Carmel lost a former Mayor, former CRA Board Member, Citizen of the Year and long term champion
for our Village on 10/31/2022 - Charlotte Townsend, may she Rest In Peace. 

Here is a 2017 article in the Monterey Herald that you may enjoy. 
Here is an interview done by the Carmel Library in 2016.   
Plus there are two more articles below: Charlotte's Obituary and a memories article in the Jan 2023 Voice.

She will be missed. 

Top row: David Maradei, Mayor 1982-1986 Charlotte F. Townsend, Vice-Mayor Frank Lloyd.  Bottom row, Bob Stephenson, Helen Arnold. Photo shot on the steps of the old city hall before 1984 remodel.

 Charlotte's official Obituary - published Nov 30, 2022


Storyteller. Joke teller. Hostess. Porsche racer. Sailor. Explorer. Skier. Gardener. Lifetime Learner. Harrison Memorial Library Board member. Carmel Area Wastewater District Board member. Mayor of her beloved City of Carmel-by-the-Sea.
Charlotte Fulton Townsend was all of the above. The Townsend family came to Carmel in the early 1930's when Carmel was a young city, incorporated less than nine years before Charlotte's birth in Tacoma, Washington, on February 21, 1925. The family found an abundance of friends and opportunities for civic engagement in their new hometown---community theater, politics, equestrian, tennis, the Girl Scouts. Charlotte died on the night of October 31 at Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula.
She was predeceased by her parents, Frank and Ruth, and her sister, Donna. She is survived by nephew Christopher Zuber, her caregiver Alejandra Sanchez, and decades of now-mourning friends. She had attended the Douglas School in Pebble Beach, Stanford University, Universities of Zurich and Heidelberg as well as the Sorbonne. Her parents involvement in early Carmel-by-the-Sea cultural and civic activities became a lifetime compass for Charlotte, a city she called home for most of the nine decades of her life. She had the distinction of being the only staff member reporting for the rivals Carmel Pine Cone and the Carmel Cymbal. She rendered service on the Harrison Memorial Library Board of Trustees and as an elected director of the Carmel Area Wastewater District, a position her father had previously held. She was the Carmel Residents Association "Citizen of the Year" in 2019. She served as mayor of her beloved Carmel-by-the-Sea from 1982-86.
Forty years after her mayoral election, few remember the projects and programs she and her council initiated but the results of those actions still mingle amongst us. The first major renovation and expansion of City Hall since its municipal acquisition from the All Saints parish in 1947 commenced in 1984. The winter storms of 1982-83 damaged the embankments of Carmel Beach and undermined a portion of Scenic Road. Charlotte appointed the Beach Task Force to develop a plan for the fortification of the bluffs and roadway. From the task force blossomed the concept for the Scenic Road pathway, a project she enthusiastically endorsed.
One day as mayor she was telling a story about the long forgotten downtown pet parade. Charlotte had the thought to start a new parade for the children of the village and to acknowledge the incorporation of Carmel-by-the-Sea as a city on October 31, 1916. The annual Halloween parade began in 1984 and continues. It is probably more than coincidence that with her long love affair with the village, and her enthusiasm for celebrating Halloween, that she should die on that day.
Piccadilly Park, the first public open space in Carmel's downtown since the creation of Devendorf Park in 1932, developed during her tenure. The City's first General Plan that was compliant with the State Planning Act was adopted during her time as mayor. The wood direction signs around the village were crafted and installed during her term. A strong-willed woman, she was opinionated as well as adventuresome, frequently telling stories of her Porsche racing in Europe and sailing a leaking boat to Hawaii. At 90 years, she took a freighter to the South Pacific.
She loved France and went frequently to her Chateau de la France outside of Chablis. Her friends were her family. She held frequent gatherings at her home where a meal always began with a toast to all gathered and ended with a comment of how fortunate she was to live in Carmel-by-the-Sea. During the meal, she would tell off-color jokes as well as opine on current events. She never appeared at any social event of a friend empty-handed, usually bringing a bouquet from her garden. She loved her garden and its flowers; she loved her hometown.
As she settled into the Mayor's chair at the beginning of each city council meeting over which she presided, she would position a small vase holding a few garden cuttings at her place on the dais and was heard to say "a touch of Old Carmel."
Donations in her memory may be made to donor's favorite charity.
Published by Monterey Herald on Nov. 30, 2022.

