Oath of Office: town council’s newly elected trustees include a La Jolla High student
By Pat Sherman
The La Jolla Town Council ushered in another round of trustees and officers during its April 12 meeting, including 17-year-old La Jolla High School junior Emiliano De Riquer — only the second La Jolla resident under age 18 to serve as a trustee in the council’s six-decade history.
Prior to announcing results of the election — conducted via e-mail ballot — the council voted to change its bylaws to lower the age at which a person is eligible to become a trustee, from 18 to 16.
“It think it’s really good for us to have a youthful voice in here,” said trustee Egon Kafka, who supported lowering the age requirement so that Emiliano could serve.
Addressing trustee Steve Haskins, outgoing council president Rick Wildman joked, “Well, Mr. Haskins, what do you say about that? You’re no longer the only one.”
In 1976, Haskins, who was then also a 17-year-old La Jolla High student, was elected to the board of trustees. Haskins, who had served on the council’s environmental quality committee, was urged to run for the town council after he and his girlfriend fought to prevent a high-rise from being built next to La Jolla High.
The council’s bylaws were amended in 2004 to increase the minimum age requirement for trustees to 18.
“I feel very ecstatic,” said Emiliano, whose mother, Yolanda De Riquer, also is a trustee. “I think I can do something really good as a trustee. I want to give a voice to kids around the community and help them get more involved. … I think that the minds of the 21st century can be used to protect our history, our beaches or anything else that comes to mind.”
Elected for additional terms were trustees John Weinstein, Yolanda de Riquer, Egon Kafka, Robert Hildt, Charles Hartford and Ann Kerr Bache.
First-time trustee candidate Dyanne Marie Routh and trustee Phillip Forgione, who was seeking an additional term, were tied for the remaining slot on the board. Wildman, who declined to use his authority as president to break the tie, said the board will vote on the remaining trustee slot next month.
Former town council treasurer Cindy Greatrex was elected council president by her peers. Former first-vice president Rob Hildt, who was vacationing in Hawaii, came in a close second for the seat.
Greatrex, who works in the field of telemedicine and serves as president of the Independent La Jolla group, said she is “very pleased and happy” to take on the duties of president. She said she plans to do her “utmost to uphold the standards and integrity of the La Jolla Town Council,” while expanding its outreach and fostering the organization’s growth.
“I want to make sure everyone’s needs are represented … whether it’s the merchants or the residents,” she said.
In passing the torch to Greatrex, Wildman said he still planned to be “very involved” with the council as a member of its executive committee.
Wildman, an attorney who also served as president of Promote La Jolla, Inc. and the La Jolla Bar Association, said one of his major accomplishments as council president was getting the meetings back on track and keeping the discourse civil.
“Cindy is brilliant, highly organized and extremely successful in everything she’s done in her life,” Wildman said. “I don’t have any advice for her, other than, ‘How can I help?’”
Also elected as officers were: Ken King as first vice president and write-in candidate David Woo as treasurer. Reelected to officer positions were John Weinstein as second vice president and Sonia Marie Olivas as secretary.
“This is a great group and everybody here works so hard,” Wildman said. “It’s great of you all to step forward.”
In other town council news
• Office assistance: To help take some pressure off its existing part-time office manager and executive committee members, John Weinstein floated the idea of appointing former La Jolla resident and financial services professional Julie Duepner as a part-time, volunteer executive director, to work in the council’s office on Herschel Street from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. weekdays.
Weinstein, who worked with Duepner at Morgan Stanley Smith Barney, said she would help with public relations duties, community outreach and various office duties.
“She’s very familiar with the community, very involved and she loves La Jolla,” Weinstein said. “The office schedule has been very erratic. It will be nice to have some consistency.” The council will vote on the position at its May 10 meeting.
• Voice on land issues: Addressing those in attendance, La Jolla Community Planning Association (CPA) President Joe LaCava said he felt the town council had drifted afield from its focus on land-use issues.
“The CPA takes the subcommittee very seriously,” LaCava said. “I personally went to the city and fought for the right of the town council to appoint (representatives to the CPA), so I’m very supportive of that. But it’s a question I think for your direction going forward. … Either increase your involvement in land-use issues and be a greater participant in the land-use conversation or just say, ‘You know what. That’s not what we want to be doing anymore.’”
Wildman said LaCava’s concerns came as a “surprise.” “I’d have to strongly disagree,” he said.
• Community Foundation: Scott Peters, who sits on the board of the La Jolla Community Foundation and is running for Congress, spoke about the Foundation’s plans and urged those in attendance to share their ideas for potential community beautification projects. “If you know something you think would be community-minded, we’d like to know about it,” Peters said.
• Post Office Meeting: The La Jolla Historical Society’s interim executive director, Trip Bennett, urged council members to attend the United States Postal Service’s only planned meeting with community members to discuss the threatened Wall Street post office. “It’s OK if you’re a little enraged,” said Bennett of the meeting, to be held 6 p.m. April 26 at the Cuvier Club, 7776 Eads Ave.
• Outreach member: Ellen Wayne was elected to serve as a council representative to the Coastal Access and Parking Board.
• Fold ‘em: The council decided to suspend its once-popular poker events due to dwindling numbers and decreased interest.
• Networking: The town council will hold its next Sunsetter Community Happy Hour from 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday, April 19 at Brockton Villa, 1235 Coast Blvd. For more details, call (858) 456-4995.
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- Promote La Jolla settlement signed, tensions remain
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