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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

Restaurateur Robert "Bob" and Doris Thurston Boyd built a home on the site of the current high school parking lot and had five children: sons Happy, Bo, Kelly and Randy. A daughter, Cindy, came between Kelly, the middle child, and Randy, the baby of the family, who own Thurston-Boyd Antiques on South Coast Highway.

Kelly Boyd was born in 1944. He attended school in Laguna. After graduating from Laguna Beach High School, he attended Orange Coast College and USC.

Boyd served in the US Army in Vietnam and helped establish an orphanage in the war-torn country.

He has two children from his first marriage and two grandchildren.

Boyd has owned the Marine Room for 20 years.

"Since the age of seven, I have worked in full service restaurants, beginning with my father's restaurants in Laguna Beach: Boyd's Café and Bob Boyd's French Restaurant," Boyd said.

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Boyd is a past member of Rotary and the now-defunct Laguna Beach Jaycees. In 2000, he served on the board of the Laguna Beach/Emerald Bay Public Facilities Authority.

He married Michelle Bierstra in 1982. She also is active in town. Besides her job as Human Resource Manager of the Laguna Beach County Water District, she is a member of the Assistance League and volunteers at the CSP Youth Shelter in Laguna. She established the CSP art exhibit, "As I See It," which just closed Sunday at the Laguna Art Museum.

"I am very proud that he is running," she said. "I know he will make a great councilman"

Among the issues Boyd sees as unsolved is parking. He told one forum audience that a parking study was started in 1984 and the problem still exists.

"I work downtown six days a week," Boyd said. "Locals tell me they won't even come there in the summer."

Several studies have been conducted through the years since Boyd was on the council, including one downtown traffic model, recently completed.

He vowed, if elected, to elevate the Parking, Traffic and Circulation Committee to commission status. He said that would be an improvement over the current status, in which the council sends a project to the committee, which sends its recommendation to the Planning Commission, which makes a recommendation to the council, which sends it back to the committee.

"A commission reports directly to the council," Boyd said.

As for "mansionization" concerns, Boyd pointed out that Pyne Castle was built in the 1920s and is still the biggest residence in Laguna, although now divided into apartments.

"Neighborhoods have to work together," he said. "No view should be lost and we have to maintain what the neighborhoods are about, but we must look at things individually."

Boyd has been endorsed by the Laguna Beach Republicans and the Laguna Beach Taxpayers Association.

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