20223 Elfin Forest Road
Elfin Forest, CA, 92029
CITIZEN of the YEAR
EVERY YEAR AT THE 4TH OF JULY PICNIC,
The Town Council presents the Citizen of the Year award to the local resident(s) who has most significantly contributed to the quality of life in the community.
Following is a brief summary of the past honorees for the last 10 years. We would need several websites to detail all of the contributions they have made to the community.
Lori has raised her two boys in Elfin Forest and has been a tireless volunteer for the community, a vital member of the picnic committee - in charge of the food - for 8 years and serving on the Elfin Forest Community Foundation Board since 2006. She used to organize the local bunco nights, the Hometown Halloween, and is also active in the Fire Auxiliary. Her professionalism, resourcefulness and calm demeanor have been a great asset to her volunteer career and we look forward to many more years of working with her around the valley!
Bonnie Baumgartner has chaired the garden festival, restarted the trails committee, chaired the equestrian ordinance committee, the picnic, and held several other TC roles, including secretary, before chairing the TC for several years during which there were several very contentious issues. Her husband Ken was very instrumental serving on the Fire Board on the issue of the future of our fire services.
JP Theberge and his family were nominated from all corners of the community in recognition of the extreme dedication he has brought to the Town Council. Besides running a business and training as a para-olympic athlete, JP has spent hundreds of hours on TC business from revamping the Facebook page and fighting developers to keeping the community informed literally 24/7 during the Coco’s fire.
As a relative newcomer to the community Melanie Fallon almost immediately jumped in and started serving on the Town Council in 2007, becoming its Chair for 2009 and 2010, and skillfully leading the TC through some difficult issues, most notably the Community Plan, the General Plan Update process, where her background as a former city planner was invaluable, the revision of our bylaws, and the negotiation over the OMWD EIR re: the pipeline construction through our community. Her legendary diplomatic skills, cool-headedness under pressure, and genuine concern for the welfare of the community have made a real difference.
Mary Cross was selected for her efforts leading the CERT team since 2008. CERT trains residents to be prepared in case of a major disaster. Mickey spends countless hours working behind the scenes with our fire department, county officials and other county CERT Teams and team leaders with the goal that our CERT Team be as well trained and equipped to serve our community in the event of a major disaster.
Jeff and Carolyn Swenerton who in their 33 years of living in Elfin Forest have contributed mightily to making the community we all enjoy today. Jeff has been mastermind of the picnic and parade for the last many years, and serves on TECC board, after a stint on the Town Council Board. Back in the 90’s he was instrumental in the defeating the trash to energy plant, and in getting large trucks off Elfin Forest and Harmony Grove Roads. Carolyn joined the auxiliary and the block captains from the get go, and they both raised three daughters in the community.
Jacqueline Arsivaud-Benjamin and Eric Anderson – They joined forces in creating Friends Of The Creek to defeat Bridges Unit 7, a proposed development by Lennar which would have brought development and sewer to our Southern flank. They sued the County and the largest homebuilder at the time, and won the preservation in perpetuity of 100 acres of some of the highest value habitat in the region. Jacqueline raised much needed funds by reviving the Garden Festival and the yearly silent auction. Eric served as chair of the Town Council and the parade for many years, and was an early participant in the Multiple Species Conservation Program.
Peggy Petitmermet – Peggy started and continues to manage the block captain organization and played a key role in keeping us all safe through the many emergencies over the years. She also keeps the Fire Wise garden maintained, and has had her award-winning garden featured in several Garden Festivals.
Karen Gardner – Karen edited the newsletter and managed elf alerts for many years – she was also a driving force behind the garden festival and the two community surveys. She opened her garden to the public twice for the Garden Festival, and helped to maintain the Fire Wise garden.
Joe Alemanni - Through his dedicated efforts during the 5 years Joe edited and published the Chaparral, he set a high standard as an exemplary, high-quality, on time source of important information for the community.
Charles and Jennifer Coburn - for the wonderfully creative and beautiful art they created for our entry monument and road markers. These handcrafted pieces give the community a readily identifiable cohesion. Our community is much better for their creative genius and generosity.