Family, friends and colleagues of Mickey Cafagna gathered Wednesday afternoon for the unveiling of a monument to the late Poway mayor designating a stretch of Scripps Poway Parkway Road as the Mayor Mickey Cafagna Memorial Parkway.
Several dozen people were on hand on the center median just west of Danielson Street to watch and applaud Mayor Don Higginson and Councilman John Mullin do the honors of unveiling the monument. Cafagna's widow, Sharon, and other family members were there and shared memories of the man Councilman Jim Cunningham called “our city's greatest mayor ever.”
Cafagna died on April 11, 2009, after battling kidney cancer for several years. He was 65.
The memorial parkway runs through Poway Business Park, between Danielson Street and Pomerado Road, a fitting tribute to the former real estate developer who served three terms as Poway's mayor and was a key figure in the establishment of the park.
“The monument is situated here at the gateway to Poway's business, something that meant very much to Mickey,” Cunningham said.
An identical monument to Cafagna has been built on the west end of Scripps Poway Parkway near Pomorado Road, the two signs serving as bookends for the Mayor Mickey Cafagna Memorial Parkway.
“These two monuments were put together by contributions by Mickey's family and friends and citizens,” Cunningham said. “And Mickey is smiling from ear to ear to know that not one penny of this came from city dollars.”
The city also intends to honor Cafagna by naming a community center planned for Community Park the Mayor Mickey Cafagna Community Center.
A photo of a smiling Cafagna was on display next to the monument, looking over the large group of his friends and family laughing and occasionally crying in the middle of a busy street on a warm sunny day.