ENCINITAS — At 19 years old, Everett Brandenburg said he wanted to serve his community of Olivenhain. He wanted to join the Olivenhain Town Council.
Earlier this month, Brandenburg — one of three people up for three open slots on the community panel — joined that board, becoming the youngest person in the 49-year history of the group.
To those who know his family, this probably doesn’t come as a surprise.
Father Tony, a retired Superior Court and Intertribal Court judge and current Encinitas Planning Commissioner, and mother Cindy both served on the Town Council.
And Everett has his own ties to the council.
“I kind of grew up in the meeting hall,” Everett said of the historic Olivenhain Meeting Hall, which the council owns. “I even did my Eagle Scout project building a fence between the new property and the meeting hall.
“My parents have always been good examples of serving the community,” said Everett, who just finished his freshman year at Cal State University San Marcos. “They were both president and they’ve always helped out during every event. I thought joining the board was a great way of doing something in the community that could help.”
In addition to owning the meeting hall, the Town Council, which formed in 1967, also owns the accompanying Germania Hotel on Rancho Santa Fe Road. It hosts a series of community events on the property each year, including a Brat and Beer Fest in April, the Outdoor Cinema Series in August and September, a craft fair in November and a wine tasting event in December.
Tony Brandenburg said he was excited to see his son step forward to serve on the council, a group that has struggled in recent years due to a lack of volunteers to help put on its signature events.
“He’s a great kid, and I know he’s got his community’s best interest in heart,” the elder Brandenburg said of his son, who was born and raised in the family’s longtime Olivenhain home. “We are very proud of him.”
Everett said he hopes that by joining the council, he can inspire other people to get involved with the council and potentially boost its flagging volunteerism.
“I hope that me joining council can help show people that anyone can help in the community,” Everett said. “I think I will try to get my friends and peers and everyone that I know to help out in the community also.”
Current Board President Dave Perryman, who is stepping down from the board in July, said that he admires the younger Brandenburg’s commitment, but said the younger generation of Olivenhain residents must respect the traditions of their predecessors.
“We do need fresh blood and he does provide a new perspective,” Perryman said. “But there is a little concern that someone without the same perspective might not have the same perspective for the council’s histories and traditions. I think there is a sweet spot that he’s going to have to find.”
Everett said he feels he can strike that balance.
“I respect our traditions, these are part of our family, too,” Everett said.
So, is the town council a steppingstone for higher office for Everett? He says no — at least not yet.
“Right now I am more focused on getting my education and after I am done, I will probably see what I want to do from there,” he said. “I would say the furthest I have thought about is maybe the City Council in the future.”