Until now, La Jolla merchants and Town Council members trying to figure out how to replace Promote La Jolla have been thinking it must be a choice between creating a new business improvement district or an entirely new type of entity.
But at an informal meeting July 29, the grassroots steering committee reached a consensus that it's wiser to pursue both a new BID and another group, like a community benefit district or a maintenance assessment district, and that the efforts are not mutually exclusive.
Attending the meeting were Patrick Edwards and Marco LiMandri. Edwards represents the city's BID Council, a nonprofit primarily funded by the city's Small Business Enhancement Program that supports all of the city's business districts. Limandri is president of New City America Inc., a company dedicated to business district revitalization. He helped Little Italy set up a community benefit district to support its business district.
Edwards cautioned the group against abandoning the idea of creating a new business district to replace Promote La Jolla, which had a contract with the city until it ran afoul of city financial procedures more than a year ago. It continues to meet and discuss events and ways to beautify the Village although it has no official status with the city. However, four of its board members are advisers to the city staff which is managing the interim replacement La Jolla Business Improvement District.
"Business communities need some self-identification, some self-direction independent of outside influences," he said. "The BID is a unique voice for merchants who are struggling to run their businesses every day. That's why I'm here, to support that voice."
Rick Wildman, La Jolla Town Council president, said sticking with the idea of creating another BID "is not a bad thing now that it's getting up on its wheels."
The steering committee set a Aug. 11 date for its next meeting at 4 p.m. at the La Jolla Library.