Patricia Sutcliff, Tustin’s first councilwoman

Patricia Sutcliff, first councilwoman of Tustin, CA

First published March 17, 2022

March is Woman in History Month and we’d like you to know about Tustin’s first female City Council Member! If you asked most Tustin residents who that was, most would respond with Ursula Kennedy. While Ms. Kennedy was Tustin’s first elected City Council member, she was not the first female City Council member in our history. The first female City Council member was Patricia Sutcliff!

Patricia Sutcliff is a Tustin Woman of History. Patricia moved here in 1972 with her husband Richard and their five children, Scott, Ken, Todd, Mark and Keri. The children attended Red Hill Lutheran School. At the time of her appointment to the Planning Commission, Patricia was employed by the Providence Speech and Learning Center, having received her degree in speech, with studies in history, Spanish, and drama from Chapman University.

When City Council Member Joe Langley resigned from the council in January 1975, Mayor Don Saltarelli, Agnes Bacon and Art Charleston asked Patricia to apply for the vacant position. She was one of six applicants and was selected to become Tustin’s first female City Council member!

Shortly before her term was about to expire in March 1976, Patricia announced she would not be a candidate for re-election. Her five young children, their activities at school and in Little League, as well as her own commitments, were where her focus needed to be.

Later, here career would change to distribution manager of the Orange County Register and her husband, Robert Ferreira owned several Imaginarium Toy Stores. Patricia still resides in Old Town Tustin in a Colonial Revival home that was built by Ray Aunger, one-time owner of the Tustin Hardware Store.