Cathi Ruddy Steps Up to Be Pacific Palisades

Cathi Ruddy is the new Pacific Palisades Emergency Preparedness Officer.
Photo: Courtesy Woman’s Club

Community Council Emergency Preparedness Officer

By JAMES GAGE – Special to Circling the News

Community Council Chair George Wolfberg has appointed Cathi Ruddy as the PPCC’s new Emergency Preparedness Officer, a position she readily accepted.

The position was created in response to a recent initiative by Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, the Emergency Preparedness Initiative.

Ruddy also represents the Woman’s Club as the alternate to board member Jean Sharp (Optimist Club), who holds the Service Clubs seat.

Flo Elfant, who started as the town’s emergency preparedness officer in 1988, retired in 2016.

Reporter Laurel Busby wrote in a story about her, “Flo Elfant got a stark warning of how a natural disaster could cut off Pacific Palisades during the Bel-Air fire of 1961.

“‘I saw this community isolated,’ Elfant, 83, said. ‘It was bumper to bumper on Sunset. Nobody could go down Chautauqua or PCH. Nobody could leave unless they had a helicopter.’

“For two days, Elfant remembers the community being ‘stuck,’ and the experience helped inform her eventual work as the Community Council’s disaster preparedness chairperson.”

Peter Culhane

Vice Chair David Card presided at the August 22 meeting in Wolfberg’s absence as he recovers from a recent medical procedure.

PPCC Three Chairs Committee members Maryam Zar, Chris Spitz and Richard Cohen also nominated former Council Vice Chair Peter Culhane to fill the 2nd Alternate At-large Representative seat. Culhane, who lives in the Highlands, was unanimously elected.

“We all know Peter from his past work here both as a representative and vice chair last year,” said Spitz, standing in for Zar at the August 22 meeting. “He’s highly qualified for the position and we’re very confident he’s going to be great in that position.”

Culhane will serve the same term as the Primary At-large Representative, Alan Goldsmith, through September 2020.


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