La Jolla Town Council to hold elections, discuss dance fundraiser financials

Some of the candidates running for the La Jolla Town Council Board of Directors include (clockwise from top left): Cindy Greatrex, Karen Hickman, Cathy Jones, Peter Wulff, Howard Singer and Charles Schevker.


By Pat Sherman

Eight candidates are vying for five vacant seats on the La Jolla Town Council’s (LJTC) board of directors.

An e-mail ballot will be sent to LJTC members-at-large this week (or mail ballot for those who requested one). Completed ballots must be received by noon, March 11. Results will be announced during the organization’s next monthly meeting, 5 p.m. Thursday, March 13 at La Jolla Rec Center, 615 Prospect St.

Current trustees running for re-election include board president Cindy Greatrex and trustees Howard Singer and Peter Wulff.

Also running for seats are Karen Hickman, Maureen Murphy and Charles Schevker.

Running as write-in candidates are Cathy Jones and Jessica von Buelow.

Ending board terms due to term limits, are Jennifer Van Galder and John Donaldson.

■ A trustee since 2011, Peter Wulff has served as LJTC second vice-president and orchestrated the organization’s fundraising Sunsetter events. Wulff is chief financial officer of PURE Bioscience.

Cindy Greatrex said she hopes to continue serving as a trustee after her term as president ends at the end of April. Greatrex also serves on the board of La Jolla Recreation Center and Access Youth Academy, and is board secretary of La Jolla Community Center. She is a founding member of International Orphan Care Diego and the San Diego-Jalalabad Sister Cities Foundation.

Howard Singer, known in the community for his push to change the name of the La Jolla Christmas Parade to something nondenominational, notes his work signing Vons grocery store as a LJTC gold member. Each month, Singer stops by Vons to pick up fruit, sandwiches, water and cookies the grocer
donates for meetings.

■ La Jolla real estate broker Charles Schevker of Berkshire Hathaway Home Services, California Properties (at Prospect and Cave streets) has been a LJTC member for two years. He concludes each meeting with monthly updates on the real estate market in La Jolla. His previous experience includes employment with two Fortune 100 companies, including service as a chief financial officer.

Maureen Murphy is owner of La Jolla Village Lodge and a community volunteer. Murphy is also a member of the La Jolla Village Merchants Association.

Karen Hickman has been affiliated with La Jolla Berkshire Hathaway real estate (formerly Prudential California Realty) for 25 years. She hopes to further her service to the community as a town council trustee.

LJTC board candidates must be at least 16 years of age, reside or own a business in La Jolla and have attended at least three LJTC meetings in the last 12 months.

Sheryl Reichert, president/CEO of the San Diego Better Business Bureau, dances with partner Tony Caligagan during La Jolla Dancing with the Stars fundraiser in October 2013.

In other Town Council news
Dancing financials requested: During the Feb. 13 meeting, treasurer Yolanda de Riquer and trustee Ruth Yansick requested that Nancy Gardner, event chair of the LJTC’s 2013 La Jolla Dancing with the Stars fundraiser, provide a profit and loss (P&L) statement so the organization can balance its books for the year and file its taxes. The P&L for the Oct. 5 event was also requested in January.

Gardner, who said she is recovering from recent surgery, apologized for the delay, stating that the San Diego Police Historical Association (SDPHA) was preparing the P&L.

Speaking with La Jolla Light SDPHA Vice-president Steve Willard clarified that his association was not preparing the P&L, but providing Gardner with bank statements so that Gardner could have the P&L prepared herself (which Gardner assured would be presented to the LJTC board prior to the March meeting).

Willard said his association’s involvement with the event might have been exaggerated or misconstrued. He said SDPHA only agreed to process credit card payments for auction items and a few last minute ticket sales on the night of the event (so the La Jolla Dancing with the Stars event could take advantage of a lower processing fee paid by the police association). The SDPHA didn’t handle any ticket pre-sales, nor event payments by check or cash, Willard said.

