Also serving the communities of De Luz, Rainbow, Camp Pendleton, Pala and Pauma

Comella appointed to CSA No. 81 advisory board

Joe Comella is now the newest member of the County Service Area No. 81 advisory board.

A 5-0 San Diego County Board of Supervisors vote May 18 appointed Comella to the board which focuses on Fallbrook, DeLuz, and Rainbow parks. He replaces Frank Rotunda on the board; Comella’s term will expire on June 3, 2011, although he is eligible for reappointment.

“I have a lot of energy left and I want to do something in the community,” said Comella, who retired as a Fallbrook High School teacher in 2009 but returned as a long-term substitute in 2010 and will likely continue to substitute in the future.

The seven-member CSA No. 81 advisory board makes recommendations to the Board of Supervisors, which is the actual governing body of the special district. County Service Area 81 was formed in 1976 and derives its funding from a share of property tax revenue while county general fund money and Park Land Dedication Ordinance fees paid by developers to fund park facilities in the development’s community also help finance the area’s parks. (PLDO fees can only be used for active recreation parks and not for open space or trails. The fees can be used for acquisition of land but not for maintenance or operations, and they can be used for replacement of playground equipment or other renovations but not for restoration of historic structures.)

Comella has been on the Fallbrook Land Conservancy for 12 years and is active on the FLC’s Trails Council. “I’m very interested in parks and recreational activities for people in our community, and I felt this was a good fit,” he said.

Comella became a San Diego County resident in 1960 and graduated from Hilltop High School in Chula Vista in 1961. In 1966 he obtained a bachelor’s degree in zoology from the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Comella entered the United States Army after his graduation, and after leaving active duty he continued as a reservist who was occasionally recalled to active duty. He served in both the Vietnam War and Operation Desert Storm. Comella retired from the reserves with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel, and he also worked full-time for Sears Roebuck for 26 years.

“Teaching was a third career for me,” he said.

Comella and his wife, Jane, had lived in Vista prior to moving to Fallbrook. “My wife loves horses and we were looking for some space,” Comella said of their move to Fallbrook. “We wanted to get away from the buzz.”

Comella taught biology at Fallbrook High School for 12 years and had previously taught in Vista.

Comella has four daughters and nine grandchildren. Two of his daughters live in eastern Ohio while the other two, who graduated from Rancho Buena Vista High School, are local. His daughter Melissa Marovich is the principal at Ivy High School in Fallbrook while his daughter Erin Dayus teaches at Roosevelt Middle School in Vista.

Comella noted that the CSA No. 81 advisory board members are the stewards of the funding distribution for local parks. He noted that his duties and goals on the board include being vigilant with existing resources as well as creating new recreational opportunities.

Jane Comella has served on the Fallbrook Community Planning Group. “We just like to be involved in the community,” Joe Comella said. “I think it’s important that everybody takes a part and gets involved.”

Comella hopes that the community members will notify the CSA No. 81 board members about their concerns and desires. “We need to have that input from the public,” he said.

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