La Jolla merchants group goes into Wednesday meeting with progress under belts

By Kathy Day

Staff Writer

On Tuesday, the fledgling La Jolla Village Merchants Association is expecting to be approved by the City Council as the official advisory board for the La Jolla Business Improvement District.

The vote comes on the heels of word received last week that the organization has been granted 501(c)(60 tax exempt status from the IRS.

LJVMA President Phil Coller said Monday it was “great we got the 501(c)(6) on the scheduled day,” which he attributed to attorney Steve Haskins who submitted the application for them.

He said as the group has taken shape he’s heard from business people interested in becoming involved, adding that he’s hopeful many will show up for the next meeting at 8:30 a.m. Wednesday at the La Jolla Women’s Club.

With Tuesday’s City Council vote, the group will be have limited access to funds from the city to move forward with some of it plans. Full access is not far behind.

Also on Tuesday, the council will vote to approve the proposed LJVMA budget — as well as those of 16 other business improvement districts in the city — and declare the city’s intent to continue to levy assessments in those districts. Then, on May 10, the council will hold a public hearing on the matter, vote to confirm the BID budgets and authorize the mayor to sign the contracts, according to Beth Murray of the city’s Office of Small Business.

La Jolla’s merchants association represents more than 1,200 businesses in the Village area who pay a fee with their business tax. Since last year, those funds have been managed by the city and a four-member advisory board from Promote La Jolla, which formerly had the contract to manage the district.

Among the items the new LJVMA board will consider on Wednesday are:

• Appointing 11 people — who do not have to be board members — to various La Jolla boards and advisory groups;

• Reports on committee structure;

• An initial schedule of events the group wants to organize over the coming 18 months;

• Branding, its website and social networking plans;

• Discuss the process for selecting an executive director;

• Consider options for office space, and

• Discuss establishing an associate member category.

   
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