New parks and beaches group redefining mission

The stairway to South Casa Beach remains closed.  Photo: Dave Schwab
The stairway to South Casa Beach remains closed. Photo: Dave Schwab

By Dave Schwab

Staff Writer

La Jolla Parks and Beaches, Inc., which will officially split from the La Jolla Town Council in July, is establishing a new identity and redefining its mission.

The former town council subcommittee is separating from its parent body in order to continue to advise the city on coastal parks and beaches issues. The city now requires its advisory “rec councils” to be nonprofits, but because the Town Council is a dues-paying organization the group had to split off.

“This is a group that represents the community and our voice will be stronger because we’ll be directly advising the city on issues affecting all the parks and beaches in La Jolla,” said interim chair Patrick Ahern, who recently replaced Michele Addington.

At the group’s monthly meeting on March 28, Ahern solicited input from group members on projects to tackle in 2011.

Committee member Debbie Beacham said the South Casa Pool Stairway, closed off recently to the public for repairs caused by erosion damage, ought to top the group’s to-do list.

“It’s such a big part of the beach now that you can’t get to,” she said. “I’m suggesting we ask for pieces of wood to be put across the cracks so it can be done (opened) quickly.”

“We should get a letter to them (city) now to get it fixed,” said longtime committee member Melinda Merryweather. "The city is responsible for beaches. That’s the reason the tourists come here.”

“We need someone with energy to start a subcommittee to get the stairs fixed as an emergency action,” said Ahern.

Beacham’s motion asking for a letter to be drafted to the city requesting that the stairway be repaired before the unofficial beginning of summer on Memorial Day passed unanimously.

Cathy Anzuoni, parks district manager, said the new La Jolla parks group cannot take its place as a full-fledged rec council advising the city until its nonprofit legal status and group bylaws have been completed and approved by the city Park and Rec Department.

Ahern said the group is actively seeking ideas from the community on coastal projects or issues that need to be worked on. Suggestions can be e-mailed to




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