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Native son seeks return to council

Tavern keeper Kelly Boyd served on the city council 24 years ago and says problems remain the same.

October 05, 2006|By Barbara Diamond

City Council candidate Kelly Boyd's roots in Laguna run deep: His family history goes back three generations and forward two, with him and his four siblings sandwiched in the middle.

Boyd, who owns the popular Marine Room Tavern, is running for a second term on the City Council, on which he last served from 1978 to 1982.

So, why run again after all this time?

"I saw that things were not getting done as quickly as they should be," Boyd said. "And I hear complaints from locals who come [into the bar] about the Design Review process and the length of time it takes to get a project approved."

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Boyd does not think the state law that prohibits elected officials from voting on issues or projects within 500 feet of property they own or lease would unduly hamper him as a council member.

"I should be able to vote on city-side issues, although I probably wouldn't be able to vote on some downtown projects," Boyd said.

Councilwoman Cheryl Kinsman also is prohibited from voting on downtown projects within a 500-foot circle from her Mermaid Street property.

"It's a stupid law," Boyd said. "There are a lot of downtown issues that aren't affected by Cheryl's property."

Downtown was not an issue when Boyd's great grandparents came to Laguna.

Boyd is a scion of the Thurston family. Grandfather Joe Thurston arrived in Laguna at 16 with his parents. He married school teacher Marie Thurston, for whom Thurston Middle School is named.

"My grandmother taught school in this very building," Boyd said with pride at the Laguna Beach Seniors Candidates Forum, held recently at the Veterans Memorial Building on Legion Street.

The Thurstons built their first homestead in Aliso Canyon, which Joe wrote about in "Laguna Beach of Early Days."

They also owned considerable land in Laguna, which was a separate entity from South Laguna at the time. Their holdings included Mystic Hills.

The Thurstons donated the property to the school district on which Laguna Beach High School was built and established a scholarship in the 1950s, administered today by the high school Scholarship Foundation.

Joe and Marie adopted two daughters, sisters Virginia and Doris.

Family memorabilia includes a photograph of Doris taken with Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks when Pacific Coast Highway was opened from Laguna to Newport Beach in the 1920s.

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