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— Jan Siegel, San Juan Capistrano
In the last issue of the Dispatch, there was a paid political ad by City Council Candidate Jeff Vasquez. In the ad, he stated that he had the endorsement of Ilse Byrnes, author of Los Rios Street Historic District Registry.
I was shocked. I have known Ilse for over 25 years, and I was wondering why she would endorse a candidate who did unpermitted work on his house in the Historic District. So I called her. Ilse has no recollection of endorsing Jeff Vasquez. And Ilse stated that she had signed no endorsement letter.
Ilse Byrnes will always be the San Juan Capistrano historian. Ilse has been responsible for all 13 structures, including Los Rios Street being placed on the National Registry of Historic Places in the City. To misrepresent what Ilse stands for is not just wrong; it is a lie.
Neither Ilse nor I know what the Los Rios Street Historic District Registry is. Vasquez could not even get that right. Los Rios Street is on the National Registry of Historic Places as the oldest residential neighborhood in California.
Thank you, Ilse, for all that you have done to protect historic preservation in San Juan Capistrano. That is your legacy.