Make a New Year’s resolution to join in La Jolla governance in 2014
By Cindy Greatrex
La Jolla Town Council President
As we begin a New Year and reflect on the past while envisioning the future, it is important that we truly define our wants and needs as La Jollans. For this will determine our future as La Jollans. It can be easy to presume that local government and civic organizations are cloistered in regard to governance. This is far from true. All such La Jolla groups are truly service organizations, as the premise is to serve constituents and to do so in a fair and democratic manner.
But democracy is not just for the people; it is of the people. If you look around La Jolla and think: “Why?” think instead of “Why not?” and bring forth those questions and your proposed solutions. The power does not truly lie with elected officials but with you. Officials are the vehicles to change, but the change itself stems from the will and desire of residents.
We are fortunate as a society to have an array of public groups to serve our interests. I am honored to serve as president of the La Jolla Town Council, an organization chartered in 1950 to combine 37 disparate organizations and manage land use, as well as oversee community issues and opportunities. In this guise the town council has joint and sub committees, and liaise with other community associations covering a variety of important topics to all residents.
A great example of same is the La Jolla Community Planning Association. LJCPA has been recognized by the San Diego City Council to make recommendations to governmental agencies on the adoption of or amendment to a land use plan when such plan relates to the La Jolla Community Plan boundaries. You may believe that one would only come before LJCPA if there is personal need regarding your property or one adjacent. In fact, LJCPA is a membership-based organization that holds monthly public meetings open to all.
By submitting an application and attending one meeting per year as a qualified applicant, your membership entitles you to vote on its trustees. This is an excellent way to contribute to La Jolla’s present and future leadership in land-use matters. As our topography is envied across the country, all of us need to be involved with its structure, maintenance and stewardship.
There is a platform for every resident of La Jolla. Besides Rotary and Kiwanis service organizations, and philanthropic groups such as Las Patronas and St. Germaine, civic organizations dot the La Jolla landscape and are often tied to specific geographies of interest.
Two such examples are the La Jolla Shores Association and Bird Rock Community Council. It is a fact that community enhancement best grows when it is seeded from within its borders. Civic groups in La Jolla govern from the basis of Interactive Planning, and the very first step in any Policy Analysis Planning is to “verify, define and detail.” This by dint of its nature requires community input.
As a society, we affirm that good governance requires fair legal frameworks enforced by an impartial regulatory body, for the full protection of stakeholders. This concept centers on the responsibility of governments and governing bodies to meet the needs of the citizens. This said we must not lose sight of a fact originally brought forth in ancient Greece, namely that good government requires the involvement of every citizen.
For La Jolla’s good governance to be employed with efficacy, your involvement is both desired and necessary. Receive this letter as a New Year challenge. Attend one civic meeting in 2014 and hear from your elected leaders in a climate of openness.
And let your voice be heard as well. All civic groups offer Public Comment, so if you wish to speak on a topic of your interest, you already have a designated forum. With questions, feel free to contact me personally at (858) 454-1444 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
Along with my colleagues, I look forward to seeing and hearing from you soon. Have a joyous and prosperous New Year, La Jolla.
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