The sold-out event raised around $5,000 for the LJTC (which received 80 percent of proceeds) and lesser amounts for La Jolla Community Center, Warriors and Quiet Waters and the La Jolla Christmas Parade (whose event chair, LJTC Trustee Ann Kerr Bache, later gave the parade’s portion back to the LJTC general fund).

There is also some question as to whether the event was under the auspices of the San Diego Police Historical Association’s 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status, as was stated in press materials promoting the event.

“I think it’s just a big misunderstanding,” Willard said, noting that he would likely be at the March LJTC meeting to answer questions about his association’s involvement in the event.

“The Town Council has always been run on total financial transparency, and trustees need to have an accounting from the event chair,” President Greatrex said, via e-mail. “That same accounting is available to any community member who requests it. We are not under the Brown Act but we do our best to behave as if we are, which is why we made the request for Dancing with the Stars accounting in a public fashion.”

Cove stench update: Sarah Czarnecki, a representative with the office of 52nd District Congressmember Scott Peters, read an update on the odor problem at La Jolla Cove from Stacey LoMedico, the city’s assistant chief operating officer (originally provided to the La Jolla Village Merchants Association).

In her letter, LoMedico noted that the influx of sea lions at the Cove last summer — whose waste and urine on the Cove bluffs was thought to be the most recent culprit of the stench — were part of the marine mammals’ regular breeding pattern. Sea lions migrate to La Jolla late summer through January-February, at which time  breeding adults travel to the Channel Islands, where they stay until the following summer, LoMedico said.

“A significant reduction in sea lions at the Cove occurred in January, due to persistent and high surf, along with a majority of the breeding adults moving to the Channel Islands,” she wrote.

LoMedico said increased human access to the bluffs — which the city helped facilitate by installing a gate in the fence above La Jolla Cove (at the request of some business owners and residents) — has also accounted for a decrease in the number of birds and sea lions on the upper bluffs.

LoMedico said the city will also consider procuring a contractor to spray more microbial foam on the bluffs, as needed, for at least another year (the foam, applied twice last year to digest a buildup of bird guano on the bluffs, seemed to greatly diminish the smell last spring and summer).

“If we feel we need to spray before a contract is in place we will do a single spraying, although at this time … we do not feel a spraying is warranted,” she said. “There are some areas with guano and urine that we are not able to reach/treat that does add to the smell. We continue to evaluate the conditions on a daily basis.”

La Jolla Post Office: Czarnecki also noted that the U.S. Postal Service’s (USPS) independent Office of the Inspector General (OIG) is in the midst of its audit of USPS’s sale and disposal of its historic buildings, including La Jolla’s post office at 1140 Wall St. Czarnecki said the audits would assure that the USPS is “satisfying all the requirements put in place to protect historic properties that are owned by the federal government.

“We recently sent a letter to the OIG’s office to see when that report is going to be released,” she said. “Due to support here in the community and nationally on the issue of the sale of historic post offices, there was wording included in the omnibus package — the budget bill that went forward — that urged the USPS to issue a moratorium on the sale of those historic post office buildings until the OIG’s report could be issued. That wasn’t a direct order to the USPS, but those are the people (Congress) who control (USPS’s) money, so if they don’t listen to them it probably would not go well.”

Related posts:

  1. Town Council’s sold-out La Jolla Dancing with the Stars fundraiser sizzles
  2. La Jolla Town Council elects trustees, divvies up dancing fundraiser profit
  3. It takes a Village: Merchants call on Town Council to join Cove stench fight
  4. San Diego Mayor Bob Filner to foxtrot for La Jolla Town Council fundraiser
  5. La Jolla Town Council signs new lease; Trustee Pourteymour helps fund ‘Seasons Greetings’ sign

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Posted by Pat Sherman on Feb 26, 2014. Filed under Featured Story, La Jolla, News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

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