From the Memories Article in the Jan/Feb The Voice 2023, written by Doug Schmitz,
enjoy more on Charlotte's history and contributions. 

Charlotte’s Seasons in Carmel and Beyond

Along the fence line on the street frontage of the vintage Carmel cottage, three Sally Holmes climbing roses are now at rest. While the garden nurtures a farrago of flowers in its numerous planting beds and pots, the Sally Holmes rose was her favorite, its single petals blooming during the late summer and into the early autumn, withdrawing with the arrival of the winter.

Frank and Ruth Townsend and daughters Charlotte and Donna moved to Carmel-by-the-Sea, a renowned artistic and theater City, from Washington State in the early 1930’s. Frank had dabbled in drama at the University of Washington and still enjoyed the theater, whether performing on stage or as a troupe business manager. Ruth became active with the Carmel Girl Scouts and the Sunset School. She was the family gardener.

With their relocation to Carmel, Frank, a lifetime tennis addict, advocated for the construction of the first tennis courts for the Village; he succeeded. No surprise! He had challenged an elderly J.P. Morgan in a board room encounter as a young financier. He was a sailor, on the water since age 13. He joined Carmel theater groups and in 1937 performed in the production of O’Neill’s “Where the Cross is Made,” later travelling to San Francisco to act in the Elmer Rice play “There Go I.” Frank was the business manager for the newly birthed “Carmel Players” theater group until resigning in a dispute with the artistic director.

In 1938, Carmel sought to sever itself from the Monterey Union High School District, via a public vote, wanting to construct its own campus. Townsend spent three months gathering signatures to get the divorce from MUHSD onto the ballot. The Carmel Cymbal extended accolades for his effort.

Carmel had a particularly depraved city council from 1936-38. The ministers had terminated the long-serving city attorney; had undertaken numerous secret meetings; had put the City into financial peril. The incumbents were ripe for a takeover. Three seats on the council would be voted on in April 1938. Frank wanted to run and began politicking around the Village.

A March 8 entry in the diary of former Mayor Herbert Heron explains how Frank’s political ambitions were curtailed. “Met with Frank and told him the facts,” wrote Heron, who had already congealed a slate of Gordon Campbell, Fred Bechdolt, and himself to seek the three seats. Frank would get a position with a different entity---the Carmel Sanitary District. Decades later, daughter Charlotte would be elected to the same board.

With Frank and Ruth Townsends’ various interests, it is easy to understand daughter Charlotte’s proclivities in her 97 years. She enjoyed being on water, navigating a sailboat to Hawaii or Mexico or steering a barge on the canals of France. She was an avid sports car driver, racing Porsches in Europe. Into her early nineties, she frequented the tennis courts at the Mission Ranch, displaying a mean backhand shot.

With a lifelong quest to learn, Charlotte attended Stanford, the Universities of Zurich and Heidelberg and the Sorbonne. She served on the Board of Trustees of the Harrison Memorial Library and was a frequent attendee at local lectures and cultural events, especially the Bach Festival.

Her exposure to France while at the Sorbonne engendered a lifetime Francophile. She bought a chateau near Chablis and visited it frequently, entertaining friends and taking them on tours of the countryside, the wineries, the villages and cities, the museums. She was delighted with the blooming plants in the back garden of her property, just as she was with the Sally Holmes in Carmel.

And like dad Frank, she was drawn to local politics. Carmelites primarily know Charlotte from her service as mayor from 1982-86. Her first big mayoral project was the remodel of the old City Hall, acquired from the All-Saints parish decades earlier. The vestment closets still inhabited corners in the Planning/Building Department and the baptismal font was anchored into a passageway. Charlotte was involved in every detail of the makeover of the Hall we know today, even selecting the color of the Chamber doors which perch above the steps leading to Monte Verde Street.

It is now winter. The 2022 blooming season for the Sally Holmes along the fence at the old Carmel cottage is over. And Charlotte has left us.