By SARAH SHMERLING | Editor-in-Chief
The lasting legacy of Pacific Palisades Community Council Chair Emeritus and longtime community activist George Wolfberg will endure in the Palisades—perhaps through the naming of the forthcoming Potrero Canyon Park in his honor.
Members of the PPCC board unanimously voted at its Thursday, February 13, meeting to support Councilmember Mike Bonin sponsoring a motion in City Council to name the park, slated to open in April 2021, “George Wolfberg Park at Potrero Canyon.”
Wolfberg, who died on Wednesday, February 5, after battling a long illness, served as chair of the Potrero Canyon Community Advisory Committee, working on the issue for decades—ensuring the committee’s recommendations were heard by all the city departments.
“I worked with him closely, as did some of you, on the Potrero Canyon Community Advisory Committee—that was three years of monthly public hearings and that’s how we did it with Brown Act,” PPCC Chair David Card said at the meeting. “Sometimes it was very contentious, sometimes not, but through it all, we managed to produce a report with community suggestions as to what the park should look like in conformance with the requirements from the Coastal Commission.”
The PPCC resolution explained that Wolfberg’s leadership was “invaluable in representing the wishes of the Pacific Palisades community and in encouraging the completion of the park.”
Right before the vote took place, Area 5 Representative Sue Kohl added: “It’s a wonderful idea.”
Saving her statement for after the vote, Lisa Cahill, Brentwood-Palisades deputy-environmental liaison for Bonin, shared a story about her time working with Wolfberg on various projects.
“I’ve been doing this job for a little over two years and when I took it, people were like, ‘Oh, you’re going to have constituents that you really don’t like’ … what people didn’t tell me was that there would be constituents that I would adore,” Cahill shared.
Cahill said that when somebody stands out—like Wolfberg or the late Arnie Wishnick—she takes stories home to share with her children.
“I printed out everything that George had done and accomplished in his life—big things and little things—and I read it to my children and I was like this is what a life well lived looks like,” Cahill said. “This is what somebody does when they’re a great example and a great leader in their community.”
Before the meeting concluded, Card asked representatives on the board to talk with their organizations and send their own letters of support into the City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks.
Cahill reported that the motion was expected to be filed on Wednesday, February 19.
“I’m sure that Mike Bonin will do his best to get this resolution passed by the City Council,” Card said.