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Saturday, January 10, 2009

Former Davis Mayor Julie Partansky Passes Away

My friends, I have sad news to report tonight. Julie Partansky, a friend, an ally, and an all-around wonderful person passed away last night after a brief battle with lung cancer. She was just 60.

Ken Wagstaff, her friend and colleague on the City Council shares a few thoughts with the community:
Julie Partansky was a unique and sensitive person. Her personality combined whimsy and serious purpose, creativity and practicality, fun and hard work.

No one I ever knew had such a deep sense of the magic, the happy unpredictabilities of life, yet was very organized and focused. When Julie presided as Mayor, I was Mayor Pro Tem. She would come to meetings better prepared than most people in the room. Her briefing book would have markers sticking out all through it, with questions and notes that she wanted to pursue.

Those who knew Julie only as an artist and musician were surprised that she could put down her paint brush, set aside her marimba sticks and deftly handle the Mayor's gavel. Julie would often have a wider view of an issue than the rest of us, and would see new opportunities earlier than others. She would be tenacious about things she wanted the City to do, or not do. Even before she was Mayor, her leadership was key to the grass-roots effort to prevent the Richards Boulevard undercrossing from becoming a 4-lane extension of the I-80 off-ramp. And when she was Mayor, she worked hard on growth control, always reminding us that humans do not have a divine right to pave over the land. Julie energetically achieved the precedent-setting Davis outdoor lighting ordinance, which reduces glare and preserves our view of the night sky.

Once on her birthday someone gave her a certificate that named a distant star for Julie. She was delighted. Julie had a favorite shirt covered with little stars.

These things may seem whimsical, but to be able to gaze across a Davis parking lot or other open area at night and see starry sky is her tangible gift to us. Julie was a bright star with a twinkling personality, and we will miss her dearly.
Please feel free to share your thoughts and memories with the community.

---David M. Greenwald reporting