Stuart Muller, a lifelong resident and an active member of the Community Council for many years, has been named 2004 Citizen of the Year, an award bestowed by the Palisadian-Post since 1947. ‘We have long been impressed by Stuart’s involvement in community issues,’ said Post Publisher Roberta Donohue. ‘Last year, he not only brought about completion of the Clearwater Mural on two walls of the Sav-on building, he doggedly pursued noise abatement at the car wash on the corner of La Cruz and Alma Real. This noise has been a nuisance in that part of our business community for years, but Stuart finally managed to get it reduced below the allowable limit.’ ‘In addition,’ Donohue said, ‘Stuart kept up his multi-year campaign to create a community center in the old gym building at the Palisades Recreation Center.’ Muller will be honored, along with the annual Sparkplug winners, on April 14 at the Riviera Country Club. An area representative on the Community Council, Muller spearheaded the beautification project of the Sav-on loading dock area on Swarthmore, just below the Village Green. This included the creation of the Clearwater Mural by Palisadian artist Terri Bromberg, an idyllic panoramic scene that wraps Sav-on’s north and west sides. Completed in 1999, the mural was named for C.C. Clearwater, the early owner and publisher of The Palisadian, and his wife, Zola, also an important community pioneer. A two-month project to restore the mural and add a new section was finished last fall. Muller wanted the mural to serve as a backdrop to the Village Green. When he was honored with a Sparkplug award in April 1998 for his work, speaker Shirley Haggstrom said that Muller ‘saw an eyesore’the Sav-on loading dock area’and decided to get it cleaned up. Little did he know that this would expand into a project involving not only the dock area, but also a facelift of the entire Sav-on property, including repaving and restriping, relocation of trash dumpsters, installation of an awning over the dock doors, and at least 25 other beautification items.’ Last summer, Muller extended his creative energies to solving some of the noise and visual pollution problems at Palisades Gas and Wash. He formed the Car Wash Noise Committee, which reported back to the Community Council, and pressed operations manager John Zisk to make modifications to lower the sound of his car wash’s dryer. This included replacing the older air compressors with two new high-performance ones and putting an insulated duct on the dryer. After helping to bring the sound level down to legal limits last fall, Muller continued pushing for a facelift of the property. In an e-mail to the Post, he wrote: ‘When I first contacted Zisk, I told him my belief that many of the visual pollution problems we have in the Village could be expeditiously and inexpensively mitigated through the use of basic theatrical/movie set-making techniques: the use of screening, planting, lighting and painting.’ Largely as a result of Muller’s passion and persistence, trees were planted along the corner wall that separates Palisades Gas and Wash from the street. In his 1998 Sparkplug acceptance speech, Muller said that ‘pride in community service is a fundamental and dynamic force in our Palisadian heritage. Let’s work hard to pass this heritage along to our children.’ A licensed marriage, family and child counselor, Muller is the son of Wayne and Mary Muller, who have lived in the Palisades for 64 years. Muller, 60, graduated from the University of Southern California in 1967 with a degree in cinema/television and worked 12 years with Walt Disney Productions in various capacities. Continuing his community involvement, he is a member of the new Potrero Canyon Citizen Advisory Committee.
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