Spectacular – a joint effort between Cypress, Los Alamitos, Seal Beach, and Rossmoor – has grown increasingly more expensive in recent years. A survey of attendees revealed that the percentage of people from Cypress was small compared to the financial burden shouldered by the City in supporting the event.
Therefore, Cypress decided to look at alternative options for the City to celebrate Independence Day. Ms. Laudenback reported that discussions were held with both Cypress High School and Cypress College as potential venues for smaller fireworks displays that would attract a greater percentage of Cypress residents while costing less money for the City.
The report provided to the Council regarding the options for the Fourth of July Celebration is available at the City website.
The Cypress City Council voted 5-0 to move the celebration off the Joint Forces Training Base, and then 3-2 to continue talks with Cypress College (Mayor Jon Peat and Mayor Pro Tem Stacy Berry opposed).
City Manager Pete Grant thanked Ms. Laudenback for her hard work and dedication during her time serving as Interim Director of Recreation and Community Services.
The final meeting of the Cypress City Council for 2018 will be held December 10 at 7 p.m. Agendas for each Council Meeting are available online or through the City Clerk’s Office several days in advance of the meeting.