The Pacifica City Council unanimously selected former councilwoman Ginny Jaquith to fill a vacant spot until the November election.
Jaquith was for the seat, which opened after Jim Vreeland resigned last month, who submitted letters of interest to the city that listed their qualifications and reasons for seeking appointment.
She spent 15 years as an employee and director of the Pacifica Parks, Beaches and Recreation Department, 12 years as an elected member of the Pacifica City Council with three terms as mayor and participated in the League of California Cities and CCAG. She’s a 27-year faculty member at San Francisco State University, has been appointed twice to the San Mateo County Civil Grand Jury and continues to work with local organizations, including Pacificans Care, the Pacifica Rotary Club, the Beautification Task Force, Fog Fest, Sharp Park Golf Course Task Force and other organizations.
"I do believe that my professional public service experience, my service as an elected and appointed official and my love for and knowledge of Pacifica, can assist the current council in addressing the significant issues that must be faced and in making the difficult decisions that must be made between now and November," she wrote in her letter of interest for the appointment.
Experience aside, one thing that set some candidates above others, councilmembers said Monday night, was a lack of interest in running for council come the November election.
Councilmembers Len Stone and Mary Ann Nihart both said they were wary about appointing someone that had his or her eye on a council seat, because of the potential for that candidate to a leg up on other candidates.
Jaquith was one such applicant, and during the public comment period leading up to the council’s decision, Leo Leon, a Pacifica Planning Commissioner, former city council candidate in the 2012 election and applicant for appointment to Vreeland’s seat, said after discussing it with his family, he’s decided not to run again for a council seat.
Several community members came to speak on behalf of Leon’s credentials and qualification for the position, and Councilmembers Pete DeJarnatt and Sue Digre said he was their first choice, but there were some issues with Leon’s potential efficacy if appointed.
He would need to recuse himself from council discussion and voting about any projects that he heard or voted on as a planning commissioner, because it would constitute a conflict of interest.
Citing this, Stone and Nihart gave their support to Jaquith, and DeJarnatt said he would follow suit to avoid a deadlock. Digre joined them in approving the appointment.
Leo Leon said of all of the potential appointees, he was happiest to see Jaquith get the nod.
"I think that if I was going to come in second to anybody it would have to Ginny," he said. "I'm happy for her, she’ll do a great job."
Another applicant, Susan Vellone, who said she is going to run for a council seat in November, agreed with Leon.
"She's an excellent choice," she said.
Do you agree with the council’s decision to appoint Ginny Jaquith?
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