Suzi Resnik | Crest Road
See also: Citizen Del Mar -
Bud Emerson | Klish Way
|Mayor Jan McMillan at her swearing in, April 1998.
Photo Mac McMillan. Click to enlarge.
Beginning in 1995 the Del Mar Historical Society (DMHS) launched “Del Mar Voices,” a project to record the oral histories of community leaders. You can listen to their voices, read their stories, and view their photos and memorabilia by going to the collection housed at the Del Mar Library. The DMHS is working to have these available online as well.
This summer the DMHS received a grant from the City of Del Mar to move forward and expand the project’s scope. The DMHS has given the Sandpiper permission to print one of these stories in the September issue. More will follow.
Former Mayor and Council Member Jan McMillan has been an active community leader since moving to Del Mar in 1970 “where things were still affordable.” She became active as a columnist for the local paper The Del Mar Surfcomber.
Then from 1983 through 1984 she published her own newspaper called “The Del Mar Spectator, “ a combination of news, opinion and creative writing.
By 1980 she noted that she was attending council meetings and meetings about North City West. Her subject matter had shifted from home life to political issues, land use, and environmental causes.
In 1985 she began writing a column in The Del Mar Citizen until 1988 when she ran for City Council.
She decided “It was write and write about something and not see it make a difference or change anything.”She noted that ”If you get on a council you get a vote, you make changes.”
She emphasizes that It was the time of the environmental movement “People were trying to restore, preserve and enjoy all this beautiful land.”
She recalls that the town where she grew up was a place where “you could take a walk, there were nice trees, it was quiet.” She and her husband had also experienced the smog while living in L.A.
She became involved after the community plan was written, but recalls its basis is “to preserve the environment, the trees, the bluff-so someone couldn’t just come and plunk a huge building under your window.”
When reflecting back on being a council member for 8 years, during 2 of which she served as mayor, she emphasizes that it takes “we” to get it done and that accomplishments were the results of many people working together.
The accomplishments that “are near and dear” to my heart” include:
- moving the San Dieguito Lagoon Restoration and River Valley Project , a visionary plan that leaders of the San Dieguito Lagoon Committee had created in the early 1970s.
- Keeping the restoration of the city powerhouse on the agenda for many years because it was always in danger of falling off the priority list
- preventing the city of San Diego from widening theTorrey Pines Bridge.
The historic WPA Bridge that’s being restored today was finally declared an historic landmark by the state and called “a California concrete classic.”
- re-invigorating and supporting citizens’ committees, eg. the Parks and Recreation Committee.
- Implementing the Beach Protection Ordinance
- converting a former church and office into a beautiful library
- reducing toxins and irritants in the environment-for example banning leaf blowers.
- keeping an eye on land use and extending design review to all residential areas.
- readjusting sewer and water rates to address drought..installation of first traffic calming measures.
When asked about any negatives or frustrations, she noted that “A frustration was Amtrak “pulling up stakes.".Another negative was being sued as a member of the City Council.
But she notes that “Most of the time that doesn’t happen. It was an opportunity to learn about myself and work with other people.”
She adds that her family supported her throughout and her husband helped her to see the humor in every situation.”