By Marlena Chavira-Medford
Less than a month after being sidelined after her term ended, former Del Mar councilwoman Crystal Crawford is back in the game playing a new role, providing the city pro bono legal counsel as it moves forward in its attempt to buy the fairgrounds from the state for $120 million.
Bringing her on makes sense, said councilman Mark Filanc, because Crawford has been involved since the city first decided to take a crack at buying the property.
“[Crawford] was with us in the very beginning when this idea came about, and took a very active role in bringing us where we are today,” he said. “It was through her experience and expertise at negotiating that we got this far. I think this is a wonderful opportunity for the city to benefit from [Crawford’s] experience and capabilities.”
The rest of the council agreed with him, unanimously voting during its Jan. 3 meeting to take Crawford up on her offer for pro bono counsel.
“We’ve put a lot of time and resources into this, so it would be my honor to help you see it through to the end,” Crawford said of the proposed fairgrounds purchase, which is all depending on the green light from senate. A vote from senate is expected within the next few months, and Crawford has agreed to make herself available for that entire time.
Crawford also stressed that she will only work under the direction of city council. That could entail Crawford traveling to Sacramento to testify at senate hearings, something she has already done on behalf of the city when she served as special legal council back in the early 90s. Should she have to travel to Sacramento on behalf of Del Mar, the city will reimburse her, but otherwise Crawford will be donating her time and services.
“I really appreciate the role you’ve played up until this point and though this is a slightly different role, I think it could be equally important,” Del Mar Mayor Don Mosier told Crawford. “We really can take advantage of the numerous political connections you have in Sacramento, and I think a presence there may be critical in the last stages of this process. I really appreciate your willingness to serve in an additional role for the city.
“So, welcome back, Crystal.”