OPINION: Town hall planned to get merchants group moving

By Sherri Lightner

Councilwoman, First District

Calling all Village merchants!

A thriving Village is a key part of what makes La Jolla such a special community. The future success of La Jolla's Business Improvement District (BID) is important because it can provide funds for beautification projects, marketing and special events that attract customers to the Village.

The city attorney's office is currently working to reach a settlement agreement with Promote La Jolla, which was the previous operator of the BID, to resolve long-standing issues and avoid litigation.

As the city works to bring this chapter to a close, the community has a great opportunity to form a new organization led by a new group of merchants that can operate the business improvement district in the future.

Our office is working closely with the Business Improvement District Council, which represents all the BIDs throughout the city, and the City's Small Business Office to develop a survey that will soon be mailed out to all members of La Jolla's Business Improvement District. Then we'll be pounding the pavement to gather survey responses. This survey will help us gain a better understanding of the types of services, activities, and events that would be most valuable to BID members. I want to hear from you! Without your input and support, a new Village merchants' association cannot succeed.

We are hosting a workshop on Oct, 21 from 4 to 6 p.m. at the La Jolla Rec Center where BID members and interested community members will be able to learn more about some of the other successful Business Improvement Districts throughout the City and the types of events, activities, and services they provide for their businesses. This will be a great opportunity to gain a better understanding of how the new merchants' association can work to promote the Village. Everyone with an interest in participating in this new organization should attend.

It's time to encourage a new group to step forward and represent the Village merchants in the future. But they can't do it without the support of our businesses and the entire community. To learn more about how you can get involved in the new merchants' association, please contact me at sherrilightner@sandiego.gov or (619) 236-6611.

Editor's note: On Monday, Gina Coburn, communications director for the city attorney's office, wrote in an e-mail that the matter involving Promote La Jolla, three former board members and the former executive director "will be set to go before council in closed session. We hope to report out more information following the meeting, however the docket date is still to be determined. Although we cannot discuss the substance of our planned closed session, we can say that a lot of progress has been made. Our hope is that the strategy of talking first and having some patience will pay off in avoiding very lengthy and costly litigation."

   
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