Oct 2014

Sandee Salvatore

Our October speaker, Sandee Salvatore, will share with us  The Story Of Town Hall. As the story goes, Augustus thought it improper for dances to carry on all night at the school house, and that the growing town needed a place to serve that purpose as well as a library. The Ramona Town Hall was donated to the town people of what was then Nuevo on Washington’s Birthday, February 22, 1894, by Augustus and Martha Barnett.  Construction on the two story edifice began on July 11, 1893 on two lots donated by realtor  Milton Santee, and was completed in February 1894 at a cost of $17,000.  (Later that year, at the insistence of Mr. Santee, the town was renamed Ramona, to capitalize on the popularity of the fictional character from the best seller by Helen Hunt Jackson.) The Barnett’s established an unpaid five member board of trustees in perpetuity to administer the operation and upkeep of the Town Hall. For the past 118 years, the Ramona Town Hall has operated solely on private donations, fundraisers, grant moneys, and rent collected for use of the building.  The Ramona Town Hall is not owned by the Town Hall Board of Trustees, nor is it a public agency.  The restoration work that has taken place in the past 27 years has been funded by county administered C.D.B.G. and P.L.D.O. funds, along with private donations and the fundraising efforts of the board of trustees and honorary mayor.  The work completed to date includes a complete seismic retrofit of the entire front portion of the building, installation of new plumbing and electric wiring in the east and west wings, three new restrooms, a new roof over the entire building, façade replacement, and fire sprinklers throughout the entire building.  Sandee, a local business owner has been a Ramona resident for 33 years, and has been a Ramona Town Hall Trustee since 1989.  In addition to being the first woman to serve on the Ramona Municipal Water District board, she is a former Ramona Planning Group Member, former Project Manager for Ramona Revitalization, and former Kiwanis International member.  Sandee was also instrumental in bringing the first paramedic service to Ramona in the 1980’s.