Jesse Petrilla, the youngest city councilman in Rancho Santa Margarita history and a member of the California Army National Guard, was set to depart today for deployment in Afghanistan.
Petrilla, 28, elected to office in the 2010 general election, missed nearly four months of council service last year while in Fort Knox, KY, as part of Armor Basic Officer Course training, where the second lieutenant learned to be .
His deployment is for 400 days, though he indicated it could be less, as part of Operation Enduring Freedom.
Petrilla attended a budget study session on Wednesday. At his , on April 11, other council members wished him luck.
Jerry Holloway, who acknowledged that the two hadn't always seen eye to eye, told Petrilla from his seat across the council chambers, "Give 'em heck."
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"I do very much look forward to returning and getting back to work on this council," Petrilla said.
When he returns, the council could look very different. Three positions are up for election, seats currently held by longstanding members Jerry Holloway, Mayor Tony Beall, and Carol Gamble who was part of the city's first council but was appointed last year to take the vacated seat of Gary Thompson.
On Tuesday, Petrilla attended the announcement that Kenney Hrabik will run for city council. Hrabik was to replace Thompson.
On Thursday, a bit before noon, Petrilla left a Facebook post: "Bags are all packed!"