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Ruth Sterling  
City Council
Title: Vice Mayor
Phone: 619.667.1106
Councilmember Ruth Sterling

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Councilmember Ruth Sterling was born and raised in San Diego and has lived in La Mesa since 1963. Ruth is a retired Licensed Vocational Nurse. She was elected to the La Mesa City Council in 1992, 1996, 2000, 2004, 2008 and again top vote-getter in 2012. In the category of City Council, Ruth is the longest serving City Council member in La Mesa history. She considers it a great honor to serve this community for so many years. Her durability is a result of her devotion.

Ruth is accessible and responsive, addressing problems with a solution-oriented direction. In response to a resident’s concern with the general appearance of the city, she responded with initiating a successful clean-up effort, the "Adopt-A-Block" Community Volunteer Program.

Mrs. Sterling is an innovator of programs for youth, including establishing a Trust Fund for free golf lessons. For the selection of the name "Good Old La Mesa Fun" (G.O.L.F.), Ruth had a community children's contest where she provided and awarded the 1st, 2nd and 3rd place contenders a U. S. Savings Bond. As Vice Mayor, Mrs. Sterling brought the Chess-in-the-Schools Program to La Mesa. She also initiated the Kid's Paint-A-Tile Project, which is actively ongoing. The tile art work expressed by the children will be show-cased in each one of La Mesa's 14 parks. The tile art will be permanently displayed at the park closest to the participating school, giving the children a gift to remember their roots, a remnant of their past.

A people person, Ruth saw the need, conceived and promoted the first East County Human Services Resource Directory. Utilizing Grossmont High School students, the first edition was also published online. This type of Directory was the first of its kind on the web and continues to be updated and maintained by the High School students. The third hard copy edition was updated and published in October 2004.

Councilmember Sterling's “Walkway of the Stars” program recognizes each volunteer who contributes 10,000 hours to the City with a permanent star in the La Mesa Boulevard/ Allison Avenue walkway. The large walls within the walkway are accented with hand-painted murals by local volunteer artists depicting the theme "People Helping People."

Ruth is the founder of the La Mesa Flag and La Mesa's annual patriotic Flag Day Parade, a "Salute to Old Glory." The first annual parade was inaugurated on June 14, 1997. On the same day, Ruth unveiled and presented to the people of La Mesa the first La Mesa Flag.

Mrs. Sterling had noted that the Heartland Viet Nam War Memorial, in front of the VFW, had been originally dedicated on Flag Day during the war. She asked that the Memorial be researched for any names that may have been left off since the ending of the Viet Nam War. The patriotic reverence of the first Flag Day Parade and the unveiling of the first La Mesa Flag, provided the ideal occasion for the rededication of the Heartland Viet Nam War Memorial, now complete, inclusive for all those to be honored in perpetuity.

On behalf of the citizens of La Mesa, Ruth joins with the Pearl Harbor Survivors Association, Carnation Chapter 3, to toss a wreath out to sea in memory of December 7, 1941, each and every year since elected to the City Council. The membership of the Association unanimously approved Ruth Sterling to be an Honorary Member of the Pearl Harbor Survivors Association, Carnation Chapter 3, on July 21, 2002.

The Exchange Club of La Mesa honored Ruth with their 2001 "Proudly We Hail" Award and their 2001 "Community Caring" Award. The La Mesa Woman's Club unanimously distinguished Ruth as their "Woman of the Year" 2002. She was again honored at the La Mesa Soroptomist International "Women of Distinction" annual event.

Councilmember Sterling represents La Mesa as Chair of the Harry Griffen Community Park Joint Powers Agreement (JPA). She is also the City representative on the Mission Trails Regional Park Task Force and is alternate on the Heartland Communications Facility Authority. Mrs. Sterling is a former representative for La Mesa on the Metropolitan Transit Development Board (MTDB), San Diego Trolley, Inc., and the Heartland Fire Training Facility Authority.

Ruth is a member of the La Mesa Woman's Club, the La Mesa Historical Society, Friends of the La Mesa Library and the Grossmont Community Concert Association.


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La Mesa City Hall    8130 Allison Ave.    La Mesa, CA 91942    Ph: 619.463.6611