Historical Society honors city’s pioneers

Historical Society honors city’s pioneers
Gail Paparian, third from left, co-chairwoman of the committee that helped Solana Beach become a city, listens as City Councilman Dave Roberts reads her statement, sharing stories of those efforts. Looking on are event coordinator Ruby Edman and Mayor Joe Kellejian. Photo by Bianca Kaplanek

SOLANA BEACH — As part of Solana Beach’s continuing celebration of 25 years of cityhood, the Solana Beach Civic and Historical Society recognized 13 residents who contributed to the incorporation efforts during its fourth annual Valentine Venture on Feb. 13 at Belly Up Tavern.Event coordinator Ruby Edman said she asked each person to contribute a short story only they would know to help form the “rich texture” of the small city.

Event coordinator Ruby Edman, left, and Carol Childs, Solana Beach Civic and Historical Society president, begin the recognition ceremony. Photo by Bianca Kaplanek

Olson said she and her Navy officer husband moved to Solana Beach because they heard “it was a small town with few problems” 25 years ago.

An eight-year member of the city’s early planning group, she said people credit Native Americans for halting a 38-home development on Holmwood Canyon adjacent to San Elijo Lagoon.

Olson said she’s still not sure if the bones discovered there were an actual Indian gravesite or those of her youngest son’s dog, Marty, that were planted intentionally.

“I wasn’t asked and I didn’t tell,” she wrote.

Huse recalled the first advice he received from Curry after he interviewed for the city manager position. “She suggested I be more judicious in the amount of aftershave I used,” he recalled.

Former Mayor Schlesinger said raising the necessary money to become a city was always challenging, but she remembered one of the most unusual efforts — a wine-tasting bus trip to Santa Barbara.

“It was one of the best fundraisers I’ve ever attended,” she said.

During a memorial tribute to Moore, Schlesinger recalled sitting at Denny’s after a late night of celebrating when voters finally approved the third attempt at cityhood.

Moore, a retired military veteran, was being urged to run for mayor.

Gail Paparian, co-chairwoman of the committee that helped Solana Beach become a city, gets a congratulatory hug from Mayor Joe Kellejian. Photo by Bianca Kaplanek

“But Jack said it was due to the hard work of the women so it was only appropriate that a woman should serve as mayor,” Schlesinger said. “Jack was always an officer and a gentleman.”

Honorees of the event included Gail Paparian and, posthumously, Jack Moore, chairmen of CITI (Citizens Intending to Incorporate); Margaret Schlesinger, a CITI member and the city’s first mayor; Marion Dodson, Richard Hendlin and Celine Olson, CITI members who also served on the first City Council; CITI members Michael Newhouse and Sandy Parish; Gloria Curry, the first interim city manager, and Mike Huse, who was hired to replace her; Jack Peek, co-chairman of the General Plan Committee; current Mayor Joe Kellejian, who served on the Town Council; and current Councilman Tom Campbell, who was the liaison to the Chamber of Commerce.

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  1. Barbara Willens says:

    Great seeing you recognized, Gail, for all of your efforts then,now,and always.

    Barbara Willens

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