The new decade was met head-on with the induction of new board members and officers, as well as some familiar old hands, into the Pacific Beach Town Council at its Installation Dinner on Jan. 19. More than 100 attendees enjoyed cocktails and a sumptuous banquet in the Mission Bay Yacht Club banquet room while witnessing the pomp and circumstances of the annual investiture ceremony in its 69th year.
Although the event was laden with traditions, PBTC president Brian White cited increased business and individual membership over the past year and emphasized the growing relevance of the organization with the infusion of new blood.
“All 16 seats (of the board of directors) are occupied and we are overflowing with talent,” he said. “These folks are dedicating a lot of time and energy, and they’re all bringing unique skill sets to our board. We are revving up for a very productive year.”
With the upcoming state elections serving as backdrop, an inordinate amount of local office holders and office seekers were in attendance this year, plugging their achievements and goals but paying due deference to the activist members of the PBTC.
“Town councils play a crucial role in informing and engaging the residents of our neighborhoods and also informing City Hall on what’s needed and what’s going on” said local Councilmember Dr. Jennifer Campbell (2nd District). “Nowhere is that truer than here, in Pacific Beach.”
Also on hand to deliver the 45 minutes in speeches were San Diego County District Attorney Summer Stephan, City Attorney Mara Elliott, State Assembly member Todd Gloria (78th District), City Council members Barbara Bry (District 1) and Chris Ward (District 3), among others.
Following the speeches, the Pug Sandford Community Service Award for outstanding service was awarded to the PBTC office manager Liz Segre. After dinner, White presented awards to the myriad organizers of the PBTC’s signature events, including the Concerts on the Green, PAESAN picnic, Graffiti Cleanup Day and its Membership drive.
In addition, a new category was established this year to honor a fresh member who has made a significant impact on the Town Council’s efforts. Named the Rising Star Award, White presented the newly-minted distinction to Regina Sinsky.
White also announced the formation of four new committees within the PBTC to focus on key issues central to the community; Crime & Safety, Infrastructure Oversight, PB Enhancement and Communications.
In perhaps the evening’s most electrifying moment, 2019 Honorary Mayor of Pacific Beach Cathie Jolley was caught off-guard momentarily when she opened the envelope to announce the 2020 office holder: Cathie Jolley. The second year term, a rare but not unknown occurrence in PBTC history, sent the audience into a thunderous standing ovation.
The proceedings closed after San Diego Northern Division Police Capt. Matt Novak delivered the oath to the new 2020 PBTC board members and officers: Mary Lou Benzel, Brian Curry, Denise Friedman, Brianna Jackson, Cathie Jolley (as Honorary Mayor of PB), Jay Libs, Dominic Moscatello, Jane Nobbs, Karl Rand, Tony Schlegel, Regina Sinsky, Ron Walker, president Brian White, vice president Greg Daunoras, secretary Susan Crowers and treasurer Marcella Bothwell.
Yet it was Jolley who best summed up the sentiment and purpose of the evening as well as the PBTC itself in her remarks: “The Town Council gets to do all these amazing events and all this great work because when we make a call, you show up in support. Whether it’s a Town Council meeting or a City Council meeting or PAESAN or Graffiti Cleanup Day or our forums or tonight; you are how we do all this. And you are why we do all this.”