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Editorial: Thanks to outgoing elected leaders

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THUMBS UP, and thank you, to four local elected leaders whose public service days will be ending this month. Poway Mayor Don Higginson will leave the City Council on Dec. 16 after serving for 28 consecutive years, either as mayor or as a councilmember. He will be fondly remembered as someone who kept a steady eye on the vision of what the “City in the Country” should be and did it with class. Poway Unified School District member Penny Ranfle is stepping down Monday after 20 years of dedicated service while incumbents Todd Gutschow (eight years) and Marc Davis (four years) have been sent into retirement by the voters. All three, we believe, were exemplary public servants who had the best interests of the students of the district at heart.

THUMBS UP to the 700-plus volunteers from throughout the area who gathered Nov. 16 at Poway High School to assemble and pack 82,512 meals that will feed the hungry both in San Diego County and overseas. The second annual event was sponsored by Cornerstone Church with the assistance of Friends and Family Community Connection.

THUMBS UP to the San Diego City Council for its unanimous commitment to begin a $3.5 billion project to recycle wastewater for potable use. The project, Pure Water San Diego,  will result in recycling enough purified water to account for 30 percent of San Diego’s drinking water needs by 2035. It was also lessen the load on the Point Loma Wastewater Treatment Plant and will potentially save billions in expansion and upgraded treatment costs. The City of Poway belongs to a regional wastewater agency and both Councilman John Mullin and former Public Works Director Leah Browder should be commended for spending considerable time and effort bringing the Pure Water plan to fruition.

THUMBS UP, with a salute, to the Poway City Council for its decision this week to begin negotiations with Habitat for Humanity to develop a two-acre, city-owned parcel near Twin Peaks and Espola roads into about 30 townhouses that will be purchased by pre-qualified veterans. The “Habitats for Heroes” project is supported by the state Dept. of Veterans Affairs which reportedly has set aside up to $6 million for construction. The city and the interested parties will have six months to work out all the details.


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