I didn’t get the job the first time I applied at The Beach Reporter 10 years ago and it was a good thing I didn’t because I was not qualified. However, the publisher at the time Richard Frank and the editor at the time, Garrison Frost, encouraged me to go get a little more experience and then check back in with them. I did and about six months later I started writing local business and Realtor profiles. Soon thereafter I was given the opportunity to cover the happenings of El Segundo.

Throughout my years of reporting on the “Mayberry” “other beach city” town, I have sat through more than 200 city council meetings, mourned the death of one mayor and one mayor pro tem, watched the come and go of three city managers, the promotion and retirement of police chiefs and fire chiefs and the retirement of a superintendent and the hiring of another as well as the change of positions for principals, teachers and administrators.

I have reported on the death of children who were shot, ran over or struck with illness. I have reported on countless “Bright Lights” who spend their free time volunteering to make the community a better place. I have got to know the gadflies of the city as well as those who are less vocal but have more to say.

I made more than my fair share of mistakes, which have included misspellings of names, the wrong vote-count on a city council motion, street names, dates and misquotes.

The city as a whole has been very kind to me in helping me get information, calling me back and most of all forgiving my little and sometimes big mistakes. Hopefully, I am more respected than not, but often in this situation there is no way of knowing.

Honestly, I never meant to be a city-news reporter. But I am so grateful for the experience and I feel that the knowledge I have gained both in regards to city politics and reporting is an education I could not have received anywhere else.

Like every other business, The Beach Reporter has had to tighten its belt in the last couple of years, so I wasn’t surprised when our editor told me a few weeks ago that El Segundo was on its way off our pages.

This week is my last week to report on the city that in the last nine, I have truly come to respect and admire. It’s the end of a chapter for me, which really only means the start of a new one.