Honorary mayors stay active to keep Pacific Beach great
by DAVE SCHWAB
Published - 10/18/19 - 01:00 PM | 3535 views | 5 5 comments | 51 51 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Former honorary mayor Marcella Teran with current honorary mayor Cathie Jolley.
Former honorary mayor Marcella Teran with current honorary mayor Cathie Jolley.
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It’s been 61 years since Pacific Beach Town Council began conferring the well-deserved and hard-earned title of “honorary mayor” to recipients.

During that time, longtime PB resident and previous honorary mayor Eve Anderson noted, “There are some really amazing people who were mayors, and a lot of them are still around doing great work.”

Beach & Bay Press caught up with five of them – Anderson, Cathie Jolley, Jennifer Tandy, Lou Cumming, and Marcella Teran – to talk about the role, their participation in it and what it means.

Anderson (Smull), PB honorary mayor in 1982, talked about the position’s origin.

“In the early days, honorary mayors were chosen by election forms in the old North Shores Sentinel newspaper,” she said. “However, one candidate apparently bought up dozens of papers and sent in the forms.”

Anderson said that led to mayors eventually being selected by community groups who nominated them. “Then former honorary mayors met to choose the most deserving,” she said. “That worked well for a while, then a group of former mayors kept selecting their friends, rather than the most deserving. Now the PBTC board chooses from those nominated by community groups.”

Of her “mayorship,” Anderson had one problem with it. “Back then, the big deal was to ride in parades. Not just PB’s parade, but Lemon Grove’s, North Park’s, etc. Not my idea of fun, waving and smiling for an hour. However, cutting the ribbon at store openings (this was the ’80s, great economy, lots of new stores) was fine and you got to meet all sorts of interesting people.” 

“It was an honor to represent Pacific Beach,” remarked Teran, honorary mayor in 2013. Nominated back then for her work with Neighborhood Watch, Teran, who started with four watches 15 years ago, said, “Now we have 89 in PB and four in Mission Beach. I coordinate both PB and MB watches.”

“Neighborhood Watch is different,” Teran said of those unconvinced of its value. “It is about building community, and caring and communicating with your neighbors.”

Regarding being an honorary mayor, Teran said: “Our community has many issues that bring many of us down at times. The one main thing that keeps me living in Pacific Beach, are all the really nice people I have met through my work with Neighborhood Watch, the Pacific Beach Town Council, and especially, my neighborhood.”

Cumming, honorary mayor in 2015, discussed why the title was bestowed upon.

“PBTC board chose me as a result of my seven-plus year effort leading the charge to convince the decision-makers in City Hall to codify the Oversized Vehicle Ordinance, which prohibits oversized vehicles parking on residential streets overnight,” he said. “Our streets were overrun with these oversized vehicles causing safety hazards, health issues, and parking problems.”

Noting he was “honored, flattered and surprised” when he became honorary mayor, Cumming said it allowed him “to speak up on community issues wearing that honorary mayor hat as various issues arose.”

Tandy, honorary mayor in 2014, was recognized for the work she had done over the last 17 years to support and strengthen PB public schools.

“I was surprised, honored, absolutely thrilled,” Tandy said. “For years I had felt that the San Diego Unified School District had not fairly or adequately attended to the needs of the four elementary schools, Pacific Beach Middle and Mission Bay High. For 17 years, I fought for equity at the district and city level. I also worked with school site councils to strengthen programming, support staff, and administration and create bridges between our schools.” 

Tandy put the title of honorary mayor to good use.

“I was able to use the platform to continue to educate and advocate on behalf of the community of PB and the PB schools at countless Board of Education, SDUSD, City Council and town council meetings,” she said. “The Mission Bay Cluster is thriving today, because of the tireless work of many fearless, visionary parents and staff. I am proud to have helped lead the movement for reform, equity, and success in the Mission Bay Cluster.” 

Current honorary mayor Jolley is one of several who were appointed after serving as PBTC president.

“I tell you it’s an enormous honor,” she said. “The other people who were honorary mayors — they were my mentors. For someone who loves PB as much as I do, it doesn’t get any better than this.”

Of being honorary mayor, Jollie said, “I see my role as partnering with the current PBTC president Brian White.”

Jolley and White recently teamed to organize the San Diego 2020 mayor’s debate at Mission Bay High.

Of honorary mayors, White said: "If you're tapped to be one it's a sign that your contributions to the neighborhood have not gone unnoticed. We hit the jackpot this year with Cathie Jolley, who's been in the trenches fighting for a better PB on a variety of fronts. She is a quintessential steward of Pacific Beach." 

Pointing out her parents were role models for her as community volunteers, Jolley added, “It’s a very comfortable, familiar place for me.”

Full list of honorary mayors:

2019 – Cathie Jolley

2018 – Bill Marsh

2017 – Alan Harris

2016 – Joe Wilding

2015 – Lou Cumming

2014 – Jennifer Tandy

2013 – Marcella Teran

2012 – John Westwood

2011 – Mark Johnston

2010 – Todd Brown

2009 – John Logan

2008 – Don Mullen

2007 – Susan Roth

2006 – Karl Jaedtke

2005 – Lynda Tickey

2004 – Carol Blomstrom

2003 – Harrell Hurt

2002 – Mary Cook

2001 – Walt Wade

2000 – Otto Emme

1999 – Georgina Smith

1998 – Dan Froelich

1997 – Mary Louise Rogers

1996 – Pug Sandford

1995 – Tom and Jeanne Richards

1994 – Dave Crow

1993 – Jeff Sykes

1992 – John Gartner

1991 – Mary Wilding

1990 – Linda Lopez

1989 – Jim Moore

1988 – Barbara Hughes

1987 – Paul Johnsen

1986 – Harry Whelply

1985 – Harry Whelply

1984 – Bob O’Regan

1983 – Leonard Johnson

1982 – Eve Smull (Anderson)

1981 – John Fry

1980 – John Pernicano

1979 – Mary Heising

1978 – Carmelita Swartz

1977 – Carmelita Swartz

1976 – Tom Chadwick

1975 – Annie McDaniel

1974 – Monsignor Doxie

1973 – Ardith Taylor

1972 – June Sandford

1971 – Gerry Seymour

1970 – Bruno Giuffrida

1969 – John Dowell

1968 – Ruth C. Smith

1967 – Billie Vine

1966 – Bob Jackson

1965 – George Ghareeb

1964 – Wally Vine

1963 – Steve Stevens

1962 – Don Paull

1961 – Roy Slack

1960 – Chuck Morgan

1959 – Tom Johnston

1958 – Sam Dunaway.
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