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Hokanson, Vernon appointed to Morro Hills CSD board

James Hokanson and Bill Vernon have been appointed to the board of the Morro Hills Community Services District.

The San Diego County Board of Supervisors initially appointed Hokanson and Vernon to fill the two vacant seats on April 22, but an administrative error forced the official action to be repeated with the correct term expiration dates for the two board members.

The error was corrected on June 24, when Hokanson was appointed for a term expiring on December 5, 2008, and Vernon was appointed for a term which expires on December 3, 2010.

“Hopefully it will be worthwhile,” Vernon said.

Hokanson, who lives on Conejo Road, succeeds Tim Cooke, who resigned due to health concerns. Vernon, who lives on Sleeping Indian Road, takes a seat which was not filled in the previous election. They join Robert Bell, Thomas Harrington, and Barbara Romero on the board.

“I think people who live in the community should try to take part in it,” said Vernon. “It was time for me to at least play a little part.”

The primary role of the Morro Hills Community Services District is to care for the maintenance of roads in the area. “It was difficult to get people to be involved,” Vernon said. “I guess it was my turn.”

Vernon purchased his property in 1988 and moved from Los Angeles to Morro Hills in 1990. Hokanson, who had previously served on the Morro Hills CSD board, has lived in Morro Hills for 26 years.

“They’re looking for people,” Hokanson said of serving on the board. “I kind of like the committee.”

Hokanson stayed involved in board meetings after leaving the board. Vernon had been attending meetings prior to applying for the vacant seat. “I’ve been going to the meetings for the last few years and they asked me to serve,” Vernon said.

The Morro Hills Community Services District was formed in 1961 to ensure the safety and maintenance of approximately 6.1 miles of roadway and right-of-way within its boundaries.

The Morro Hills Community Services District covers about 1,050 acres and has a population of about 1,000. In 1996 there were 413 parcels owned by 308 property owners. It is currently the only Community Services District in San Diego County.

“It’s a good hardworking group,” Vernon said of the board. “We have some very goodhearted members who are trying to do some very good stuff.”

The Morro Hills Community Service District responsibilities also include drainage and signage as well as road maintenance. The CSD is an independent special district with an elected board of directors rather than a county service area whose board members are the San Diego County Board of Supervisors. “The county doesn’t do it. We do it,” Hokanson said of the maintenance work.

Vernon was raised in Houston before moving to New Orleans, where he became the director of Tulane University’s alumni fund. He moved to California to become the associate director of development for UCLA, and he also worked for the City of Hope Medical Center. Vernon spent 40 years as a professional fundraiser before retiring and moving to Morro Hills.

Hokanson was raised in Los Angeles and owned Hokanson Sails in Culver City before handing that business to his son. Hokanson moved from Rolling Hills to Morro Hills. “My wife drove through here one day and liked the look of the community,” he said. “It’s just a beautiful area.”

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