Town council welcomes new executive director and trustee
By Pat Sherman
The La Jolla Town Council’s (LJTC’s) board of directors voted to approve financial services professional Julie Duepner as its part-time, volunteer executive director at its May 10 meeting.
Duepner, whose background includes a stint as community relations manager for former banker and one-time San Diego Mayoral candidate Peter Q. Davis, will staff the council’s office on Herschel Avenue, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Thursday.
“I’ve done a lot of business-to-business (and) business-to-consumer sales,” Duepner said. “I know it’s really important for us to develop our membership.”
Trustee John Weinstein, who has known Duepner for more than a decade, noted the council’s need for an executive director.
“We need someone who can field questions from the community, that can do public relations and marketing,” he said. “This is the perfect solution, to have a high caliber person who loves La Jolla and is willing to do it on a volunteer basis.”
The council also selected Debbie Arnau to fill a vacant trustee position, which was also sought by La Jolla Rotary Club President Ron Jones and Dyanne Routh.
Arnau, who is owner of Deal Me In Today La Jolla, has volunteered for everything from the farmers market to the council’s poker night fundraiser and the La Jolla Art and Wine Festival. She said she would use her merchant contacts to help boost LJTC membership.
‘Dancing with La Jolla Stars’
Though Jones did not receive the trustee slot, his involvement with the town council this year will nevertheless be significant. The local DJ and personality dubbed the “Voice of La Jolla” will produce LJTC’s major fundraiser of the year, “Dancing with La Jolla Stars.”
Jones organized a similarly themed fundraiser for the La Jolla Stage Company in 2007 that was well received.
“It was kind of a Garrison Keillor presentation in that we had the dancing sandwiched between entertainment,” Jones said. “The fast pace kept it moving very quickly.”
Jones noted several dance studios in the Village with instructors willing to pair with La Jolla celebrities for the fundraiser.
“We think that that we could get somewhere between 300 and 400 people to come out at $25 a head,” Trustee Rob Hildt said of the event, which would take place in September.
Special events committee
After voting to approve the fundraiser, council secretary Sonia Marie Olivas made a motion to create a special events committee within the La Jolla Town Council, which was unanimously approved.
The committee’s initial focus will be on Dancing with La Jolla Stars, with Hildt serving as chair and Jones serving as a co-chair through the duration of his event.
Trustees Nancy Gardner, Mary Soriano, Egon Kafka, Debbie Arnau and Emiliano and Yolanda De Riquer also will serve on the committee.
Coast Boulevard project
Town council trustees spent considerable time grappling over the verbiage of a letter it will send Mayor Jerry Sanders and Council members Lightner and Kevin Faulconer regarding the proposed redesign and beautification of the Coast Boulevard walkway. The plan, designed by architect Jim Neri, includes a designated area for vendor tables.
The council’s letter is a clarification of an earlier letter sent to the mayor expressing its support for the project; the second letter clarifies its desire to remove vendors at the cove, which sell t-shirts and other merchandise in competition with merchants in the Village, and speak on a variety of free-speech issues.
Some vendors are selling merchandise for “donations only,” in the guise of being a nonprofit organization or promoting free speech, several trustees said.
“Unfortunately, they’re not being cited, they’re not being asked to leave,” Olivas said. “We should just eliminate the vendors altogether, so we don’t have that problem of them not abiding by the laws.”
Erin Demorest, a representative for Councilwoman Sherri Lightner, said her office was informed by the city that vendor tables can not be eliminated entirely, and that space for the tables is meant to be allocated on a lottery-style basis, similar to what is done with buskers in Balboa Park.
Lifeguard Ken Hunrichs noted a U.S. 9th Circuit Court decision that limits the type of merchandise sidewalk vendors in Venice Beach are allowed to sell to products with a specific message related to free speech or a nonprofit cause.
“From what I gather, the (San Diego) city attorney is well aware of this decision and still is refusing to enforce it, for whatever reason.”
Trustee Steve Haskins suggested the council seek an opinion from the city attorney’s office providing clarification on the vendor issue.
“I think we’re operating in a vacuum,” he said. “It doesn’t make an sense to say we don’t want any tables if the city’s legally required to allow them.”
In the end, the council voted to remove most of the verbiage in its letter, opting for more concise language that ended with a plea that “no tables should be permitted to occupy that site.”
Other town council news
• One more year: The LJTC voted to approve another year of service for its appointees to the following committees: Coastal Access and Parking, Development Permit Review, Planned District Ordinance, Streetscape and Traffic and Transportation.
• Kudos: Cindy Greatrex, who led her first meeting as board president, thanked trustee Egon Kafka for helping run the office, and trustee Ruth Yansick for donating $300 toward the purchase of a new computer.
• More kudos: Councilwoman Sherri Lightner presented commendations to the following trustees for their service on the LJTC: Rob Hildt, Egon Kafka, John Weinstein, Ann Kerr Bache, Phillip Forgione and recent past-president Rick Wildman.
• The council also voted to approve the annual Taste of the Cove event on Sept. 6.
- La Jolla parks and beaches group opts to become nonprofit
- La Jolla Town Council ready to tackle pothole problem
- Esther Viti Day is Dec. 7; next La Jolla cleanup is Dec. 11
- Vehicle break-ins at La Jolla Shores condo complex upset resident
- Crews at work clearing brush in La Jolla
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